Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

As Colombia becomes an acceptable travel destination and backpackers continue to pave the way for more conservative visitors, this week we take a glimpse into the world of the independent traveler and how they choose to travel when they come here. Who better than Inge Swinnen, a belgian national living in Puerto Colombia, who is shortly publishing the 2nd edition of her guide to Colombia appropriately entitled “Colombia Facil” (www.colombiafacil.com). Available in English and in Spanish and as an Ebook you too can benefit from the countless hours and thousands of miles this intrepid young lady has covered to make this guide a reality. Found in participating businesses, Colombia Facil is leaves no stone unturned.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-12-16.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:40am EST

The Career Break Traveler’s Handbook is your indispensable tool for dreaming, planning, and finally taking your trip of a lifetime and so we are very pleased to have found time to talk to Jeff Jung the founder of Career Break Secrets (www.careerbreaksecrets.com). Armed with tips and anecdotes about the book, his TV show and life in Colombia, Jeff will be setting off on a book tour in the US in 2014, so, listen in to find out where you can hear him speak of his experiences and how you too can make a life changing decision. Leave the 9 to 5 and live that dream, learn from the man who has lived it all and can share with you some serious advice. An ideal show for those people considering living an expat lifestyle.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-12-09.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 10:11am EST

This week we speak to creator and director of the Fundacion Hilo Sagrado (http://www.hilosagrado.org/) Sabrina Priolo. Working with members of the fascinating Wayuu community in Colombia's northeastern Guajira region, Prioli is working towards rescuing vital elements of the Wayuu culture including the traditional weaving and storytelling practices. Prioli's charity now exports these fashionable products all over the world so tune in and find out about the Wayuu culture and its desert environs and how you can get your hands on some quality, locally sourced hammocks and mochilas. Priolo has been working to empower Wayuu women and in this revealing interview she lets us know how she became accepted within the community.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-12-02.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Tackling one of the most sensitive subjects regarding the ongoing conflict in Colombia, we host Colombia expert Paula Delgado Kling (www.talkingaboutcolombia.com) on to the show to talk about the Peace Dialogues between the government and the FARC guerrillas, her book on the touchy subject of the recruitment and demobilization of child soldiers by the guerrillas and President Santos' gamble on granting impunity to ex-combatants and how this may well pan out for him on Wall Street. This is a highly charged and emotional show and will change the way you look at the Colombian conflict.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-11-25.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:20pm EST

Showing true star quality we host author Carolina Doherty de Novoa from Northern Ireland on Colombia Calling to discuss her highly praised novel "Dancing with Statues" (http://carolinedohertydenovoa.com) and the relevance it has today with the ongoing peace dialogues in Colombia and her own experiences in a similar situation in Northern Ireland. Originally a lawyer we discuss her pro bono work here in Colombia and some of the nuances of the legal trade here, her new venture of www.embracebogota.com for the discerning lady about Bogota-town and her other enterprise www.hoteltrail.com. Does Caroline ever rest? Find out in this frank and descriptive interview with a highly rated writer now resident in Bogota with her husband and her words.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-11-18.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 3:35pm EST

Visitors to Bogota always comment on the high quality graffiti or urban art they see covering the city’s walls, in fact, there is even an immensely popular Graffiti Tour (http://bogotagraffiti.com/) to take in some keys sites in the downtown Candelaria district. So, on the strength of this art scene, we invited famed old school Bogotano street artist DjLu (http://www.flickr.com/photos/juegasiempre), international street painter Crisp (www.crispstreetart.com) and British documentary maker Sophie Trew (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/challenging-perceptions-colombia-s-youth) to talk about this social art movement taking over the “no man’s land” of Bogota. With insightful and personal anecdotes, we think this forum on graffiti is phenomenal.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-11-11.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 9:57am EST

In a profoundly personal and humorous show, we talk to Briton Claire Austin (http://clairejayne.wordpress.com) and her experiences of having a child in Bogota, Colombia, far removed from her comfort zone of the UK. Claire shares her insights of the process, the Colombian health system, her fears and hopes of raising Niko here in Colombia and the support network provided to her by her extended Colombian family. Originally from Essex, UK, Claire is frank about her lack of Spanish at the beginning of her stay, she speaks of the Colombia education system and how she has made a life in Bogota. A must listen show for any expecting mothers or any families thinking of having and raising a child overseas.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-11-04.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 8:30am EST

