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Friday, March 8, 2019

Colombia: Medellin, A City Thriving


Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Medellin. It leaves a a mark on you this city, its people – the Paisas. Its size, its reputation, and Netflix shows may scare you off. But I felt safe, because I stayed in El Poblado and I’ve never put myself in compromising situations.

Medellin, Colombia
Monumento A La Raza

Medellin, Colombia
Monumento A La Raza
details tell the history of Colombia, like the wheels as coffee beans signifying the boom of Colombia's coffee industry that propelled its progress but also enslaved its people

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia
Communa 13
Government built cable cars and escalators servicing this part of the city, 
among other social projects to include this once illegal and dangerous area of the city.

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

But to see this city and to get a feel of it? To know more about it. You need to walk, to listen, to take photos. To indulge in its chaos, the sounds, the food. This city is alive. Thriving. And just trying to exist beyond its dark past.

Medellin, Colombia
Botero Plaza

Medellin, Colombia
Plaza Cisneros or Park of Lights

Medellin, Colombia

And that’s what I did. I did walking tours, and I’m really glad I did. If not, I probably would have just dismissed it as a big city. In the tours I discovered the effort that has been given to transform this city from being a dangerous place to the modern and innovative city that it is right now. The people pride in its metro, its cable cars (servicing the lower income earning population), and the fact that they are the only city who has them in the country.

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

I highly recommend Real City Walking Tours, they’re free but be sure to give a good tip at the end because they do deserve it. The tour will take you around the city center, will give a timeline from the city’s dark days to the present. It will not sugarcoat anything, it will not try to hide anything. It will also give a fair perspective of what happened and the changes it is still undergoing right now. I would also recommend joining a Communa 13 Graffitti Tour.

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia
elephants are prominent in the street art in Communa 13 symbolizing memories,
or the community's effort to not forget where it came from

Communa 13 / Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia
Plaza San Antonio
where the 1995 bombing occured that killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds
Botero, the artist, told the government to not remove the destroyed one to commemorate the victims,
but gave a new identical one to symbolize peace