Colombia: A Hidden Paradise
I asked my colleague, Nathalia, who is a law student in Manizales, Colombia and who does work for this office, to write a blog about her homeland so that Americans can become more educated about this diverse and marvelous country . This office has had a great deal of business with Colombian nationals. What follows is a very special guest blog that will educate all readers and tempt them to become more acquainted with this “hidden paradise.”
Colombia: A Hidden Paradise
I am Colombian. I have lived in Colombia all of my life. I have been very happy here, but I began thinking about the international image of Colombia. I realized that it is not the best.
Sincerely, what is the first thoughts that crossed through your mind when you saw the word, “Colombia”? Probably it was about deaths, drugs, kidnapping, guerillas, and prostitution.
But this is not even a small part of this beautiful country, anymore than the United States can be defined by hamburgers and hot-dogs. Most foreigners only know Colombia by stereotypes.
En this short blog, I will try to show you a little of what Colombia really is so that you can begin to discover this hidden paradise– a place where its people are ready to demonstrate to the world what really defines Colombia. Here, you will find the most beautiful scenery and rivers, the breath of hope, happiness, friendship, respect, and most important, the desire of Colombians to move forward in life. What defines Colombians is their “verraquera” (fighting-spirit) and desire to work. Here, you will find some of the richest coffee in the world cultivated by hand by the farmers with much love and care. Here the priority is home. Families live with a brotherhood and solidarity unequal unmatched any where else in the world.
En this place you can share a beer with a friend on your porch with friends or family, or sit in your living room watching one of our many excellent soccer teams. Here, you will here the songs of many birds in the morning and smell the delicious odor of the arepa (bread, tortilla like sandwhich.) When you greet someone in the street, the will always say “buenos dias” or “good-day to you. Manners and sociability are hallmarks of Colombians.
At Christmas time families gather to decorate the Christmas tree on December 24th and we prepare candies and breads called buñuelos and natilla awaiting anxiously for the arrival of the Holy Child. There is nothing more satisfying for the Colombian father than to see his children unwrap their Christmas gifts.
Some people believe that Colombia is nothing more than an jungle and mountains and its only inhabitants are indigenous people and even that the main form of transportation is the burro like appears on the the Juan Valdez logos of Colombian coffee. But no, here there are many beautiful mansions, automobiles, high speed internet connections, telephones, and modern metros and shopping malls. Here there are many successful athletes and professionals. Universities, such as the one I attend, not only teach advanced classes but help to form ethics and character in the students. And here a friend is always ready to help another friend.
Definitively, Colomba is a great place that many are coming to discover. I am a law student. I live in Manizales, Colombia and I have had the honor of working with criminal defense attorney, Russell Babcock, who has lots of business in Colombia. I am very proud to have the title of law student, but even more proud of my title, “Colombian woman.”