‘En China se cocina el mundo’: Embajadora colombiana en Pekín

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La clave ya no está en traer cosas de China sino en exportar productos colombianos. Recomendaciones.

Caldense de pura cepa y con una formación profesional y una trayectoria diplomática impecable, Carmenza Jaramillo llegó a Pekín en diciembre del 2012. Desde ese momento ocupa una de las embajadas más importantes para Colombia, especialmente por las perspectivas al futuro.

A pesar de haber salido hace muchos años de Manizales sigue con su acento casi intacto, que no le han podido quitar su esposo francés ni su hija, con los que habla en francés, inglés y español. Ahora su familia está agregando a su lista el mandarín.

Abogada de la Universidad de los Andes, con especializaciones en derecho administrativo en la Universidad del Rosario y en la Universidad de la Sorbona de París, Carmenza ha sido cónsul en Hong Kong y Miami, embajadora en la India, presidenta de la Cámara de Comercio Colombo Americana en Miami y directora ejecutiva de Proexport en Estados Unidos. EL TIEMPO habló con ella sobre su labor en la embajada, la situación de la China de hoy y las perspectivas de la relación bilateral con el gigante de Asia.

¿Cómo ha sido su experiencia como embajadora de Colombia en China por los últimos 16 meses?

Ha sido una experiencia muy enriquecedora, aunque es un país que está lejos, con una cultura y propensión completamente diferentes a las nuestras. Es el sitio para estar en este momento, porque es ahí donde se está cocinando el mundo.

¿Le ha tocado estar presente en el nuevo quinquenato?

Sí y es bien interesante porque este nuevo quinquenato es el que va a proyectar a China de una manera diferente, donde van a cambiar las exportaciones y la inversión estatal directa por el incremento de un consumo interno, por lo que la clase media, que también ha ido creciendo, va a tener la oportunidad de adquirir productos distintos, lo que le permitirá a nuestros productos ser parte activa en ese proceso de cambio.

¿En el aspecto personal cómo ha sido la experiencia?

Supremamente importante. Vivo en un sitio muy bonito, además se ha ido constituyendo un equipo de trabajo muy bueno, todos estamos identificados con mi objetivo como embajadora que es sembrar la semilla de Colombia en China, que sepan que existimos y que a futuro nosotros tenemos muchas oportunidades para ofrecerles.
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Learn, Dance and Have Fun in Colombia’s Caribbean Museum

Bob Schulman

Travel editor, WatchBoom.com

Memo to first-time visitors to Colombia, especially if you’re heading to the pristine beaches, old-world colonial cities, jungles, deserts, eco-parks and diving meccas along the country’s Caribbean coast: The local tourism folks want you to know they’ve come up with a way to make you less of a stranger to the 150-mile-long coastal strip before you set out to see it.

2014-03-05-1.jpgColorful poster greets visitors to the museum.What they did was to build a high-tech interactive museum — the Museum of the Caribbean — where visitors can get immersed in the culture and history of the area. It’s in the regional capital of Barranquilla, a bustling city of a million people roughly half-way along the coast.

The museum fills five floors and has five sections: nature, people, words, action and expression. Guides take visitors on tours of the museum in which you’ll see and hear those five subjects come alive in everything from the early Indian roots of the region to the Spanish conquest to Colombia’s fight for independence to its modern-day culture.

2014-03-05-21.jpgMuseum guide explains evolution of local tools.You’ll notice the museum uses lots of ways to pep up your tour. For instance, you’ll watch history unfold on a huge panoramic screen… you’ll press buttons and tap icons to make the exhibits almost roll over and bark… you’ll step into booths where you’ll hear different kinds of Caribbean music. You’ll even get a chance to dance to the booty-shaking beats of tunes like bullerengue, chalupa and compas.

Other exhibits grab the attention of the museum’s visitors using imaginative stagecraft. Check out the way arrangement and lighting liven up what might have been a less than exciting collection of hammers, spades, chisels and other historic working tools of the region.

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So now you know all about the region’s Indian-Spanish-African culture and you’re ready for some serious sightseeing. Up high on your list will likely be a tour of the walled city of Cartagena a couple of hours down the coast west of Barranquilla. There, you can huff and puff your way up the ramparts of a towering Spanish super-fort overlooking a harbor where treasure galleons once gathered to sail to Spain.

After that you can get a taste of Cartagena’s colonial elegance by wandering around an area of this city of a million-plus people called “Old Town.” You’ll stroll through cobbled lanes lined with buildings painted in pastel blues, greens, yellows, reds, pinks and browns, many of them the mansions of shipping barons and bankers in the years of the treasure fleets.

2014-03-05-41.jpgHotels and condos are springing up outside the historic city of Santa Marta.Up the coast east of Barranquilla is the fast-growing resort area of Santa Marta (back in the museum you learned it was the first Spanish settlement in Colombia). Also waiting for you there are the nearby eco-treasures of two of the country’s 56 national parks, Tayrona — once the home of prehistoric hunter-gatherers (you learned all about them, too) — and the virgin mountain wonderland of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (also spotlighted at the museum).

Staying there: Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta each offer dozens of tourist-class hotels in and around the cities.

Getting there: Flights from most major U.S. gateways to the recently upgraded jetport at Barranquilla are scheduled by way of flight connections at Miami, Bogota (Colombia) and Panama City (Panama). Nonstop flights to Cartagena are scheduled from gateways such as New York-JFK, Miami and Fort Lauderdale in addition to a number of connecting schedules.

