Monday, June 15, 2009

The Colombia Less Seen


I'm sorry I've taken forever to publish my first post, but the first week in Bogota has been filled with doing project related stuff, meeting up with family, finding an apt. etc. I promise to be more on top of my blog posts.

My colleagues (Alex, Camila, Andres) and I have decided each to focus on a different aspect of Colombia/the project. The voice that I have chosen to take for this blog is one of esta es la verdadera Colombia, This is the realColombia! Growing up as a Colombian-American all I've heard people talk about when they mention Colombia is drugs (specifically Cocaine), the war, and once in a while, Shakira. However, I don't blame them because that is what the media chooses to portray. Nevertheless, through my two months here I would like to show the unique, rich-in-color, culture filled, and fascinating place that is Colombia. This is not to say that I will not talk about the negative aspects of Colombia, because like any other country there is plenty to talk about. However, I would like to place more of a focus on the part that most people and the media leaves out--The Colombia Less Seen-The food, places, transportation, colors, people.

With that being said, I want to highlight some of the interesting things I experienced in my first week in Bogota.

Public Transportation

Bogota has is a bustling city, I would even compare it to New York. There are people everywhere, walking, working, shopping, eating. With 7 million people, Bogota has developed an innovative and amazing transportation system that is way better than that of most cities, such as Miami and Philadelphia.

The main source of public transportation is the Transmilenio. This is a fast-
speed bus system that works to reach most places in Bogota. Basically, two road lanes that would normally be used for cars, are closed off for solely for these
buses. Inexpensive, practical, and accessible to most rolos (people from Bogota), the Transmilenio is a great option for a growing city with a growing population. Its been so popular among rolos that other countries have started taking the idea. The downside to the Transmilenio is the amount of people that at peak hours are found in these red buses and what this facilitates (a haven for pick pocketers).

Besides the Transmi, Bogota has other private buses that have access to parts not accessible through Transmi and the cab service is excellent (over 100,000 taxi cabs in the city!)


The amount of food that I have consumed during this week has been ridiculous. I lost like 6 lb while in Miami, but I
believe that those have been gained. It really is hard avoiding all the variety of food that Colombians eat. In
my blog posts I will try to highlight specific foods, but since I've been running between restaurants and relatives' houses, for this week ill just provide pictures and names, and you can be the judge!


This deserves its own section. Alex mentioned this fruit in his last post. Simply amazing...don't judge a book by its cover!

A Classy Flea Market

I've been to only a couple of flea market, but the ones that I have been to do not come close to the ones I went to on Sunday in the Usaquen area of Bogota. Beautiful arts, amazing food, and live artists. What more can you ask for?
Here is just a small preview:

With this I end my first blog post. Hope that this is starting to show a different side of Colombia, the side that I hold close to my heart.

Deivid Rojas.

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