Friday, February 4, 2011

Cultural U.S. Influence in Latin America vs. the Middle East

Visiting Colombia was an eye-opening experience for me. I have traveled to various countries in the Middle East and the prevalent influence in the region was that of the United States. In the Middle East I was surprised by the Starbucks locations on virtually each street corner - as well as Applebee’s, McDonald’s, etc. The extent of western influence was nice to some degree, but it was much more disturbing because it seemed to hijack the country’s culture.

In Colombia this was not at all the case; in fact, Colombia was the exact opposite in this regard. The culture in Colombia is so rich and the people so proud that McDonald’s and Applebee’s truly have no place here. Colombian food is healthy, tasty, easily accessible, and cheap leaving no real reason to go to any of the above-mentioned chains.

As for a Starbucks popping up on a Colombian street corner - HA! Colombia, arguably, has the best coffee in the world and any outside company wishing to market their coffee here is would be out of their element. There are multiple coffee shops on each street here in Bogota and the idea that a foreign company can do coffee better than the coffee experts is farfetched to say the least.

Colombians are content with their options, and having spent 19 days in the country, I can see why.;

No comments:

Post a Comment