Friday, December 1, 2017

Metting a Marble Mine!

Last week I was visiting a mine that produces a mineral called Marmol, located in the city of Payande Tolima, this product is used in different industries, for example in foods such as concentrates for animals, in the manufacture of makeup, it is a raw material to produce cement, paintings and other products. It was a very beautiful experience, since we observed the elaboration from its beginning that is when the marble is crushed in particules until it turns into dust, this is classified according to its thickness to be packed in bags of 25 kilos for its commercialization.

Then we visited the quarries where they extracted the raw material. We continue, along the road that leads from Payande to San Luis, arriving to the Rio Viejo Wetland Nature Reserve, we feel an infinite peace. After that, we went to the Rio Luisa where I bathed.

It was a very pleasant experience, we also went with my wife by motorcycle, we spent all our time bathing and having lunch in Guamo, then around six in the afternoon we got back home. Finally, I invite you to visit the Payande mines and the Rio Viejo Wetland Natural Reserve, because the experience is very beautiful and satisfying.

by Carlos Javier Gutierrez 

San Andres Island!

Last year I had the opportunity to visit the island of San Andres, located on the northwest of Colombia with an area of ​​26 square kilometers that makes it the largest of the archipelago, its climate is warm, has beautiful touristic sites to see the beauty that is within its waters. 

The places that I liked the most of those that I visited, were Aquarium Island, Haynes Cay and Jhony Cay because I could see marine animals, such as sea stars, stingrays, sea urchins, corals, among others; also observe a large number of iguanas of all sizes; This was really amazing. 

The Jhony Cay Island is one of the most visited by tourists, is characterized by its large waves that reach up to three meters high when the tide is high, all food and drinks are very expensive because it is a not hablitable island, because at sunset the tide rises and covers it completely. 

Back to the main island, the guide of the boat showed us the seven colors that the sea has, this experience was one of the most wonderful things I have ever lived. 

by Edna Tafur Callejas

Meeting Peru!

That special day began traveling through my country Colombia to reach the border with Ecuador, country in which I reached my first stop in the trip, followed by the country of Peru. The city of Trujillo was where I knew the difference of culture that they have with us. Their way of speaking, their settled, the different terms they have about food. We know it in a way they call it differently and there the curiosity to know its history, its politics, all about that beautiful country and the city of Trujillo. Their physical appearance are very similar because they are indigenous style too, very similar to our country. We visited museums, the sea and geography of ​​that part of the world. Most food is fish and its unique style with rocoto "chili". Walking through the interior of the Chan Chan Citadel, was be able to recognize squares, houses, stores, workshops, markets and temples in the form of truncated pyramids along its more than twenty square kilometers of extension. The merits of the Chimú ingenuity will dazzle the visitor with its hydraulic works; huge water tanks that provided their inhabitants in times of drought or summer; places where currently the “totora” grows, plant with which they made their barges. The center of Chan Chan is constituted by nine citadels or rectangular walled palaces which, in the past, harbored everything necessary for the life of the rulers and their families. The motifs of birds, fish, gods and other beings embodied in its walls, which can exceed 9 meters in height, will transport tourists to the heart of a world whose vital axis was the sea.

A hard difficult trip!

I left the country a few months ago to the US until then everything normal, but everything began to get complicated at the time of arriving at El Dorado airport in the city of Bogotá.
I was traveling alone, I went quickly to check in on my corresponding airline, a police dog sniffed my suitcase and the lady from the airline counter asked me a lot of questions.

At that time, I started to get a little nervous and it was no wonder a police officer approached me and said "Sir, he can accompany me to do a search" I would gladly accompany him and while he was walking the agent told me it was a personal search since they saw me only and suspicious, at that moment I told him what was happening to where I was traveling and everything got worse when I told him that my flight was calling in Mexico.

