Colombia – Medellin

Colombia es Pasión

Colombia es Pasión, pero para descubrirlo debes hacer a un lado los estigmas que muchos medios de comunicación han creado sobre este hermoso e inmenso país.

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Escrito por Diego Alejandro Campo, http://diegocampo.blogspot.com/

Los que conocemos Colombia, encontramos con facilidad lo apasionante que son sus paisajes, culturas, ríos, mares, montañas, selvas, pueblos, metrópolis y sobre todo, su gente, guerreros de la vida que buscan con sus sonrisas mostrar que somos más los que luchamos por mantener lindo y con esperanzas nuestro hogar: COLOMBIA.

Medellín-Antioquia: Mi casa, mi vida y mis raíces con berraquera.

Muchos extranjeros que visitan mi ciudad (Medellin) por primera vez, nunca le dicen adiós sino hasta luego… porque siempre regresan pues sienten la necesidad de disfrutarla una vez más (Siempre hay un motivo para regresar). Así la sentimos los paisas, es nuestra casa y siempre queremos estar en ella. Ahora quisiera describir mi querida ciudad con una pequeña historia:
Después de disfrutar nuestro viaje por Argentina, llegamos al aeropuerto JMC en Rionegro, un lugar en el Oriente Antioqueño cerca de nuestro destino final, viaje obligado para llegar a Medellín pero seguro una buena recompensa llena de verdes y frescos paisajes con enormes montañas, árboles y lindas casas antiguas, siendo éste un gran abrebocas de la variedad de colores y olores que cubren mi ciudad y mi región, la cual está llena de flores, tradiciones y gente linda y amable. Un día después, me encontraba en el metro (símbolo de orgullo y cultura) con mi amigo francés Guill, le contaba sobre cada lugar que observabamos por la ventana: En aquel momento hice una analogía como cuando dices que al enseñar aprendes el doble, entonces es cierto que “cuando describes ese espacio que ves a diario, logras encontrar en tus palabras descripciones más allá de lo común y admiras entonces de nuevo tu alrededor…” y en especial, ese alrededor lleno de historia, vivencias y recuerdos que tristemente algunos constructores han tratado de borrar, pero que tu mantienes en tu mente a pesar del tiempo y que ahora, todos intentamos recuperar por medio de la “esperanza”.
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Medellín y sus alrededores son encantadores, puedes fácilmente estar entre el frio montañoso del oriente o el calorcito costero del occidente y describrir los caminos de nuestra historia y cultura. Soy paisa de corazón, se me nota en la distancia, cuando me asombro digo “Ave Maria“, cuando veo un plato de comida y lo comparo con mi “bandejita paisa y su arepita tradicional“, cuando busco razones digo “pues“, cuando miro un tren pienso en mi “metro y su cultura“, cuando siento frio pienso en mi “eterna primavera“, cuando vuelo pienso en el “metro cable“, cuando veo obras de Picasso, Miró o Gaudí recuerdo las obras de Arenas, Botero, Cano o Debora, cuando busco un abrazo pienso en mi gente y su amabilidad, cuando escucho música pienso en Juanes y Alejo Garcia, cuando pienso en trabajo recuerdo a mis arrieros, cuando disfruto una fiesta pienso en mi feria de las flores, cuando comienza diciembre me imagino mi río Medellín, sus luces, la natilla, las velitas y el muñeco de año nuevo y cuando voy al estadio solo canto “Oh libertad, que perfumas las montañas de mi tierra…“, por eso me gusta viajar, por que siempre descubro que amo cada día más mi país y mi ciudad.

Medellín Tour Guide

¿Where do I go?

Medellín is the “Capital of the Mountain” is a city settled in a valley, protected by imposing mountain chains.

Founded in 1675 as the Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Medellín (Town of Our Lady of La Candelaria of Medellín), Medellín was declared a city in 1813 and was elevated to the position of capital of the Department of Antioquia in 1816.

Medellín is a beautiful metropolis that preserves appropriately restored 19th century buildings that contrast whit the modern buildings that give the city an appearance of modernity and dynamism, framed by the generous landscape that surrounds it.

Medellín is a Green City, with well-designed streets and avenues adorned with many kinds of trees, including fruit trees, which give shelter to more than 150 different species of birds. It possesses a rail-based mass transit system. El Metro, that crosses the city from north to south and from downtown to the west, and a line in the northwest (Metro Cable). This modern means of transportation is, at present, unique in Colombia and an example for the entire world as a regards order, cleanliness and safety. Public utilities are the best in South America, with a coverage of 98%, which Ned to the Empresas Publicas de Medellín (the municipally-owned multiple utility company) which stands out as one of the best in the Americas, Being declared the company of the century in Colombia.