All images by Bob Schulman

Source: Huffington Post

 

Colombia, Where Ancient And Modern Go Hand-In-Hand: NNN Travel

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Forget Rio: Colombia is the hottest new South American destination, offering secluded white sandy beaches, colonial architecture and amazing nightlife. It’s also one of the most progressive countries south of the border, with same-sex couples beginning to tie the knot in September 2013.

For a taste of what Colombia truly has to offer, we’ve mapped out a 12-day itinerary that hops from Cartagena to Medellin and on to Santa Marta.

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Grupo Maximo Agency is a one-stop shop for everything Colombia and specifically Cartagena. Spend a day touring the Old City or if you are the adventurous type, contact Cartagena Divers for some excellent scuba diving out at sea. Jump on a boat and zip out to Baru Island for the day if you’re searching for white sands and aquamarine, Caribbean waters.

Don’t miss a drive up to La Popa Monastery for a bird’s eye view of all of Cartagena. In the walled Old City, stroll through the shops and cafes as you make your way to Plaza Santa Domingo, easily found by locating the reclining female Botero sculpture in the southern corner. Need VIP access to the hottest clubs in town? Grupo Maximo Agency can hook you up with live music at Club Havana or easy access to one of the many discotheques in town like Cinema on Calle Arsenal or Studio 54 on Calle Larga.

tcherassi colombiaFor the fashion set, Tcherassi Hotel + Spa offers a sleek interior off the bustling streets of the Old City of Cartagena. The style of Silvia Tcherassi (the hotel’s Miami-based owner and famous Latin American fashion designer) touches each corner of this gem. Stop by for dinner or a drink but if you can, try to spend a few nights. Escape the tropical humidity on the roof where you’ll find a small pool that’s perfect for a cool dip. The rooms are large with vaulted ceilings and the bathrooms feature walk-in glass showers with fantastic rainfall shower heads.

Casa La Fe is ideally located on Plaza Fernandez de Madrid in the heart of Cartagena, offering a calm and relaxed atmosphere but with the convenience of the town’s antiquities and restaurants on the doorstep. The building dates from the Republican era and was restored to its former elegance by the current owners in 2005.

For the best roof pool in Cartagena, go straight to La Passion. Spend the afternoon lounging on poolside daybeds while sipping piña coladas as sounds of classical piano trickle over the walls from the ballet school next door. Few hotels have such character as La Passion, not to mention such an incredibly friendly staff and a rooftop breakfast to set your day on the right path.

Built within the walls of a former 17th century mansion, Casa Pestagua is a work of art.  The third floor “penthouse” is a1edited luxurious retreat and features a private roof Jacuzzi with ocean views of the sunset.  If you are looking for a great honeymoon, it doesn’t get more romantic than this.  The suite itself is massive with 20-foot exposed beam ceilings. The bathroom is draped in white marble with a walk-in shower recessed into the floor that takes up an entire side of the room. Stand under a deluge of water and feel like a Roman emperor.

karmairai If the city heat gets to you, book a few nights atKarmairi Hotel Spa which is a 20 minutes drive east of the old town. Enjoy the luxuries of being on your own private beach, right outside the city. This boutique hotel features an open air restaurant that spills out to a wide beach.  Recline at the pool before your spa treatment amongst the palm trees then dine at night under the stars with the ocean lapping upon the shore. Karmairi is the perfect escape from the Cartagena scene for a couple of nights. Nothing beats a morning jog along miles of empty beach.


Medellin

Medellin or “The City of Eternal Spring” sits amongst the Andes in a valley surrounded by peaks. Graced with a temperate climate, the city is a wonderful change from the humidity of the coast. Once plagued with crime, Medellin has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years and the world is starting to notice. In March of 2013 the city was named the most “Innovative City of the Year” in the Wall Street Journal, beating out both New York City and Tel Aviv. Don’t miss a stroll around Botero Plaza downtown or a vernacular ride up to Parque Arvi. The city’s Metro (or subway system) is clean, convenient and easy to use.

thecharleeNestled on a hillside in the fashionable neighborhood of Poblado, The Charlee Lifestyle Hotel feels like a touch of New York chic in the heart of the Andes. Rooms feature sliding glass walls that open up to huge balconies overlooking the entire city of Medellin. The hotel’s gym takes over the top two floors and membership is free for hotel guests. Check out the scene at the gym around 6p daily for a glance into the world of Medellin’s famed beautiful women and men.  At night, the rooftop turns into the club Envy, one of many all night parties in the neighborhood.

medellin art hotelA few blocks from The Charlee is Art Hotel, also in Poblado. With a dark lobby splashed with vibrant furniture and artwork, this industrial space boasts a stunning décor with a fabulous wine bar and a spa. Being steps from the nightlife and restaurants of Poblado make Art Hotel an excellent option for a few nights in Medellin.

el cielo colombiaFor an evening of fine dining, reserve a table at El Cielo, just a couple blocks from The Charlee Hotel. In an elegant, intimate atmosphere experience the full “quince momentos” menu… 15 Moments that you will be talking about for weeks. This is experiential dining at its best, with each sense teased through dinner starting with the rose scented hand “clay” at the beginning of the meal to the martinis that bubble in a haze of liquid nitrogen fog and the crackle of the explosive dessert.

burrotekAside from nightlife and dining, do not leave Medellin without exploring the nature that surrounds the city.  Burrotek Tours leads day trips into the mountains on horseback as well as trips outside of the city limits to nearby Guatape.

After a couple of hours on a horse, lunch is served overlooking the city and if you’re lucky, it will be homemade pork and chicken tamales!