After the review and take my flight to Mexico 3 hours and 30 minutes I arrived to Mexico DC, pass through customs and things I have ever seem. There a very quiet federal police told me I had to give him the perfume that I wore in my luggage or he would not let me pass and I would miss my flight. I delivered my perfume and so I could continue my way and wait 12 hours more to take the last flight to New York.

When I arrived in New York, I told myself, I did not understand, I was beginning, when I moved to migration I had a trait agent who did not understand any Spanish, for that reason he did not understand me at that moment I told myself why I did not learn English? I measured chest blows myself. 

So, I spent 24 hours traveling, but in the end those were the best and most rewarding vacations.

by Gustavo Rodriguez

Visiting the Andaqui monument!

Every year, my famyly and I visit the Caqueta Department, during my holidays in June. We usually go to the municipality of belen of the Andaquies, where they celebrate their festivities honoring an old statue that is the last antique by the sculptor Emiro Garzon. This monument to the Andaqui people is located at the entrance of the town. It has a height of 8 m and 4.50 m wide. It symbolizes an Andaqui that emerges from the depts of the earth; his hands are the symbol of rebellion, that rises in the infinite; from the bottom of the earth sprout, instead, two other hands that try to sink the face of the indigenous. Thanks to this monument, the municipality is very visited by tourists, because it is a very beautiful sculpture. 

With my family, we are always going to make pictures of us. It is something very striking for us and for the native people of this community. The Andaquies are very kind with all its visitors. This is a very nice land. 

by Juan Camilo Andrade

The best memory of my life; Madrid, Spain!

After 5 years without seeing my sister ... The long awaited day arrived! From the moment I arrived at the airport I felt very nervous, I could not believe I was going to fly to another continent. After 11 long hours, I was in the great dream of EUROPE. After I Picked up the suitcases, I turned my eyes and there she was with her husband and my two nieces waiting. They were very happy to see that I had finally arrived. My great adventure began, we went to lunch and I had a delicious chicken sandwich and a juice, and they have a potato cake with meat. While I was in the car on my way to her house, it was spectacular to see all those great buildings and to know how different it was from Colombia.  Everything absolutely everything was different.

My sister made every day that happened during two months the best of my life. I had the opportunity to know many places, among them were "Plaza de España, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Toros de las Ventas, Puerta de Alcalá" She helped me to fulfill the dream of meeting the elephants. When I was a child I always wanted to see one, so we went to the Madrid Zoo and then to the amusement park.

I didn’t want time pass by, but it was time to return to Colombia, so one day before we went to the cable car and from the top I saw everything Madrid, it was really wonderful, the landscapes were very beautiful.

The saddest moment had arrived ... and it was to say goodbye to them. I remember that I cried hugging her, I did not want to leave her ... I did not want to leave, but I had to. I will always remember this trip as the best moment of my life.

by Daniela Vela Vásquez

Magic Mud in La Chamba!

My article is based on the creation of clay pieces in in La Chamba, a small village nearby El Espinal, Tolima. I will show you their location and presentation of such beautiful work done by the Tolimenses. To the southeast of El Guamo in Tolima, there is a territory in which the magic of mud and colors combine to give life to a ceramic full of history

The boom in the development of the ceramic pieces of La Chamba and the motivation of the artisans to continue differentiating themselves in the whole country with their creations, the artisans obtained more support to continue strengthening their craft and make it unique in the country.

The ceramic tradition of La Chamba could not exist without those craftsmen who have put the soul, life and heart to each piece of craft that comes from this beautiful land and with their hands keep alive a tradition that has led them to be recognized in every country.

The production of ceramics in La Chamba is mainly linked to women. They are the ones who with their hands begin to give life to the mud, which has previously been obtained and prepared by the men of the region. It should be noted that they also produce ceramic pieces, but in a smaller proportion than the artisans. These pieces bear the ingenuity and magical inspiration of artisans who day after day strive to show their best and tell the world that their pottery is a unique and traditional object that represents a land that is built with mud and he is proud of his talent. 

by Yaneth Niño Montoya

Walking for Ibague City!

