Why I Read, Obama Reads, and You Should, Too

Talking about my liberal arts education in the context Colombia’s career-oriented culture is tense. I am on the defensive. Once people get to know me better and hear about my drives, passions, and the rigor I bring to my life and studies–or once it’s been spilled where I went to college–the tension typically diffuses. At universities here, students … More Why I Read, Obama Reads, and You Should, Too

Páramos, Peace, and Emerging Outdoors Culture in Colombia

When I chose Colombia as the base for my traveling fellowship, I expected there to be natural beauty. My image before arriving was of lush, monkey-filled jungles, wide Amazonian rivers, and Caribbean beaches. But I have learned that the landscape throughout this country is far more varied and spectacular than the hazy exotic images conjured … More Páramos, Peace, and Emerging Outdoors Culture in Colombia

Barichara and The Park with the Most Enchanting Fragrance

When I travel, I typically have my camera constantly at the ready, but in the last year I have made more of an effort to take note of other qualities that characterize certain places, the observations that a photograph simply cannot capture. Last week when I arrived to the small town of Barichara, I stepped off a … More Barichara and The Park with the Most Enchanting Fragrance

Processing the Plebiscite and the Power of Hate

Yesterday afternoon I watched the results of the referendum vote on Colombia’s peace accords. Since last Monday afternoon when the final version of the agreements was signed by President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timochenko, Bogotá was overtaken by a sense of optimism for the future. The campaign for the Sí conspicuously dominated in the … More Processing the Plebiscite and the Power of Hate

Spanish Notebook: Colombian-isms

After several summers of picking up slang in Mexico City, my internal Spanish dictionary included words like padre (cool), fresa (preppy or snobby), and guey (dude), and phrases like no mames (literal translation is vulgar but it’s used colloquially to mean “no way”). For my first visit to Mexico City, I was doing an internship organized by Harvard, and the program coordinator introduced us … More Spanish Notebook: Colombian-isms

Coffee Production: Perspectives from Colombian Farms ‘The Plantation House’ and ‘El Ocaso’

After hiking the Valle de Cocora, next up on my must-do list for my visit to Salento was a visit to a coffee farm. I did both a 3 hour tour at The Plantation House and a 1 hour tour at El Ocaso, and here is what I learned: There are two main types of … More Coffee Production: Perspectives from Colombian Farms ‘The Plantation House’ and ‘El Ocaso’