Of the 28 amazing cities that we have stepped foot in during our adventures, one thing that has stood out for me is the level of economic consciousness that we have seen throughout the country. From the knowledge of our guides Javier and Julian about the economic problems of the globalization of capitalist consumerism to the many environmentally mindful parks and farms we saw in Colombia, our group has experienced a far different Colombia than is advertised on the news. We have seen an environmentally conscious and aware country that rivals the US in so many ways. Our first learning experience of the efforts of sustainable environmental growth in Colombia came during our visit to la finca, a farm outside of Villa de Leyva.
When we left the hostel in Villa de Leyva, a beautiful town surrounded by jaw-dropping views of the Andes mountains, we headed out to meet the owners of a completely sustainable farm community. We learned of their composting system that uses different stages where worms can eat the waste and fertilizer can be produced to help their amazing garden grow. They showed us the environmental library they run to teach young children how to live sustainably and to help the farm as they work to become completely sustainable, only wasting what they produce. We ended our tour by having an ecological lunch with fruits, vegetables and other foods produced from their own garden. The respect that Colombian people show for their natural environment is refreshing to say the least.
Coupled with a background of the mindset of environmental conservation in Colombia, I have come to feel a greater respect for the beauty that I see all over Colombia. Knowing the hard work Colombians do to maintain the splendor and majesty of their natural environment makes it more special. I am amazed at how much green I see in this country. It is unreal. I walk out of our hostel in the morning and stare at the Andes in awe at the beauty of the rolling hills, the forest of trees and the colors of the rice fields. I cannot even compare the beauty to anywhere in the United States. It is so immense, producing a feeling of comfort and love for Mother Nature. It is something you just have to experience on your own in Colombia. It’s a site we will all never forget.