Santa Marta & Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona

Santa Marta is South America’s oldest surviving city and the second most important colonial city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, after Cartagena.  The seaside town offers fabulous restaurants, historic plazas and tons of bars and cafes.   Though the actual beach in town is not fantastic, Santa Marta is a great jumping off point to reach the famed beaches within Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona as well as Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City).  Right in the heart of Santa Marta there are several high-end boutique hotels that we highly recommend.

casa isabella colombiaCasa Isabella is a stone’s throw from Parque de los Novios in the center of the Old City of Santa Marta.  If you are lucky enough to book the penthouse you’ll enjoy a private roof jacuzzi that is spectacular. Rooms include wifi, complimentary iPads and Apple TV as well as restored furniture and handmade adornments.  Breakfast is served outside, one floor up on an outdoor shaded deck.  The staff is warm and friendly and hugely helpful in setting up any plans around town.

Casa de Leda is located closer to the shopping district and feels like an oasis in the heart of Santa Marta.  The roof features open air dining and the huge, modern rooms feature vaulted ceilings, tons of natural lightcasa de leda and all the amenities of a luxury resort.  First owned by a wealthy family of Santa Marta’s golden age, the original house where Casa de Leda sits dates back to the late 19th century.   Escape the humid Caribbean air inside the hotel where the walls are lined with cascades of green vines and equipped with a cooling mist system.  Historic Santa Marta Cathedral is steps from the hotel’s entrance. Flat screen TVs in every room have media players with music stations and video libraries.

Casa Verde is a small boutique accommodation that was originally built in the 1920s. It has recently been fully restored into a five-room hotel close to the vibrant downtown area that is the home to beautiful parks, restaurants and historic buildings.  Inside the walls of Casa Verde there is a peaceful silence while right outside its walls are the bustling streets of Santa Marta.

There are several great options to dine in Santa Marta.  ouzo-pizzaeditedOn the edge of Parque de los Novios, try Ouzo for what many say is the best dinner in town.  Try the grilled octopus appetizer, a favorite on the menu, or one of the thin crust pizzas cooked in the central brick oven.  For lunch, hit Agave Azul for incredibly Mexican food.  Order a fresh mango margarita and a steak taco that will knock your socks off!

A quick 45 minute taxi ride east from Santa Marta and you will find yourself outside one of the main entrances of Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona.  Book a couple nights at Villa Maria vlla mariafor a room overlooking the mountains to the southwest and the ocean to the northeast.  Walk through the hotel’s garden where the owners grow pineapples, avocados, oranges and bananas.  If you cross the street and walk down a path through some palm trees you’ll find yourself on miles of untouched white sand.  Be careful in the surf as these beaches are known to be quite treacherous at certain times of year.  But definitely enjoy the solitude.  For a $35 (US) entrance fee, spend a day inside Tayrona Park.  By horseback you can reach secluded beaches that are only accessible by foot or horse path.  Be warned that the trails are somewhat rocky so if you are not an experienced rider, consider walking. 

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Source: NewNowNext

#Colombia, Prime Medical Tourism Destination

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By Richard Emblin

When Philip Sheldon* was told by his Toronto doctor that he was on a six-month’s waiting list for cataract surgery, this retired executive had the foresight to call his son-in-law in Bogotá to see what could be done. Despite comprehensive medical coverage in his native Canada, Sheldon wanted to speed up a condition that was getting worse by the month and was affecting the possibility of getting his driving license renewed.

After making some phone calls to some of the best ophthalmologists in Bogotá, Sheldon decided that the investment of buying a plane ticket to Colombia, spending days with family and recovering in an apartment in the capital, more than paid for itself as compared to six months of anguish, waiting for his government to define the place and time of his surgery.

Sheldon’s medical condition was not life-threatening and the surgery was performed in under two hours. As a foreigner with limited language skills, his surgeon spoke impeccable English, having done part of his medical studies at Moorsfields in London.

Sheldon is one of thousands of foreigners who come to Colombia to be treated with outpatient procedures and in state of the art facilities.

From eye surgery to dentistry, fertility and reproductive treatment, Colombia ranks with 16 of the best 40 hospitals in the Latin America, according to recent report by the economic journal, America Economia.

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#Colombia should be a wake-up call to weary Americans

By Chelsey Dyer

Darting in and out of traffic, weaving through a city filled with businesses, tourists and workers, I watched as Cali, Colombia, unfolded before my eyes. As a 24-year-old master’s student in anthropology, I was on my first trip outside of the United States, and it was long beyond time for me to get that first passport stamp.

I went to Colombia through Witness for Peace, a nonprofit that sends “delegations” of volunteers into countries across Latin America to witness the effects of U.S. policy in local communities. I had been studying Colombia for a year and half and had already written a draft of my master’s thesis delving into the how United States and Colombian conceptions of statehood are illuminated through militarized security and economic policies related to, or justified by, the Colombian conflict.

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¿Cuáles son tus 5 productos más colombianos del mercado? #LaRespuestaEsCOlombia

En respuesta a Toya Viudes de @ColombiaDeUna presentamos algunos de nuestros Productos Favoritos de #Colombia.

Nuestra Riqueza es Inmensa.

#LaRespuestaEsCOlombia

Esperamos a todos les guste este mostrario disponible en nuestra:

Red de Pinterest.com/RedesColombia
~ Galería Virtual de Colombia al Mundo

A Journey To Colombia Documentary Interview

Where are you from?

As immigrants or children of immigrants living in a multicultural society it’s improbable not to be asked this question at least once in your life. For Luis Eduardo Villamizar – being a first generation American born to Colombian parents – this was a question he could not escape, and ironically the time came when Luis would ask himself the same question: Where do I come from?

I am of the opinion that we, as human beings have a basic drive to discover who we are, where we come from, and what our purpose in life is. This prevailing tendency is what inspired Luis Eduardo Villamizar to explore his lineage, heritage, and family history through his upcoming documentary titled A Journey to Colombia.