In a show dedicated completely to property investment in Colombia, we call on the expertise of Sam Miller, Director of Colombia International (www.colombiainternational.co) a multinational real estate company located in Bogota. They pride themselves on providing simplified, professional and tailored services for real estate transactions and investments in Colombia. And this being Colombia, it pays to go to a middle man who knows the finance structures, the legal requirements and the potential bureaucratic pitfalls. We talk prices, is there a property bubble in Colombia, real estate in Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena and all about the new requirements for constructions in the capital city. Thinking of investing in real estate here? Tune in!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-10-28.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:52am EST

Thinking of opening or taking on a business in Colombia or perhaps even of teaching English as a foreign language, we talk to Briton Mark Firth about the realities and cultural conflicts that exist in Colombia. With years of experience under his belt Mark Firth (www.markrfirth.com) is a qualified Business Trainer with a decade of experience from London's square mile, but now, looking for a new lifestyle and challenges, he is here in Colombia, living in Bogota and offering his services to enable the smooth running and transition for international companies thinking of branching out here. Don't miss this show and Firth's invaluable insights into the cultural nuances of business in Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-10-21.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:39pm EST

Having been on the road since 2007, Tampa native Jasmine Stephenson now calls the vibrant and enticing city of Medellin her home. Jasmine, through her blog (www.jasminewanders.com) and her online business Virtual Employee Genius (http://www.virtualemployeegenius.com) has achieved a dream that is accessible to most but too much of a leap for many. Jasmine can work from wherever she wants and has carved out an enviable lifestyle for herself in Medellin. Colombia Calling gets to speak to her and find out about the secrets to her success, her likes and loves in Medellin and plans for the future. For those thinking of hitting the road and worried about income, this show is not to be missed.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-20130-10-14.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Meet Gringa Colombiana (www.gringacolombiana.com), an Anglo Colombian lady who, after a lifetime of living in London, decided to try moving to Colombia and getting in touch with her Colombian roots. Here at Colombia Calling we get to speak to her one year after her arrival and hear of her likes and dislikes, the challenges faced and bested and why moving to Colombia was definitely the right decision for her at this stage of her life. Half Colombian, half English and raised in London, this is the story of her journey to live in Colombia and discover her heritage. As always, it's the little things that become the most trying as an expat and for both your host and GC, the absence of good cheddar cheese in a Bogota supermarket is most upsetting

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-10-07.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:17pm EST

We all strive for editorial integrity and this week's show is a stand out as we have Nicholas Gill (http://nicholas-gill.com) a freelance travel, culture and culinary journalist originally from Ohio but now resident of Brooklyn, NY here with Colombia Calling in Mompos, Colombia. Gill contributes frequently to the New York Times, CondeNast Traveler, New York Magazine, in fact, check out any quality travel publication and his byline is bound to pop up. He is also the author of various travel guides. We talk about the recent restaurant awards in Lima and the evolution of the Colombian food scene. It is a real pleasure to speak to someone so committed to complete and accurate travel journalism, check out his blog atwww.newworldreview.com

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-09-30.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 4:39pm EST

Tony Clark and his partner Kim both from Scotland decided to settle in Popayan, Colombia roughly seven years ago. They first started the incredibly successful Hosteltrail website (www.hosteltrail.com) providing unheard of as yet information about how to travel in South and Central America, then they set up a hostel and then another one! If you thought that this resourceful would stop there, no, they have created the region's first "off-grid" home where they live just outside of Popayan and started the town's bicycle share scheme. We managed to get to speak to Tony in one of his few moments of downtime. We talk about life and travel in Colombia, their projects and really, how the last seven years have panned out for them in this country.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-09-23.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 1:31pm EST

