Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

As the eternal city of Colombian tourism, Cartagena hardly needs any introduction, but how does one go about visiting this city and really understanding the culture, the vibes and its energy? Well, for starters you need to get in touch with the effervescent Australian Kristy Ellis and her team at Cartagena Connections to sort you out.

It's a rare thing for an expat to be fully integrated into a foreign society, but Kristy has managed just this in Cartagena and has set up Cartagena Connections to ensure that she can share her enthusiasm for this colourful city with as many people as possible.

Where to find Kristy? If at first you don't succeed via her website ( then you can probably find her being pulled up on stage to dance champeta at a local concert! Yes, Kristy is "tu llave" when you come to Cartagena.

Direct download: RCC_165.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29pm EST

In episode 164 we explore something very close to my heart and the principal subject for my doctoral thesis, the Sabana Train station in central Bogotá.

We discuss the upcoming significance of the centeniary of the Sabana train station 1917-2017 and why an industrial and growth area of the city has slid into such decay? Has it been solely due to a political ill-will towards the area that the elites in the country are prepared to maintain this once vibrant and cosmopolitan sector of the city - including hotels, theatres and more - isolated and hindered from progress?

Tune in, listen to my intervention, compare it to that of what has taken place around London's Kings Cross and imagine the same for the Estacion de la Sabana and her environs.

Direct download: RCC_164.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

Building of the popularity of recent shows dealing with the Colombian peace agreement and dialogues surrounding this, this week we teamed up with South African journalist Laura Brown (you'll remember for hosting Ep155) to talk about some of the comparisons between her native South Africa and Colombia.

In what is an open and informative conversation Laura tells us her about life in South Africa, similarities between there and Colombia and of course, clarifies some of the factors surrounding the peace agreement in South Africa and how studying this can help us in Colombia better understand the peace deal here.

Please tune in for what is a revealing study of South Africa but set against her knowledge of Colombia and the political and social realities found in both.


Direct download: RCC_163.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:02am EST

It's always a thrill to be contacted by a listener and in particular one with a great story to tell and this is how Episode 162 came about with Puerto Rico born/ NY-based photographer Miguel De Casenave.

De Casenave has a significant career as a photographer under his belt but we have him here on Colombia Calling to talk about his recent trip and previous trips to the Sierra Nevada on the Colombia Caribbean coast to photograph the people of the ancient Kogui culture.

Don't think for a moment that just any person can stride on up into the sacred lands of the Kogui people. De Casenave speaks of how he has grown attached to the Kogui and how the Sierra Nevada "has taken him". We learn of the Kogui's customs and his recent visit of no less than one month in their company.

Tune in to Episode 162 to hear of De Casenave' respectful approach to photography and gain an insight into one of the most fascinating and unknown regions of Colombia.

And in the meantime, check out De Casenave' excellent photography:

Direct download: RCC_162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25am EST

Meet Tommy Manuel Dutton, a driving force behind a creative and new way of showing visitors and nationals a good time in Bogotá. Find out why this native of Alice Springs, Australia ended up spending nine months of the year in Bogotá and the remaining three as a guide in the Kimberley.

With his agency Bogotá and Beyond ( Dutton not only offers tours of Bogotá, Zipaquira and the Chorrera waterfall amongst other things, but he has created an innovative way of showing off his adopted city, with the Septima Challenge.

Tune in to Episode 161 to hear about the Septima Challenge scavenger hunt and how it allows visitors to the city to enjoy better the culture and curiousities found in Bogotá...and then sign up!

Direct download: RCC_161.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EST