It’s my pleasure to be able to talk to Luis Eduardo Villamizar about his forthcoming documentary A Journey to Colombia, a provocative documentary that is due to inspire, muster and unite us to see ourselves and our heritage with a different set of glasses.

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Who is Luis Eduardo Villamizar?

I would say I’m just an ordinary guy who’s into films, 80’s music, tech stuff and trying to be a better man. Besides that, a dreamer, a romantic, somewhat jack of all trades and director-writer-producer of an upcoming documentary film titled A Journey to Colombia.

Why did you choose film as your means of communicating your message?

To quote a great line, “From my way of thinking, motion pictures are potentially the most influential form of communication ever invented. And there’s no control over it. Your message reaches everyone, everywhere.” I think this documentary will capture the essence of my journey and can make an impact into changing people’s perceptive about Colombia and Colombian people.

What was the defining moment that made you realized you had to embark on this journey?

I won’t really say it was one defining moment, more like two with six months in between. The first was at my surprise 40th birthday party with family and friends. The other was connecting with my cousin Orlando and working on a short film project with him and figuring out what would be our next project. The only positive thing in my life during that time was my family. Acknowledging the importance of my family made me realize how much I really didn’t know about my Colombian heritage.

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What didn’t you know when you started this journey that you now know?

There is a lot of family history and stories that I’ve found by speaking with my dad’s side of the family during this year of research and pre-production. Most of that I can’t say now as it will be in the film but in general there is a lot I didn’t know both about my family and Colombia. For one thing, I didn’t know how large the country is.

In early May, German journalist Ralf Schuler from the Bild Zeitung referred to Bogotá as the most dangerous city in the world. How do you respond to this?

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Colombia’s tourism on the rebound; foreign visits up 4.6% in 2013

Colombia’s tourism on the rebound; foreign visits up 4.6% in 2013Foreign visits to Colombia increased 4.6% in the first months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics of the country’s Trade Ministry.

According to the ministry’s monthly statistics, nearly 685 thousand foreigners visited Colombia between January and April. Last year, the country received little more than 654 thousand foreign visitors.

Foreign visitors to Colombia

The government statistics show that, with the exception of March, the number of foreign visitors entering Colombia through the international airports has grown steadily since 2011.

Throughout 2013, 534 thousand foreigners entered the country against 514 thousand in the same period last year.

Foreigners entering Colombia through airport customs

Also the number of tourists entering the country’s Caribbean port cities as part of a cruise seemed to have recovered in March and April after a significant drop in 2012 that was persistent until February this year.

Foreigners entering Colombia through port customs

The figures from the first four months of this year indicate Colombia is recovering from a stagnating growth in tourism that had been getting smaller since 2009. Last year, tourism grew 1.8% while tourism in South America grew 4.2%.

FACT SHEET: Colombia’s tourism statistics

Source: Colombia Reports

RT #TheAnswerisCOlombia – Extranjeros podrán ganar #viaje a #Colombia en #Twitter hasta el 5 de Mayo

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Se trata de la segunda parte de la estrategia de la Marca Colombia, que el pasado 18 de abril comenzó en la emblemática esquina de Times Square de Nueva York.

Hasta el próximo 5 de mayo, extranjeros de cualquier lugar del planeta podrán ganar un viaje a Colombia con todos los gastos pagos usando solo sus cuentas en Twitter.

Los interesados en participar tienen que seguir a @BrandColombia y escribir trinos con el hashtag #TheAnswerisCOlombia invitando a sus seguidores, amigos y familiares a que le den Retweet.

Los 20 extranjeros que hasta el 5 de mayo al medio día obtengan el mayor número de Retweets, ganarán un viaje a Colombia con todos los gastos pagos para vivir una de las 6 experiencias únicas que se subastan: avistamiento de ballenas jorobadas en el Pacífico colombiano, saber el proceso de creación de una taza de buen café mientras disfruta del paisaje cafetero, vivir la magia del Festival de Teatro más grande del mundo en Bogotá, tener un maravilloso paseo por la ciudad amurallada de Cartagena, sentir el clima primaveral y acogedor de Medellín o descubrir los secretos de San Agustín, en el departamento del Huila.

#TheAnswerisCOlombia ha sido trending topic en países como Estados Unidos y Canadá, tal como ocurrió con el evento inaugural el 18 de abril en el Times Square, donde el hashtag #ColombiaTimesSquare fue tendencia en Colombia, América Latina y España, logrando que una parte significativa del mundo hablara del país.

Colombia ~ Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Sunday @ 9 pm ET on CNN

The public face of Colombia has changed immensely over the past ten years and is still changing for the better. Tony will explore several regions of the country from the mountains down to the Caribbean coast to the coca leaf growing inlands formerly controlled by drug cartels.

Don’t fear Colombia, enjoy it

I’d thought my unconditional love for Colombia was well established there. I’d visited for speaking engagements. I’d made a giddily enthusiastic episode of a previous series in Medellin and Cartagena. I’d waxed poetically and often about how well I’ve always been treated, how thrilling it is to see how far the country has come from its bad old days.

I’m a fan of its people, its music, its food and its disarmingly injured pride.

But coming out of the remote jungle village of Miraflores, I made a mistake.

I tweeted a photo of myself standing under a shade tree surrounded by young Colombian military recruits.

My old friend and Top Chef colleague Tom Colicchio tweeted right back: “Too soon” — connecting the appearance of machine guns with the then recent Newtown massacre.

I tweeted back that “this is what it looks like in FARC country.”