In the wake of the nationwide strikes which paralyzed Colombia for a fortnight and in some regions continue, with the ongoing peace dialogues between the Government and the FARC guerrillas, unrest in most sectors of the country from the teachers to the miners and the truck drivers, we at Colombia Calling feel that it is high time to focus on the political angle once more with our friendly expert and pundit Kevin Howlett of www.colombia-politics.com. Howlett will clarify some of the political intrigue taking place at the moment and set the scene for the presidential elections in 2014. Never a dull moment here on Colombia Calling. Tune in and don't miss out!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-09-16.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:54am EST

This week we get to talk to Briton Vicki Kellaway the author behind the BananaSkinFlipFlops blog (www.bananaskinflipflops.com) about living in Colombia, travel in Colombia and her very erudite and observational writing style. Do you know that her blog has won awards? That she is creating a map for the different districts in Bogota regarding their commerce (Buttons, pets, nuts and bolts, leather jackets and so on), and we feel honoured to speak to this established writer and listen to her opinions and views. And in case you are in two minds about the show, we get an exclusive from Vicki. Look out for this writer, you heard it here first on Colombia Calling, she’s going places.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-09-09.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:55am EST

This week we interview two Englishmen Tim Woodhouse and Milo Butterick who gave up everything in the UK and came out to start life in Bucaramanga, Santander. Amongst their projects a hostel called Kasa Guane Bucaramanga (http://www.kasaguane.com/) and a foundation called Goals for Peace International - Goles por la Paz in Spanish - (www.facebook.com/pages/Goals-for-Peace-Goles-por-La-Paz-Bucaramanga). This is a sport for peace and development project aimed at empowering at-risk youth and children to initiate change, promote proactive reform and develop a culture of peace in their communities through the power of sport. Join me in hearing their inspirational story and involvement in Colombia. 

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-09-02.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:01am EST

Not all tales from Colombia re rosy and this week we talk to Chicago native Justin Cohen. Formerly a teacher in various international schools and now a guidebook writer. After publishing the "Explore Travel Guide Colombia" (http://www.gotocolombia.com) he had to flee Colombia for reasons unknown to us. Cohen is putting the finishing touches to his story of the debacle: "My Epic Failure And Slow Rise From The Abyss" He describes it as an inside look into his story including experiences from when he left the United States to when he traveled and lived in Honduras, Colombia, Taiwan, and Cambodia. Fund his project on Indegogo (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-epic-failure-and-slow-rise-from-the-abyss/x/642296). Tune in!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-08-26.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 11:43am EST

In a colourful and insightful show we get to speak to Dutch citizen and Medellin resident Adriaan Alsema who after arriving in Colombia saw the need for an all-encompassing news site in English to cover the reality of Colombia. In 2008 Adriaan set up Colombia Reports (www.colombiareports.com) which is now the number one independent news portal for the country. Routinely taking on international journalism interns, Adriaan talks about his thoughts on news reporting in Colombia, the peace dialogues currently taking place in Havana between the FARC guerrillas and the government and his hopes for the future in Colombia. This is a no holds barred interview where no topic is left untouched. Internationalists and journalists should not miss this!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-08-19.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

As anyone who has been to Bogota recently will know, ¡Gringo Tuesdays! (www.gringotuesdays.com) is a huge success. Hundreds of people attend this social language event every week - students, young professionals, established business people, backpackers, traveling business people all flock to ¡Gringo Tuesdays! to practice their English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian and talk about life and their experiences in foreign climes, to dance, to party and to generally have a good time. It is with great pleasure that we at Colombia Calling were able to carve out a moment with one of the founders, US citizen Tiffany Kohl, and talk about this phenomenon and how she and her team revolutionized the Bogota nightlife scene.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-08-12.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

In this unmissable show, Colombia Calling gets the opportunity to speak exclusively to Richard Emblin of the City Paper Bogota (www.thecitypaperbogota.com) Colombia’s largest English speaking newspaper. We discuss the newspaper, his editorial line, life in Colombia and the real need for an independent English language publication in Bogota and Colombia. Grappling with the tough issues of how to run a newspaper in today’s economic climate and indeed in Colombia, Richard generously shares his insights on the country and offers advice to those wishing to come to visit or to stay. An important show for journalists and expats alike and for all of those with any interest in Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-08-05.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

