Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

The other day I was able to interview a hot-shot Colombian start-up entrepreneur Alex Torrenegra over the phone to San Francisco. I had been alerted to Torrenegra’s existence through a Wall Street Journal piece and then a startlingly and refreshing article he has written on his website (Read: It’s Difficult to innovate in Colombia, Especially when the Government does more harm than Good.). At the end we discussed the fact that Colombia should be attempting and striving to create its own “Arepa Valley” and not mimic poorly the actual Silicon Valley.

And he’s right, but then Torrenegra is a shining example of a new and refreshingly altruistic generation of social entrepreneurs, just read the tagline on his website:Working on enabling humankind to reach its full Potential.

We also talk this week about the Bogota Book Fair and launching our book "Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Colombia" and how you can win a copy.

Direct download: RCC-2015-04-27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm EST

Far be it for me to be facetious and announce that the most important event in my life has taken place on April 9 2015, that of the birth of my son. It's just that he was born on an incredibly poignant day in Colombian history, something which we explore to greater depths on today's show for April 9 1948 is a day that lives long in infamy as the date upon which Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitan was assassinated in downtown Bogota. The resulting violence which razed much of the centre of the city to the ground is now known as the Bogotazo. 
But, rather than simply dwelling on this historically important date, we also take a look today - since it is so fresh in my mind given that I have survived of late regarding the birth of my son James - at the realities of the healthcare system in Colombia and what you might require as an expat here in the country with regards to your health insurance. It is complex and at times very unpleasant and incredibly costly so pay attention! 
Direct download: RCC-2015-04-20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EST

I don't believe I've ever met anyone from Newfoundland before so imagine my delight at getting to chat to Newfoundland native Beverley Caddigan here in Bogota! An expert in the Canadian legal system we discuss some of the differences between laws in her homeland and in Canada. 
Find out what brought Beverly here to Colombia and learn all about her business here ( Beverley worked for years as an advoctae and as an adjudicator with the provincial government in Ontario, Canada. In her tenure in this system she became an expert in many facets and apsects of law.
If you are thinking of coming to Colombia, if you plan on working here, this is an episode to tune into as you'll want to hear all about the legal system, the reliability of contracts and the miasmi which is known as "la tertulia". 
Direct download: RCC-2015-04-06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm EST

This week we discuss the new project being launched by Mancunian Dave Proctor who has been based - working as a teacher - in Cali for six years. When Proctor is not introducing the delights and cultural magnificence that is the English pub quiz to the sometimes confused yet good folk of Cali (where's the salsa dancing?), playing cricket for the Cali cricket team or playing in a football league he's planning a new mountain bike route across Colombia. 
This is the Legend of El Dorado ( and the idea is to revolutionize the mountain biking calendar in Colombia. 
This eight stage race will begin in Zipaquira (home to the world famous Salt Cathedral) and then continue down the Magdalena River Valley through Guaduas before then making a huge ascent over the Nevado de Ruiz volcano and then down through the city of Manizales and taking in the national heritage town of Salamina before ending near to Medellin. How about that for a cross country mountain bike adventure across Colombia? 
For more info about Dave Proctor and his projects check out his blog:
Direct download: RCC-2015-03-30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32pm EST