Of course I meant “territory recently controlled by the FARC,” the unpleasant Marxist guerilla group who’d been terrorizing Colombia for decades with kidnappings, assassinations and worse. They operate hand in glove with the cartels — essentially shaking them down and providing them with protection — in return for funds. And, indeed, not too long before I arrived at the dirt airstrip, merchants in the small town are said to have accepted payment for basic goods and services with coca paste.

Now, Miraflores is swarming with army and police. The FARC, by almost all accounts, have been beaten back significantly.

The phrase “FARC country” was not, however, interpreted as intended, as meaning an area, a neighborhood, a territory once under FARC control. Not in Colombia.

Colombians were outraged.

“I do NOT live in FARC country” and “How come you glorify those bastards?” were common responses. The twittersphere blew up with pissed off, deeply offended Colombians reading second-hand reports of what I was believed to have said. Many misidentified the young soldiers in the photo as being guerillas.

Our fixers and drivers were very, very unhappy — in the uncomfortable position of being closely associated with someone (me) who was (for the next couple of days, anyway) widely thought to be a FARC sympathizer.

Things bled into the print media, and it was a tough couple of days.

It was a clumsy, ill-worded and foolish thing for me to have done.

Colombia is NOT, for the record, “a FARC country.” Far from it.

As I should well have known, the struggle between the FARC, the cartels and various right-wing militias has been deeply felt by nearly every Colombian family. Opinions — even perceived opinions — can have consequences. Just about everybody you talk to — even in a present day Colombia that is much, much safer and secure — has lost someone to violence from one side or the other.

Colombians — more than anyone — have paid a terrible price in lives for the world’s seemingly bottomless appetite for cocaine, and for the greed of a relative few. And if you ever wondered “how come they don’t get a handle on things down there,” all you need to do is look at the place. The country is huge. It is about 70% sparsely populated (and gorgeous) jungle, mountains and coastline opening up onto both the Caribbean and the Pacific. It is ideologically divided. And it has neighbor problems. Venezuela next door has been all too happy to provide safe haven and even covert military assistance to the FARC. Panama’s Darien Gap offers some of the world’s most impenetrable jungles.

Colombia has been very successful in recent years in its war on cartel- and FARC-related violence. But the ludicrous futility of any fully successful “war on drugs” is apparent with a single look out of a plane window.

In spite of all its painful history, Colombia is emerging as what SHOULD be a vacation wonderland.

Have I said yet how beautiful the place is? It’s incredible.

It’s fun. And, yes, it’s safe. Every day, more so.

 parts-unknown-anthony-bourdain-episode-3-on-colombia CNN

Cartagena has some of the most beautiful colonial architecture you’re likely to find anywhere in Latin America. A great bar scene. Amazing food and architecture.

Medellin is a modern, sophisticated, enormously enjoyable place to spend time. It’s as far from its image as a murder capital as you can imagine.

And people are heartbreakingly welcoming and happy to see visitors who have come to their beautiful country for something other than to talk about narcos and violence.

Cali is a party town to rival Miami. The beaches along the coasts are as unspoiled as your wildest fantasies.

And yet many people still don’t go.

I would urge you to put aside the stereotypes.

If you want to find bad people in Colombia, you can surely find them, as you could in New York or Los Angeles. But nowhere have my crew and I been treated better or with more kindness and generosity. I’d bring my family on vacation there in a heartbeat. And hope to soon. As I said before: Colombians are proud. Let them show you what they are proud of.

That said, this week’s Colombia episode of ‘Parts Unknown’ marks another great moment in Bourdainian stupidity.

Faithful viewers of my previous program on that other, less good network, might remember my previous misadventure on an ATV. You’d think I would have learned from that experience, a long barrel roll down a sand dune wrapped around a few hundred pounds of metal and machinery. I was very, very lucky to have emerged from that experience with limbs and skull intact. That maybe I’d be smart enough to realize that maybe off road vehicles were just not for me.

No.

In Colombia, I saddled up once again, and as you’ll see managed to fly off the seat, drive my head straight into the ground (helmet-less, of course) and (my producers insist) somehow succeed in running over my own head.

Though I was “out” for a brief microsecond there, I remember bounding to my feet, unwilling to be embarrassed by the glaringly obvious: I should have worn the helmet they offered. I should have driven more carefully. I probably shouldn’t have been — given my record — driving the damn thing at all.

Comedy Gold.

Source: CNN – Parts Unknown

Una visión de Colombia por Kenji Orito Díaz – Turismo con Propósito

Una Visión de Colombia – perspectiva de Japón from Turismo con proposito on Vimeo.

Estados Unidos calificó a Colombia como un destino seguro para sus ciudadanos

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Sin embargo, Colombia insiste en que se remueva la alerta de viaje por parte de ese país.

Estados Unidos actualizó este jueves la información contenida en la alerta de viaje que hace a los ciudadanos que desean visitar Colombia y resalta los progresos que ha hecho el país en materia de seguridad.

El documento anterior había sido publicado en octubre del año pasado por el Departamento de Estado de ese país.

A diferencia de reportes publicados en el pasado, el nuevo documento reconoce a Colombia Estados Unidos actualizó este jueves la información contenida en la alerta de viaje que hace a los ciudadanos que desean visitar Colombia y resalta los progresos que ha hecho el país en materia de seguridad.

El documento anterior había sido publicado en octubre del año pasado por el Departamento de Estado de ese país.

A diferencia de reportes publicados en el pasado, el nuevo documento reconoce a Colombia como un destino seguro para decenas de miles de ciudadanos norteamericanos que visitan el país cada año, no sólo en calidad de turistas sino también como estudiantes universitarios, por razones de negocios o para realizar voluntariados.

