Friday, January 29, 2010

Medellin - familia paisa

Once known as the murder capital of Latin America and the home of Pablo Escobar (head of the most infamous and ruthless drug cartel of the 80s, politician, and public works philanthropist), Medellin has come a long way. Set at 5000 feet above sea level, Medellin is now known as the City of Eternal Spring. With temperatures that just sneak into the 80s and downright cool nights, it is a welcome change from the hot coast. The city’s Metro light rail is clean, practical, and provides a beautiful tour of the city, especially the raised sections through the center of town. (Jealous, Seattle?) Traveling along the north-south line, we gaze down at massive churches, ornate palaces, sleek modern buildings, and the jagged peaks that frame either side of the valley.

Medellin is Maryluz’s home town (Tamara’s step mother), and still the home of much of her family. Shortly after arriving into town, we were warmly greeted by aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. We were invited to the family’s restaurant for a dinner of fresh pasta and wonderful company. There were ten of us sitting around the table, speaking fast Spanish and laughing loudly. We sat between Tia Lucia and Tio Roberto, both of them full of life as they edge towards their 90th year, it was a very sweet evening. A few nights later, we met up with Tia Piedad, who took Tamara out to the nicest mall around - El Tesoro. They exchanged stories and laughed over café con leche and snacks. Having family around makes all the difference while traveling. The family here, who we met for the first time upon arriving into the city, treated us with the love, warmth, and generosity as if they’d known us our whole lives.


At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff on Medellin! My name is Robin Finley and I am the director of Medellin's English magazine called The Arepa. I am also the radio host of Colombia's only all English radio show called "Prime Cuts with Robin and Jeff" (101.9 FM here in Colombia).

Have fun in Colombia and check out the new issue of the magazine:

The radio show:

and the complete collection of The Arepa:


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