This week we invite football journalist Carl Worswick onto the show to talk all things Colombia and in particular about the beautiful game here. Carl tiptoes around the topic of Colombia reaching No 3 in the FIFA World Rankings, where to catch a national team game and discusses some of the more sinister aspects of the sport here such as money laundering and the murder of Andres Escobar in Medellin. Carl brings to life the significance and importance of football and politics here and we gain invaluable insights into society and the state of Colombia as a whole through the sport. Not to be missed for football fans and those interested in Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-07-29-2.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

In April of 2006 travelers Karen Catchpole (writer) and Eric Mohl (photographer) left their jobs and apartment in New York City and embarked on the Trans-Americas Journey (http://trans-americas.com/), a 200,000 mile cross-country and cross-continental overland drive down the Pan-American Highway. We caught up with them for an interview when they came to host Richard McColl's hotel La Casa Amarilla in Mompos, Colombia. Hear about their epic journey - more than 2400 days on the road - and their thoughts on Colombia. We discuss the challenges faced, the challenges to come and their findings on the road in a tanked up silverado truck. For avid travel enthusiasts, this episode of Colombia Calling is not to be missed.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-07-22-2.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

This week we detail the story of Courtenay Strickland (www.barranquillaorbust.com) who upped sticks with her husband and infant son to leave life in the US and move to Barranquilla, Colombia. We talk about culture shocks, the differences between parenting in the US and Colombia, the life she has chosen for her family in Colombia and the staggering lack of Pinot Grigio in Barranquilla. Tune in to learn about life in the Colombia Caribbean's most dynamic city.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-07-15.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

This week we detail the remarkable story of See Colombia Travel, one of the most successful blog sites (http://seecolombia.travel/blog/) in English all about Colombia and their travel agency by the same name. This remarkable husband and wife couple Marcela Mariscal of Colombia and Jose Luis Pastor of Peru have created an award winning site all about the good side to Colombia - but without the fluff and with newsworthy hooks and interesting content. We should also mention that Marcela, Jose Luis and the team at See Colombia Travel aided a Colombian lady abducted from her family in Bogota when she was 4 years of age and then given in adoption to a family in the US. They found Nicole's birth family, the tale of which can now be seen on Nat Geo

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-07-08-2.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 1:54pm EST

This week we try a different tact and interview a member of the Colombia diaspora in the USA, Luis Eduardo Villamizar. Many Colombians reside abroad and may be do not have the contact that they so crave with the homeland, Luis falls into this category as a first generation Colombian citizen in the USA. Luis is currently putting together the final plans for his long overdue visit to Colombia, the first time in some 40 years and will go in search of his father’s roots on the Colombian Caribbean coast and in to Bogota. He has been putting in the groundwork and Luis’ voyage is being made into a documentary named: “A Journey to Colombia”. Colombia Calling interviews Luis and asks him about his Colombian heritage and hopes for the trip.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-07-01-2.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 1:09pm EST

Talking about all things Colombian and to why Spanish Blogger (www.quepenaconusted.com) and American expat Barbara Smalley (www.vacationrentalscartagena.com) decided to move to Bogota and Cartagena respectively. We discuss security, places to travel, travelling with family and dispel a whole plethora of myths and speak of the realities of life in Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling_Radio_Show-2013-06-24.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Tackling the always tricky subjects of where to eat and drink in Bogota (there’s now almost too much choice) Diana Holguin of Bogota Eats and Drinks (http://bogotaeatsanddrinks.com/) talks about the internationalization of the the selection of restaurants in Bogota and what to do during Colombia’s 19 long weekends! We are accompanied by Juan Manuel Robledo of Laika Bikes Bogota (www.facebook.com/pages/Laika-Bikes) offering tours around this capital city and determined to show the visitor to Bogota the good side of this many faceted place.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-06-17-2.mp3
Category:Talk Radio -- posted at: 3:02pm EST

Expat Briton Kevin Howlett brings a wealth of parliamentary knowledge from the UK and is using it for good here in Bogota, his home town since 2011. Talking about what it is like to live and work in Bogota, Kevin speaks of his love for Colombia and why he chose to make a life here. We discuss Colombian politics, the peace dialogues, security in Colombia, the strength of family ties in Colombia, literature and where to travel.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2013-06-03-1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29am EST

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