Adicionalmente, la alerta destaca que funcionarios del Gobierno de Estados Unidos viajan regularmente a ciudades principales en el territorio colombiano de forma segura.

Por último, se destaca que el Departamento de Estado reconoce que no existe evidencia de que los ciudadanos estadounidenses que visitan el país sean objetivo de actividades criminales por la simple razón de su nacionalidad.

Si bien el Gobierno Colombiano ha reiterado que las condiciones actuales de seguridad en el país ameritan que Estados Unidos remueva definitivamente la alerta de viaje, también reconoce el uso de un lenguaje más moderado en la nueva versión publicada el día de hoy.como un destino seguro para decenas de miles de ciudadanos norteamericanos que visitan el país cada año, no sólo en calidad de turistas sino también como estudiantes universitarios, por razones de negocios o para realizar voluntariados.

Adicionalmente, la alerta destaca que funcionarios del Gobierno de Estados Unidos viajan regularmente a ciudades principales en el territorio colombiano de forma segura.

Por último, se destaca que el Departamento de Estado reconoce que no existe evidencia de que los ciudadanos estadounidenses que visitan el país sean objetivo de actividades criminales por la simple razón de su nacionalidad.

Si bien el Gobierno Colombiano ha reiterado que las condiciones actuales de seguridad en el país ameritan que Estados Unidos remueva definitivamente la alerta de viaje, también reconoce el uso de un lenguaje más moderado en la nueva versión publicada el día de hoy.

Fuente: El Espectador

Colombia: Why Visit Now?

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Interview with Luis German Restrepo, U.S. Executive Director of Proexport Colombia, the government agency charged with promoting tourism, exports and investment for the fast-growing Latin American nation.

Q: Colombia has become an “it destination” recently. Can you shed light on the increased interest from travelers?

A: The beauty of Colombia is that there is something for everyone: We have some of the best beaches in the world, fantastic restaurants and a rich history. As a result, Colombia was named one of the “25 Must-See Destinations for 2013” by more than 350 Virtuoso luxury travel advisors. In spite of the global economic downturn, the arrival of foreign travelers to Colombia has kept a steady growth over the last decade reaching around 1.7 million on visitors in 2012, a 7% growth when compared to 2011 and positioning the United States as our main source market with 350,000 tourists last year. (Source: The National Administrative Department of Statistics; DANE)

Q: Why are so many people traveling to Colombia now?

A: Being Colombia the second most bio-diverse country in the world, the country offers activities to all types of travelers. From nature and adventure in Santander, Santa Marta and the coffee cultural landscape; to history and culture in Cartagena de Indias and Bogota; to pristine white sand beaches in San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, visitors can enjoy extreme and unique activities suitable for young travelers, families and adults. In addition, Colombia is conveniently located with close proximity to the United States — a trip from Miami to Cartagena de Indias is just 2.5 hours away or 5.5 hours from New York to Bogota.

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La verdad de Colombia

Anderson Cooper – Television Anchor

After announcing Medellin to be one of his favourite cities in the world, Cooper stated that: “Colombia is a fantastic country. They’ve overcome a lot, and there are many exciting things happening here. It’s a great place to visit.”

Anderson Cooper

Source: Colombia Travel Blog @ColombiaTravels

After announcing Medellin to be one of his favourite cities in the world, Cooper stated that: “Colombia is a fantastic country. They’ve overcome a lot, and there are many exciting things happening here. It’s a great place to visit.”

Bourdain Declares Colombia ‘Vacation Wonderland

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Tony Bourdain: a Colombia believer.
Photo: Wireimage

Tony Bourdain’s latest No Reservations blog entry is unusually sunny today — the last thing you’d expect, given that it deals with the outspoken cook’s trip to war-torn Colombia. Bourdain enjoyed himself but is suspiciously rheumy eyed in the retelling: “When you see a real change in the conditions and in the human hearts of a place where just a few short years ago, one neighbor couldn’t walk twenty yards over without risking death from another, where drug cartels recruited their murderous young foot soldiers by the hundreds, where even the police feared to tread. It makes one hopeful again — about the whole world.” Wait, what have you done with Tony Bourdain? Is his body still in Colombia somewhere? This doesn’t sound like the cynical figure we know and love. On the other hand, it does make us want to see the episode, which will air at 10 p.m. on the Travel Channel on June July 14.
Colombia: Vacation Wonderland [Travel Channel]
Source: New York Post Grub Street

Carnaval de Barranquilla 2013 – Daniela Cepeda Tarud

Whether it’s correcting the misspelling of their country’s name through social media,or revitalizing a city with a dark past, it seem that when Colombians come together there’s little they can’t do

Medellin Named ‘Innovative City Of The Year’ In WSJ And Citi Global Competition

Whether it’s correcting the misspelling of their country’s name through social media,or revitalizing a city with a dark past, it seem that when Colombians come together there’s little they can’t do.

And the world is starting to notice. On Friday, Citi and the Marketing Services Department of the Wall Street Journalcrowned Medellín, Colombia the “Innovative City of the Year,”beating out fellow finalists New York City and Tel Aviv.

In 2012, the banking group and newspaper partnered with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research and education organization, to choose the world’s most innovative city based on its economy, urban development, culture/livability, technology and research, among other measures.(Check Out A Video Of The Process)

Known by Colombians as ‘The City of the Eternal Spring,’ Medellín was chosen for its progress, potential, “rich culture and impressive strides in urban development” in spite of a past of violence fueled by drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel.

