Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

Colombia is undergoing change and nothing is more polarizing than the peace agreements between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian Government. While peace was formally signed between the sides on September 26 2016 in the Caribbean city of Cartagena before 2500 people after the successful outcome of negotiations dating back to November 2011 in Havana, Cuba it all comes down to a democratic vote on October 2.

So this is why on this Episode No.157 we get Kevin McCaffrey - originally from Northern Ireland - on the line from Cali to talk about the parallels between Ireland and Colombia with regards to peace processes and draw on his own personal experiences as a boy growing up in violence and seeing the Good Friday agreement signed in 2008.

We start the interview talking about Cali, Kevin's life in the city and his passion of being a singer songwriter ( before plunging into the more profound topics of peace, power sharing, pardon and forget which continue to be at the fore of all current debates in Colombia.

Direct download: RCC_157.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am EST

It's always a pleasure to have the Director of Colombia Reports, Adriaan Alsema on Colombia Calling and we know from experience that it's going to be an interesting, informative and colourful experience!

So, buckle up and settle down to Episode 156 where we discuss the city of Medellin, Netflix's series Narcos and the problems facing Alsema's adopted home city.

The reason for the topic of this show was that I just had the opportunity to visit Medellin and was a little affected by what I saw. I happened to be in the company of the owner of a top end luxury tour operator who is considering bringing tourists to the city and Colombia in general, and when we were in Medellin, his feeling was that, "the money generated from the drugs trade continues to permeate every level of Medellin's society."

We may of course be wrong, but this is why we sat down with Alsema for 156 to talk about the reality of Medellin. Is Narcos educating people about or glorifying Pablo Escobar, what is the problem in Medellin and beyond?

Be sure to check out for independent news about Colombia and if you have some spare cash lying around, donate to this good cause.

Direct download: RCC_156.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EST

It is a great pleasure for me to introduce South African journalist Laura Brown as the guest host of Episode 155 "Birdwatching in Colombia with expert and joint founder of Andes EcoTours, Chantelle du Plessis".

Andes EcoTours believes that travelers are looking for a deeper understanding of the land and the people they encounter. The aim to bring their visitors to the homes, farms and landscapes of those that represent Colombia’s bio-cultural diversity.

Chantelle was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and was trained to locate wildlife from a young age (skills that come in handy when you want to see cool stuff on your tours). When she was older, she moved to the United States where she fell in love with photography, salsa dancing and Colombian culture. Check out the website at

Direct download: RCC_155.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:14am EST

Dutch national Nathalie Rietman, director of Foundation La Vecina, tells us why she founded La Vecina. Basically, this is another good news story out of purely altruistic desires of helping the most needy, in this case the children of Cartagena's La Boquilla area. It is heartwarming and inspiring.

Far from the sophisticated boutiques of the Walled City and further away from the luxury apartments being constructed on the road leaving Caratgena towards Barranquilla, is La Boquilla, one of the city's many impoverished areas.

In episode 154 we talk to Natalie and find out what motivated her to get involved in this area, how it affected her personally and how she now has the most popular school in the region. Tune in to find out how you can help the children of La Boquilla through Natalie's foundation

Direct download: RCC_154.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35am EST