Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

This week we catch up with Maryland native Matt Aaron and speak about how he came to be in Colombia - full time now since 2010 - and his work over the years here. Aaron initially worked for a volunteer project and so we get a good insight into the realities of that world here in Colombia, before experiencing an epiphany and deciding to live his life in a more healthy fashion. 

From 2011 Aaron has been working on creating health food products for both sale in Colombia and for exportation in the United States. His initial plan was to sell coca leaf tablets, but, realising that he faced an uphill battle on this for the obvious reasons, he turned his attentions to panela. 

For those unfamiliar with panela, it is the unrefined whole cane sugar derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice. Aaron has taken the bricks of panela, ground them down and has created a new organic energy drink containing panela and mixed with various fruits such as lulo, passion fruit and red fruits. The result is flavoursome and natural and soo he will be exporting to stores in the Miami area. Check out his product at if you are interested. Aaron can also source exotic products for you via his other enterprise

Direct download: RCC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am EDT

Following our desire to keep on delivering high editorial content here for our listeners on Colombia Calling, we sit down with Boston native Natalie Southwick in Bogota and discuss her life as a journalist in Colombia, as the editor in chief of the new Latin Correspondent site ( and her work in social projects that has taken her all around the country. 

Natalie provides us with a frank yet insightful conversation and insight into the world of journalism, being a freelancer and the challenging yet ultimately rewarding experience of heading a fresh news site dedicated to providing a focused and interesting view of what is going on in the region. In her words, she is sourcing stories and journalists out there who are prepared to research and report on the issues that are perhaps not covered in the mainstream international press. Of course, we think this is fantastic and are betting on Latin Correspondent to become a major platform for informed news from our part of the world which is perhaps a little too overlooked. 

Later, we get to speak to Natalie about her work in the impoverished Pacific region of Colombia. You may have heard of or read about the atrocities taking place in the port city of Buenaventura. Tune in to hear some good news about social advancement!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-10-13.mp3
Category:society and culture -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

At this point in time when Colombian politicians are talking only of reconciliation and of a post conflict phase to the situation in-country, we here at Colombia Calling have the opportunity of taking a step back and finding out who are these international people actually investing time and effort into improving the lives of the most humble. Alice Dow and her husband Agustin are two of these people. 

In a fascinating interview we get to sit down with native New Yorker Alice and talk about their foundation Healing Colombia ( and the work they have been doing for over a decade with some of Colombia's most needy communities. What makes this most timely and poignant is that they have been at the fore of launching a mentor program - similar to those in NY and London - where Colombians and/or foreigners can commit to a year of being a mentor with an individual from a marginal barrio in Bogota. 

This has been a roaring success and now Alice and Agustin and their team are embarking on the second phase of the mentor program. Tune in to hear about a foreign couple giving back to Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-10-06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am EDT