Category: Colombia

Stratums or Estratos in Colombia – The Basics

April 2015 Michael: To understand Colombia and its people you need to understand the government stratum system. In speaking people use the word estrato as in “He lives in estrato 4.” To my knowledge Colombia is the only country to have it as law. In the opinion of many the scheme has evolved to deciding […]

Is Gringo a derogatory word in Colombia?

February 2015 “Ones destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” …Henry Miller Michael: We paid for our purchases at the store in Cajicá, Colombia. Then a voice boomed from behind us. “You can always find another gringo at Home Center.” The speaker was correct. Those of us from […]

Five Reasons why 2015 is Your Year to Visit Colombia

January 2015 There are many excellent reasons to visit Colombia anytime in the future. Readers have read in our blogs about such things as one of a kind museums like the Gold Museum, stress free Caribbean islands like Providencia and historical cities including Cartagena. However there are five good reasons why you should make 2015 […]

Readers’ Top Ten Favorite Blogs in 2014

Colombian women, Colombian coffee, reviews of restaurants and stores headed up readers’ favorites in 2014. In the very first calendar year for our blogsite we also were named one of the five top Latin American weblogs and interviewed for an article in a prestigious coffee magazine. Thank you readers. So, what specific writings did readers […]

BBQ grill Colombian Style

Michael:  The Colombian BBQ grill is much different than the ones I used in my over 50 years in the USA. Graciela:  We thought the best way to explain them to readers is with a narrated slide show.

Medellín taxi driver who speaks fluent English

Graciela: Earlier we wrote about a taxi driver in Bogotá who speaks fluent English. But then we received a question from a reader for a different city. “I am flying into Medellín. Do you know of a taxi person there who speaks English?” Michael: The good news is that many taxi operators in Colombia’s second […]

Guama is a fruit masquerading as a bean

Michael: Objects resembling dried out pea pods pyramided on a street vendor’s cart. The man seemed to have a brisk business as people lined up to purchase these foot long food items. Finally I turned to my wife and asked, “What is he selling?” Graciela: Colombia has over 150 different fruits. I give my husband […]

What to Bring a Colombian

It is sometimes necessary to load up your suitcase with food stuffs when visiting Colombian expats. Michael: Not a single U.S. food item haunts my taste buds enough to tell visitors from the States to bring the item when they visit. Such is not possible for Colombians living outside their country. They often have a […]

The New Colombian Coins Have a Theme

You may think that you are receiving funny money. Michael:  It is difficult enough when visiting another country to figure out their money. But Colombia is now throwing a wrench into the problem. They are changing their coins and using both at the same time. Not only do the new ones look and feel different, […]

Colombian Flowers – Happy Valentine’s Day

Michael:  Colombia is not the largest dealer of flowers in the world but the business is a multi-billion dollar one for the country. The industry employs about 172,000 workers mostly around Bogotá. If you receive roses in the U.S.A. on Valentine’s Day there is about a 70% chance they came from Colombia. But the day […]

Escape the Cold – Come to Colombia

Michael:  I am from Michigan. Oh yes I remember surviving for 50 years those cold winters. Sometimes it was so far below zero  that moisture from my nose froze on my moustache eventually breaking off the hairs. In later years taking a break to warmer weather became a priority. Nothing better to help you survive […]

Luck in 2014 Colombian Style

Michael:  With underwear, wheat,  grapes, suitcases and setting a man on fire you may make 2014 your year. Well, that is if you trust Colombian traditions. On my first New Year’s Eve in Colombia I stepped into the residential street just past midnight and narrowly missed being run over by a herd of stampeding people […]

Gran Estación Leading the Growth of Ibagué

This is a city to watch in Colombia. The wall of windows provides a great view while exercising. Approximately four stories up a part of the city lays before you. Beyond, green lush mountains rise up. During the day there are white clouds. In the morning and evening orange traces from the rising or setting […]

San Andres Island – a Little Known Paradise

This Colombian island is an excellent place to shake off the Michigan snow. Originally published in the Fenton Patch February 2013. The jet started its circle for approach. From my window I noticed that the landing strip started at the water and ended where the Caribbean Ocean met the other side of the island. A […]

Photo of the Week – Colombian Soccer Shirts

It is a sea of yellow out on the streets of Bogotá. Businessmen with ties wear yellow jerseys over their shirts. Hawkers on the streets act like movable clothes hanging racks selling every size a buyer may want. Motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic looking like yellow bobbers floating in the sea of cars. […]

Providencia Island, Colombia

Not what you would think of Colombia being like. An island with zero stress, but is that too little for some people? Michael: We sat in the first row of seats behind the pilot and co-pilot as the twin engine plane left San Andres, Colombia. Beautiful blue Caribbean Ocean passed under us for 40 minutes. […]

That’s Not Tango

A brief look of dancing at a Michigan school and in Colombia. Originally published in the Clawson Patch May 2013 Michael: I frequently use writings from Patch publications to teach my students who are learning English as a second language. The other day I used an article from the Macomb Patch titled, “It Takes Spanish […]

Abortion Promotion in Colombia Generates Questions

Why is the USA actively and financially promoting abortion in other countries? Originally published in the Fenton Patch Newspaper January 2013 “The USA is behind making abortions legal,” the lady standing at the church podium said. That comment got my attention. My writing about how the world views Americans just left for Patch editor Jason […]

I Got My Colombian Drivers License

Getting a drivers license in Colombia is not as easy as it is in the USA. Originally published in the Fenton Patch newspaper June 2012 I passed all the tests and now have my Colombian driver’s license. Compared to what is done in the USA to be allowed to power a killing machine down the […]

Sexy is Subjective, But Colombian Women Top the List

Website lists which nationalities American men and women list as the sexiest in the world. Colombian women get the top spot. Originally published in the Clawson Patch newspaper May 2013. Michael:  When it comes to sexy women I am prejudice. My wife is a Colombian who, at the age of 62, still turns heads. But […]