On the past October 21st, some friends and I went to visit the city of Ibague staying in the house of a friend. We went out to have a hamburger with soda. Then we went back to our friend’s house to get ready, and after that we went to dance to the disco until 2 o'clock of the morning. By the time we get back home, we get wet due to the rain. Arriving to house we dry the clothes and we take some tea before to go to sleep. Next day, all of us get up at 11 o'clock to have breakfast in the gallery – tamal and oat – and then walk several streets more to see how people come out to ride their bicycle and do zumba exercises in the closed streets, as well we could know the church and the terrace from the mall. There we could have lunch; Bandeja Paisa, salmón and steak. Laterwe get back home and enlist the bag to return to Giradot City. It was a wonderful tour through Ibagué city. 

by Fabian Vargas Vanegas

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Walking Pacande Hill!

The  Pacande hill is considered a touristic site very visited at certain times of the year. It is located on the road to Velu in the municipality of Natagaima-Tolima. On holiday in April, I usually climb this hill with a group of friends. We got up at 5:00 am and we meet at 5:30 am in the central park to take transportation and going to the place scheduled. This tour last just twenty minutes. Then you need to take a path through the vegetation that leads straight to the top of the hill; however, there is a detour that leads to a small hamlet inhabited by a religious community known as” Los Encostalados”. They kindly show to tourists their customs, as how  their homes are built and sometimes they give them food. This visit can last for a period of 30 minutes, and from this point to the top of the hill there are about another 30 minutes. 

When you arrive to the top of the hill, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape where the Magdalena River and a lush vegetation converge. My friends and I took the opportunity to take many pictures, relaxing, eating and drinking water. Finally we started the descent, that must be taken carefully because of its geography. 

by Danna Rodriguez Manjarrez

Getting fun at Pueblito Espinaluno!

It seemed like to be a sunny day like others but there was a little different. My friends and I had decided to meet to celebrate everybody has passed the exams as well Yeimi´s birthday. We decided to meet my place and then go to see some cultural events that would be shown in “Pueblito Espinaluno”, there we met some other friends, so the laughs, pictures and jokes didn’t wait. 
After being there and share a nice time, I told them to go to another place to eat and buy something to drink, so we went to a small grocery store where we ate and we kept joking quite a while. Finally, we went to a small place where we drank some beers and danced. And so that was how our small celebration ended! 
by Karem Triana Urueña

Tolima on wheels!

Usually when I travel to Espinal town, I enjoy going to study with my partner in travel, she always rides her motorcycle, and every afternoon is full of different emotions. 
In our trip on wheels, I am able to see the landscapes that I found out around me. Every day the mountains are more beautiful, have more life, and the clouds take different forms. 
In the way I am always talking to her, who unlike me cannot appreciate the same way. I see her focusing in every curve and traffic signal. I seek to make her laugh out a bit, trying to get relaxed before entering to class that maybe can give us a peak emotional state.
The best part of this adventure is that I can disconnect me from the routine. 
We sometimes stop at the Magdalena River where there is a lot of environment diversity, this space helps me to reflect and finish my day without stress.
The best part of this adventure is that I can disconnect me from the routine. We sometimes stop at the Magdalena River where there is a lot of environment diversity, this space helps me to reflect and finish my day without stress.
Every night is unique, sometimes it rains and it´s cold; however at the end of the day we are happy. I am learning how to ride motorcycles and that is coming more exciting every time!
by Luz Roa Hoyos

A weekend in Prado, Tolima!

Some time ago I visited a beautiful place close to my family's town called Prado, Tolima. It is an incredible place that we all should visit because it is an nice, calm and beautiful place that you can enjoy with your friends or family. I had a very nice weekend and it was an incredible experience. 