“Few cities have transformed the way that Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, has in the past 20 years,” the Urban Land Institute wrote in a statement online. “Medellín’s homicide rate has plunged, nearly 80% from 1991 to 2010. The city built public libraries, parks, and schools in poor hillside neighborhoods and constructed a series of transportation links from there to its commercial and industrial centers.
The links include a metro cable car system and escalators up steep hills, reducing commutation times, spurring private investment, and promoting social equity as well as environmental sustainability. In 2012, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recognized Medellín’s efforts with the Sustainable Transportation Award.”

ULI selected 200 cities in June 2012 based on the above criteria, and after two rounds of voting, three finalists were announced in October. The Colombian city wasannounced as the winner on March 1 with almost one million votes,and will be featured in the April issue of the WSJ magazine.
Source: Huffington Post

Medellín, la ciudad más innovadora del mundo

 

El Metrocable, de Medellín, uno de los puntos que tuvo en cuenta el jurado.Foto: Archivo / EL TIEMPO

El Metrocable, de Medellín, uno de los puntos que tuvo en cuenta el jurado.
Foto: Archivo / EL TIEMPO

Medellín fue elegida como la ciudad más innovadora del mundo, en el marco del concurso City of the Year, que organizan The Wall Street Journal y Citigroup. La capital antioqueña compitió con Nueva York y Tel Aviv,la decisión dependió de una votación por Internet. (‘En innovación, podemos ganarle a Nueva York’: alcalde de Medellín)

Los organizadores del concurso valoraron de Medellín procesos de desarrollo emprendidos en los últimos años como la reducción de emisiones de CO2, la creación de espacios culturales y la reducción de la criminalidad. (Vea las imágenes de las obras que llevaron a Medellín a este reconocimiento)

El Urban Land Institute (ULI) tomó en cuenta la construcción de infraestructuras integradas de transporte público que, además de reducir las emisiones de CO2, han contribuido al desarrollo social de zonas marginadas, la reducción de los índices de criminalidad, la construcción de equipamientos y de espacios culturales y la gestión de servicios públicos. (Lea también: El ‘gringo’ que le sonríe a la Medellín innovadora)

“Pocas ciudades se han transformado como lo ha hecho Medellín. Las tasas de homicidio han caído en un 80 por ciento entre 1991 y 2010. La ciudad construyó librerías públicas, parques y colegios en zonas pobres”, señaló el ULI en un comunicado.

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Medellin named most innovative city of 2012

Medellin named most innovative city of 2012
Colombia’s second city Medellin has beaten Tel Aviv and New York Friday, to be named City of the Year, in a competition sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and Citigroup.

By analyzing 200 of the most innovative cities in the world, Citi, WSJ and Urban Land Institute narrowed the field down to 25 in 2012, and then asked the public to vote the top three.

Events were held in the three cities to drum up enthusiasm for the competition, and Medellin saw off stiff competition from New York and Tel Aviv to become City of the Year on March 1. Organizers described the response from Medellin as “overwhelming.”

Medellin “originally distinguished for its progress and potential,” was commended for initiatives to increase mobility and environmental sustainability. Medellin boasts of an efficient metro and gondola system, which have opened up the city and allow people to access the center easily from homes high up on the steep valley sides.

Urban Land Institute said the “most innovative cities spark visions, remove barriers and cultivate collaboration to improve the quality of life for residents,” which is why Medellin was singled out as City of the Year.

Long known as a city run by drug lords, Medellin has transformed that reputation over the last two decades, reducing its murder rate nearly 80% between 1991 and 2010. The city has built libraries, schools and community centers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods where local government, businesses, community and education organizations are working together to stamp out violence and intimidation.

Public-private partnerships finance projects including Parque Explorer, Medellin’s interactive science museum. Engineering firms have even designed public buildings for free. Medellin has also successfully implemented participatory budgeting, which allows citizens to take part in making decisions on public spending.

While still a city healing the scars of a violent history, Medellin has used leadership and initiative to move towards becoming a hub of innovation, investment and entrepreneurism.

Sources:

City of the Year (WSJ online)
ColombiaReports.com

Gobierno invertirá este año más 117 mil millones de pesos en infraestructura turística

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• Dentro de estos recursos se incluye una inversión por 40 mil millones de pesos en infraestructura y productos turísticos destinados al Paisaje Cultural Cafetero en los departamentos de Quindío, Caldas, Risaralda y el norte del Valle.

• Este año se invertirán 11 mil millones de pesos más en la promoción turística de Colombia, dichos recursos pasarán de 29 mil a 40 mil millones de pesos.

Bogotá, 27 feb (SIG). El Presidente Juan Manuel Santos anunció hoy que este año el Gobierno Nacional invertirá más de 117 mil millones de pesos en infraestructura turística en el país.

Así lo dio a conocer el Mandatario durante la inauguración de la Vitrina Turística de Anato 2013, que se adelanta en Corferias.

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#ItsColombiaNotColumbia – ¿Cómo participar en la campaña usando las redes?

¿Cómo participar en la campaña usando las redes?

1- Cree su propio anuncio, mensaje, foto o video con un letrero que diga “It’s Colombia, not Columbia”.

2- Trínelo con el hashtag #ItsColombiaNotColumbia en Twitter, mencionando a @OdeColombia (https://twitter.com/OdeColombia), o en Instagram, usando el mismo hashtag.

3- Súbalo al ‘fanpage’ https://www.facebook.com/itscolombianotcolumbia

4- Cuéntele a todos sus amigos

‘It’s Colombia, not Columbia’, una campaña para hablar bien del país

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Carlos Pardo, Emilio Pombo, Tatiana González y Rodrigo Salazar.Foto: Carlos Pardo, Emilio Pombo, Tatiana González y Rodrigo Salazar

Cuatro colombianos muestran en el Social Media Week Nueva York lo mejor de Colombia.