This city is considered a business center of the first order. In both its stores and shopping centers and in its factory outlets it is possible to purchase, at reasonable prices, textiles and clothing of varied design, as well as shoes and other garments of excellent quality. For this reason, Medellín is considered the Fashion Capital of Colombia.

Antioquians are hospitable by nature – this is the great quality perceived by those who enjoy the privilege of visiting the city.

So when you come to Medellín, let yourself be infected by the generous “PAISA spirit” expressed in smiles, affection, spontaneity, friendship and understanding. This is the most important memory treasured by our visitors.

(Taken of Medellín Phone Book 2005)

Population

The Metropolitan Area has 3.204.471 inhabitants, of whom 2.071.379 live in the city proper

Wheather

Medellín is world renowned for being known as the “City of Eternal Spring”.

Most of the time, the climate is sunny and warm with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 25 °Celsius. Since it is located so near to the Ecuador, Medellín does not experience the traditional seasonal effect of most other countries (no winter or fall) and it’s given weather status can be divided into two categories: the rainy season and the dry season, often with humidity levels of 40-50%.

The weather is very unpredictable – it can rain and be cold in Summer and you can get nice days after weeks of rain (only rarely though!!). In the last few years it seems that the Summers have got very hot (25 Celsius +) so be aware of this. If you are here near the end of the year it does get very cold and wet, so bring some warm clothing and an umbrella.

Living in Medellin

One of the most important things you have to consider when visiting a foreign country is housing and living arrangements, which is why we’ve designed this section to give you accurate information about your options when visiting Medellin. So, here goes; you have 3 options: living alone, living with a family, or living with friends or roommates.

Living alone

Things to consider:

First of all, you have to pay rent for an apartment that is either “furnished” (the basics: bed, closet and night table) or otherwise, in which case the responsibility of coming up with furniture is entirely up to you.

Also, utilities depend on which sector you’re thinking of living in, and cleaning costs can vary depending on what you want done and how often. Here, it is common to hire a female cleaning assistant for cooking, cleaning and laundry arrangements, and she will come in as often as you want (or need) her to, assuming you can pay the 25.000 peso daily fee. Sundays are “rest days, so don’t expect to get anyone to clean your house in that time. If you have some clothes that you want to have dry-cleaned, there are many establishments that can help you, but fees may vary, so its better to ask and find which is the best company for you.

Now there is the new option of staying in a youth hostel during the transitional phase between living quarters, and this guide provides the link to an AIESEC approved facility in its links page.

Living with a family

Things to consider:

There is a monthly payment envolved, but it usually includes commodities such as food, room, laundry service, and utilities, as well as any additional services the house/ apartment may provide (pool access, sauna, etc…). Cultural differences may be an issue here, since most Colombian families are quite conservative and often have rules on how to behave within the household. This is why it is important to be clear on the terms of the living arrangements before committing to any contract.

Living with friends/roomates/flamates

Things to consider:

There is a monthly payment involved, and this includes not only rent, but also the compounded utilities of the house (divided by the number of people that are staying with you). It is a must to agree on hiring someone to clean your house (for more information, please look briefly at the section titled “living alone”). Grocery arrangements vary, since you can agree to pay only for yourself, or to share all the food in the house.

¿How much cost a … ?

It is up to you to decide how much money you think that you need, but we’ll give you an idea of how much things generally cost here so you can work it out:

Meals

A normal lunch will cost you about $6.000

Beer

$1200- $5000

Chocolate

From $2.000 of 40 Gr

Big Mac

$6.000

Hot-Dog

$3.000

Pizza

From $2.000

Bus Ticket

$1.200 to $1.300

Cigarettes

$2.000 -$ 4.000 for a box of 20

Hair Cut

From $5.000 for Men to $10.000 for women

Shampoo

$7.000

Toothbrush

$3.000

Toothpaste

$4.000 for a box of 1000cc

Developing Costs for Photos

$20.000

Milk

$1.400

Bread

$2.500

Shirts

$10.000 to $30.000

Newspaper

$1.200

Movie Rental

$3.000 to $6.000
¿What about trasnportation systems?

web131Metro

This is one of the most modern and comfortable mass transportation systems in the Americas en the first to be built in Colombia.

Inaugurated on November 30, 1995, It possesses two lines, the line A that crosses the Aburra valley from north to south and the B Line that goes west from downtown. There are 25 stations.

Metro cable

MetroCable is seen as the first system operated by aerial cable all around the world.

It is connected to a kind of metro massive transportation system and it is presented as a development clean and sustainable option, in order to improve the scope area of the Medellín Metro System. It count with 92 cabins with a capacity to carry 10 passengers.
The Colombian money
The Colombian money is the Peso (in march of 2005 Col $2300 = U.S. $1). Normally the payments must be in Pesos; nevertheless, some hotels accept dollars. The credit cards (cartões) international and the traveler’s checks also are common, but it is advised to avoid his use.

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