We were all together; my cousins, my aunts, my dad and my brother. We enjoyed the evening in the swimming pool. Then we prepare some food and we went away to take a rest. I was charmed with the gardens full of colors!

by Jennifer Ramirez Barrero

An afternoon in the Museum!

I went to Ibagué, the capital city of the department of Tolima with my friends. 

I remember that the weather was very windy. First, we visited The Museum Of Arts; it’s located in the historical neighborhood of Belén. Inside of the museum we can saw exhibitions of different collections that were sheltered with the intention of promoting the development of the plastic and visual arts in a wide activity. It could contribute to a playful, artistic and cultural space for interacting with people of all ages. There were many people. I was amazed, the museum was pretty.
After that, we visited the museum for three times, we took a break at midday. I invited a friend for a coffee and then we bought ice cream and ate pizza in the shopping center.
It was a great day! 
by Darlyn Perdomo Ortiz

A funny day in 'La Caimanera'!

In the Espinal town, there are many funny places to go walking with the family and friends.  So, my family, some friends and I went last Sunday to a place called 'La Caimanera'. This place is on the banks of the Magdalena River, and there you can swim and take a boat ride. We went there by motorcycles and the traffic was good. There weren't many cars on the road and the travel was quiet. 
I think  La Caimanera is a nice place to have lunch and buy lots of things like chips, candy and sodas. As we were there our children were swimming and we had a very funny day.     
by Angela Lizcano Ramirez

San Pedro's Fest!

In my hometown Espinal; there is a festival called “San Pedro’s Festival”. It is a popular celebration. San Pedro is celebrated every year in summer time from June 24th to July 4th , the numerous events held include a horse riding, fireworks, live music concerts, parades and a beauty contest.
The beauty contest is divided in two events; the municipal and the departmental contest, where the competitors must dance typical dances, and they have to do other traditional activities. In the end of the festival, the Queen of San Pedro is crowned.
In the same festival there is a bullfighting show. It is very popular in Espinal, so outside the bullring there are some places for dancing, drinking and enjoying the festival with friends. These places are called “casetas”. In there, people can have a “party time”.
During two amazing days, people can taste the most delicious typical food in Espinal; the “Lechona and Tamal” and also during the festival people go to the river with their families in order to swim and cook. The San Pedro’s Fest is an amazing celebration that invites foreigners and nationals.
by Jessica Florez Rodriguez

A pot-ride in La Chamba!

When we think about what to do for some holidays or simply to take advantage of free time on a weekend, we can choose among countless activities that can be performed in our large Colombia, whether you go alone or with your loved ones. Placing us geographically in a town called El Espinal in the department of Tolima; this small town is well known for being a sector with a great gastronomic variety, including the suckling pig, which is a dish prepared with rice, pork and other ingredients. Also the well-known Tamal Tolimense. Now talking about places to  enjoy with the family we can see that El Espinal has a warm climate and is near to a creek and also a site called the ‘Malecón de la Chamba’, which is the perfect place for the famous ‘pot rides’ and enjoy with the family a dip on the river bank, but remember be careful with children during this kind of rides.

This and many more activities can be done in our beautiful and beloved Colombia that provides us many landscapes to share with family and friends.
by Angela Cardenas Soto

Enjoying Guamo in Tolima!

Guamo is a small town in Tolima. It has beautiful landscapes; it is a quiet place of nice and fun people. Guamo has different kinds of fruits such as mango, lemon, tangerine, oranges and papaya.
We have different rivers like the Luisa River, Saldaña River and the Magdalena River; so people enjoy  swimming, cooking near to the river and sharing with their families. That´s called "paseo de olla" (pot trip). Some people go to fishing in the Magdalena River and know many kinds of animals such as turtles, rays, small crocodiles and large lizards.

Close to the rivers there are some stores where people can drink beer, dance and listen to music. People also practice different sports like soccer, volleyball and billar. In Guamo there is a sidewalk called "La Chamba" that it's internationally famous for its culture and for its beautiful arts and crafts.
by Karen Suarez Padilla

Family Day!