Columbia es ciudad, condado, barrio, río, marca de ropa, danza, buque, barco, trasbordador espacial, canción, disquera, productora de cine, equipo ciclista y hasta asteroide, multifacética palabra que también ha llevado a estudiantes colombianos a corregir a reconocidos profesores en la universidad que lleva el mismo nombre.

Para que en el mundo Colombia se pronuncie y escriba de manera correcta, y porque tenemos mucho que contar, nació “It’s Colombia, not Columbia”, una iniciativa liderada por los artífices del Social Media Week Bogotá, que hoy tiene a cuatro colombianos en Nueva York hablando del país y de ‘Social Media’.

“La gente de afuera puede tener una imagen errónea, nula o desactualizada de nuestro país. Colombia ya no es Pablo Escobar”, dice Emilio Pombo, vicepresidente ejecutivo de la agencia Compass Porter Novelli, y uno de los líderes de este proyecto cuyo motor principal son las redes sociales.

Frente a más de 180 espectadores, un 70% de ellos extranjeros, Pombo y Carlos Pardo, vicepresidente de Zemoga, otra agencia digital con sello colombiano, transmitieron los valores, íconos e historias que no suelen aparecer en las películas de Hollywood. ¿O quién no recuerda como el clásico Tony Montana, interpretado por Al Pacino, entra de lleno en el negocio del narcotráfico luego de un combate a muerte con unos colombianos?

En lugar de las balas aparecieron las ballenas jorobadas, los cultivos de flores, la vistosidad de las aves y el talento de escritores, artistas, científicos o deportistas. “Más que contrarrestar u ocultar lo negativo que ocurre en el país, buscamos resaltar las cosas buenas que están pasando”, agrega Pombo.

Nuevos embajadores colombianos

Las ganas de hablar y de mostrar lo mejor de Colombia la llevaban estampada en el pecho desde su partida hace una semana en Bogotá, gracias a una camiseta que extranjeros e inmigrantes de países como Australia, Bélgica, Chile, Holanda, Italia, Canadá, Puerto o México, piden en los perfiles de Facebook y Twitter del proyecto.

Tanto fue la curiosidad que generaron a su llegada a Nueva York que un oficial de inmigración les hizo varias preguntas sobre la iniciativa y repitió la lección con gusto: “It’s Colombia, not Columbia”. Al final, también se puso la camiseta.

Y es que para Pombo, en menos de lo que esperaban, estos cuatro líderes digitales han logrado más apoyo que interrogantes sobre Colombia. “La gente quiere ayudarnos, nos pregunta qué hacer, quieren ser embajadores de nuestro país. Sabemos que esto es el comienzo de algo mucho más grande”.

La estrategia en redes sociales

Solo han pasado dos semanas desde que Pombo y Pardo, junto a Rodrigo Salazar y Tatiana González, crearon los perfiles de “It’s Colombia, not Columbia” en Facebook y Twitter.

A la fecha, su página en Facebook tiene más gente comentando, compartiendo e interactuando sobre Colombia (9.680 usuarios), que número de seguidores (7.195 usuarios).

En Twitter, se pueden ver las fotos de quienes se han unido a esta campaña, para la que no se necesita hacer carrera diplomática ni tener algún familiar político.

En la cronología (“timeline”) del perfil @OdeColombia, se pueden ver y leer mensajes de apoyo de Manolo Cardona y su esposa Valeria Santos, del actor Juan Pablo Raba y de periodistas como Silvia Parra, Darío Restrepo y José Orlando Ascencio.

Tanto en Twitter como en Instagram el hashtag (palabra clave) #ItsColombianotColumbia, sigue moviendo las emociones, recuerdos y mensajes de superación de colombianos, mientras que las invitaciones sin tarjeta ruedan para extranjeros. “Que nos visiten, que sigan invirtiendo en nuestro país, que se vengan a vivir a Colombia si es lo que quieren”, añade Pardo.

Y como hicieron Pombo y su combo: pasar del trino al hecho, hace apenas unas horas la diseñadora Lina Cantillo vistió los maniquíes de su boutique en Nueva York con la camiseta “It’s Colombia, not Columbia”, como prueba de apoyo a la campaña.

¿Cómo participar en la campaña usando las redes?

1- Cree su propio anuncio, mensaje, foto o video con un letrero que diga “It’s Colombia, not Columbia”.

2- Trínelo con el hashtag #ItsColombiaNotColumbia en Twitter, mencionando a @OdeColombia (https://twitter.com/OdeColombia), o en Instagram, usando el mismo hashtag.

3- Súbalo al ‘fanpage’ https://www.facebook.com/itscolombianotcolumbia

4- Cuéntele a todos sus amigos

RENATA CABRALES
EDITORA DE REDES SOCIALES

Five reasons to Visit Colombia NOW

GOSOUTHAMERICA.ABOUT.COM

Five Reasons to Visit Colombia Now

Colombia is a country where the media perception often does not meet its reality. While the nation had issues with drugs, crime and guerrilla violence, much of that is in its distant past yet fear of this beautiful country continues to linger. Travelers often agree that its slogan of “The only risk is not wanting to leave” is a true reflection of their holiday and if you speak to Colombians many hope that you leave the country with a new understanding that you will share with others. It is not surprising to see it top travel lists with popular publications as more people see it as the next hot destination.

There are so many reasons to visit Colombia but here are five to get you thinking about your next holiday.

The people Colombians could possibly be the most friendly in South America, rivalling the hospitality of Brazil. A very outgoing and boisterous culture, it is common for new friends to invite you to dinner, a party or some other celebration. While it is important to be safe on your holidays and take necessary precautions, many travelers have stories of Colombian hospitality.
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