February 10, 2012

Why not Colombia? - 30 Travel Bloggers Jump On Board for Colombian Tourism

"Why Colombia?"

"How did you choose Colombia?"

"Is it safe there?"

"Are there still a lot of drugs?"

Here I am three years into expatriate living and yet, every time I tell a new person about where I live, they ask me all the stereotypical questions. Questions that relate back to the international image that Colombia had, however well deserved, about 20 years ago.

Now? That image is outdated. Yes, there are still things Colombia as a country can do to improve, but overall everyone I talk to seems to think it is a much different and much improved place. I couldn't agree more, and as much as I have loved having the wonderful tourism opportunities here be off the well-paved gringo backpacking trail, it's high time people truly discovered all this place has to offer.

Turns out other people think this too - Cali was one of New York Times' 41 Places to Go in 2011 and Colombia was one of New York Times' Top 31 Places to Go in 2010.  Now, Colombia is taking this moment to seize some of the positive press that has been building in recent years and really remake the international image of the country. Leading the charge in this is a company named Proexport.  Since November 1992, Proexport has been in charge of promoting exports, foreign investments, and international tourism within Colombia - and for 2012, they are stepping up their game in a big way.

Pairing up with 30 expatriate and/or travel bloggers, Proexport aims to provide potential tourists with a complete, updated look at a country with so much opportunity for growth in the tourism industry. As one of these chosen travel bloggers, I am so excited to be working with this talented group of people to promote a country that will always have a big place in my heart. The Official Travel Blogger program will feature English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and French bloggers writing about travels and experiences within Colombia. Check out my page here!

While the details still seem to be in process, as this is very much a new thing for Colombia and Proexport, I think the benefits of seeing a place like Colombia flourish will be well worth my time spent writing a bit more about this place I call home! The program officially began this week in Bogota, and while I was unable to attend due to school, I am excited for the February 20th kick-off of posted articles as well as getting to know some of the other bloggers. In the mean time I will be busy pondering my first blog post...turns out three years has given me a lot of material to pull from!


annieburbano said...

As you said many thing to improve but we´re much better. Thank you for being part of Official Bloggers Community.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think Colombia still is very dangerous.
I spent Christmas in Colombia (mainly Cali) and it was nice.
It was a lot safer than in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2009 when I went before.

However as always I was disappointed in that my in laws were still very anti me going to the Farallones. I wanted to go there to look at the wildlife but during the day and night. However sadly the consensus was that it was far too dangerous for me.

Kristin said...

David - thanks for your comments and I certainly agree that there is truth to your statement. Colombia is, and will be for a long time, a country where you need to be very careful about where you are going, when, etc. Unfortunate, but true. I guess the point I was trying to make is that a lot of danger, although not all, can be avoided by being a smart traveler. Therefore, in my opinion these dangers should not be limiting factors in whether or not a person comes to Colombia to visit.

Anonymous said...

PS I like the blog. It shows a different side of Cali.
Please keep writing

Michelle said...

Hey Kristin! I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog and I'm so happy I came across it. I'm looking into teaching in Colombia and after reading your thoughts I'm even more excited and determined. I just graduated college in January and got a permanent sub job teaching Spanish at a High School where I was student teaching but I really want to teach in Colombia; Medellin specifically since my family is there. Did they require a lot of teaching experience in order to teach at your school? (which sounds amazing by the way!)

P.s - It's really heartwarming to see an American understand and love our Colombian culture. Thank you for giving back to my country!!!

Kristin said...

Thanks for your comments Michelle! That is great that you are also interested in teaching in Colombia! I am a certified math teacher in the states, and so those were the credentials I needed for my job here. I did not have any formal experience, although tons of student teaching/other things, before my job here. I hope you find something you love in Medellin!

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