A Sunday each month, most members of my family met.  This is an important day for me, because we have the opportunity to speak, laugh, dance, play and share together. Last time was September 2016. That time was in the house my uncle Lucy. In the morning we bought and prepared all for the day. All day we ate meat, potatoes, yucca and chili, and drank soda and beer. There were my parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles, brothers, nephews and home friends. In the afternoon played football with the children and eat ice cream. We finally thanked to God for that day and to come real the dream of each month. 
I love my family! 
by Paola Sierra Garcia 

River pots!

December 31st  is an important day in my region because every family joins to say good-bye to the old year and to give the welcome to the new year in happiness.
In my family, we use to wear new clothes  to celebrate the zero hour. When the new year comes, we all give each other our good wishes  and then we sat down to eat chicken soup, usually cooked by our grandmother. Later, we have dinner, and the adults give a few words to drink. While down, some of them drink ‘aguardiente’ (a regional liquor) and tell the stories on behalf of elders.
On the next day, we prepare the typical ‘paseo de olla’ (a pot trip). We go to a place called ‘Batatas’; it is a very visited river by tourists because it is not turbulent and the water is fresh. 

by Andres Rodriguez Tello

First time in the Ocean!

It was January 2016. My father, mother, brother and I were to the sea for the first time. That was the most beautiful experience I've lived in my life, the ocean is immense and beautiful.
We rode a boat on the sea usually called “El Gusanito”(the little worm), It was great!
We ate a lot of fish the whole week. I loved the beaches, the culture, the climate and the breeze.

We were just a week in Santa Marta before we came back home but with beautiful memories of an unforgettable travel. I will never forget this travel.
by Andres Felipe Rodriguez C.

Walking Lovers!

In my region people are walking lovers. We go for a long walk on a Saturday, Sunday or Holiday with our family to cook and have lunch at the riverside. People sometimes go to the river for relaxing. Most inhabitants of Guamo, go to the  Cucuana River, as it is very crazy. There are some places where bathing is very enjoyable; water is often fast flowing, so that draws attention of people.
It is a good place to share with friends.
There is an abundance of vegetation. My family loves to walk along the river every fifteen or twenty days. This is a place where you can relax, thinking and the most important: you can have fun!

Besides that, you can have a good and enjoyable Sancocho with your family. Cucuana is very beautiful; it is a really nice place to spend a day.  

by Anny Rocha Mejia  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Remembering Cartagena´s Sunrise!

Sixth day of December, 2013. It was 9 pm and we arrived to a hotel in Cartagena. My friend Laura  had a brilliant idea; walk Cartagena to see the sunrise on the Wall. In that moment our adventure began. We saw the San Felipe Castle and we continued walking. We saw a hotel which we fantasized; I can not remember the name in this moment but it was, for me, the best hotel I had seen. I was happy, I sang  and danced through the streets of Cartagena, but many were very tired and we could not continue. From twenty, we remained only four.

After many paths, we finally arrived to the Wall. I have fuzzy memories of what my friends spoke in that moment, because it was early morning and I was very exhausted. After we waited some time, we rode by taxi and arrived to the beach. It was the best sunrise of my life… 
by Angie Ramirez Alfaro

Rumba and Rio!

Rumba and Rio is a natural spa in El Guamo-Tolima, it is situated in the locality of Rincon Santo, frecuently it is visited at the weekend by tourists and citizen of the región. It is a place to relax with activities such as; fishing, the motorized canoeing and table games. This is a good place to share with the family. On the other hand, it has volleyball and football courts, to stimulate the socialization and interaction of the different visitors.  

On January 1st, I went with all my family, it was a fun time because I could share with my parents. We shared too much with all the family allowing a better relation between us; additionally, we set a bonfire together in the beach, so later we could go fishing. Finally we played football in the court and we fell down. 
We laughed a lot because everything was funny.
by Leidy Martinez Devia