Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

It's time to talking birding and birdwatching in Colombia and the opportunities open to enthusiasts as told by expert Chris Bell. It's a real pleasure to have Chris back on the show and talking with such knowledge about Colombia (the only gringo here I know to have visited all of Colombia's departments) and the species of birds found here. 

Chris talks to us about his period under detainment by the dissident FARC on a birding trip in Caqueta, his recent Global Big Day in Tumaco 2018, the Global Big Day in Guaviare in 2017 and how the department of Antioquia (where Medellin is located) could rank as No7 for bird species in the world, were it a country! 

And, don't forget Nov 1-5 is the South American Bird Fair is in Manizales and then after that it's the Colombian birders get together in Mitu, Vaupes, so it's all happening in the birding world in Colombia!

Tune in to hear about the reality of travel in Colombia and this birding paradise through the eyes of the knowledgeable Chris Bell.

Direct download: RCC_249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

The murders of his family in rural Colombia could have inspired a young Jesus Abad Colorado to pick up a gun; instead, he bought a camera and over the years became a highly acclaimed photographer, dedicating the next 25 years of his life to documenting the conflict in his native Colombia. 

A year after Colombia's then President, Juan Manuel Santos signed peace with the FARC guerrillas, Jesus goes in search of some of the people from his most iconic photographs, to explore just what it means to forgive the horrors of the past. While an unexpected meeting forces him to relive his nightmares, it also gives Jesus a message of real hope to communicate to Colombia's new generation. 

In this hard-hitting Episode 248, we are privileged to speak to the accomplished British documentary film-maker Kate Horne (other works include: Gabo, Turtle Boy, My Kidnapper. See on the line from London speaking about "Testigo; Cain y Abel" her most recent work. 

Funded by Caracol and screened across 12 Colombian cities (25, 26, 27, 28 October 2018) in Cinecolombia theatres, "Testigo" uses Jesus as the lens on Colombia's atrocities and conflict but is humanizing in its quest for reconciliation, forgiveness and hope for a more positive future. 

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to view this documentary at a special screening and feel that it should be mandatory for schools in Colombia and indeed for anyone in a country trying to emerge from a long-running confict. "Testigo" is not only powerful and informative, it's going to win awards, you heard it here first on the Colombia Calling podcast.

Direct download: RCC_248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Back on Ep131 we were privileged to have actor and script writer of the movie Andrew Perez on the line from Los Angeles discussing his latest film, Bastards and Diablos...this time, on Ep247 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we have the honour of speaking to the other lead actor and producer of the movie, Dillon Porter. 

And he's here in Bogotá with the team, why?! Because, incredibly CineColombia has seen fit to give this indie flick, filmed in Colombia and released in the US in 2015, a weekend of viewings in Bogotá, Medellin and Cali starting on October 18. So, hurry on down and get your tickets and support a film which has won awards in the US, was made on a threadbare budget and is making waves. 

This is a film about two estranged half brothers and a journey of discovery through Colombia, the cinematography looks spectacular and the soundtrack is certainly awe inspiring. I will see you there on October 18 at the screening in Bogotá!

Direct download: RCC_247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

How much do you know about the plantations and the medical cannabis industry in Colombia? If you're like me, very little at all, so it is with great pleasure that on Ep246 of the Colombia Calling podcast, we sit down with British journalist Mat Youkee, the brains behind the "Colombia Cannabis Investor,"( and learn more about this unknown economic driver. 

With Youkee, we learn about the regulatory confusions surrounding this cash crop, the local growing conditions in Colombia for Cannabis and the issues of security and and community relations. 

Mat Youkee is a freelance journalist and analyst covering Latin America and the Caribbean from his base in Bogotá, Colombia. An emerging markets reporter since 2007 his regular work maintains a strong business and economics focus and he travels regularly across the continent to write in-depth analyses of sectors including extractive industries, finance, agriculture and healthcare.

So tune in!

Direct download: RCC_246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

It is a great honour to have to the Assistant Professor from the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, Abbey Steele on this week's episode 245 of Colombia Calling. Not only do we discuss some of the poignant issues raised and debated in her book: "Democracy and Displacement in Colombia's Civil War," but we also digress and discover Steele's experiences as a "helper" or "translator" in a Cali-based marriage agency. 

Talk about extremes! 

This is a fascinating conversation with an academic who possesses an intimate knowledge of Colombia, the political processes here and who has been able to show through extensive quantitative and qualitative research that the democratization of the political process in the country led, in fact, to an increase in violence and displacements. 

Tune in to hear more

Direct download: RCC_245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST