Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

For those of you who have been listening to the Colombia Calling podcast for a while, Reno transplant to Colombia's coffee region, Erin Donaldson will be well-known to you already since she has graced this show and shared with us incredible stories from Pereira and the Choco. Now, she is located in Manizales and has launched a fantastic new resource for anyone thinking to travelling, investing or who is just interested in the area's delights. So, check out 

As we learn through Erin's infectious enthusiasm, the cultural offerings in this region are as yet untapped and there is much for the visitor to enjoy. Erin herself has immersed herself in Manizales' world of tango. 

This is a timely episode with the ANATO tourism fair in Bogotá this week and we discuss how Colombia and the Coffee region in general can branch out and appeal to a wider audience. 

Of course, in addition to our informed and entertaining conversation with Erin, as is now the format, the Colombia Calling podcast will be introduced with a news segment provided by Adriaan Alsema, director of Colombia Reports.

Direct download: RCC_262.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EST

On Ep261 we discuss Alex Fattal's (Penn State) new book, "Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia.'"Reading less like an academic book and more like an in-depth ethnographic study of an advertising company and its role in branding and marketing a conflict. In this circumstance the conflict is in Colombia and this activity, led by the company from its lofty offices in Bogotá, has been labelled as "Militainment," and I cannot think of a better word to describe their work. 

In Fattal's extensively researched book, he analyzes the role of marketing in the individual demobilizing program and the way in which the Colombian government changed their course to wage an anti-guerrilla war. Here we see the belief that successful branding has the ability to reconcile the irreconcilable. 

Aside from the telling accounts of how and why individuals joined up with the FARC guerrillas, one of the key elements for me in this book was the difficulty that Fattal encountered as an "objective" observer. Information was shared with Fattal and people in the government wanted to hear his thoughts and he, correctly, denied them his feedback, leading to friction within the group. 

Listen to the podcst and read this book!

Direct download: RCC_261.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Andrew Wright is one of the long-term transplants from the UK to Colombia. Brought here originally by the banking world and after time spent there, he know oversees - in addition to his day job - the Fundación Buen Punto. 

The Fundación Buen Punto was born in 2014 with the objective of incentivizing sports (initially surf), reaching children and young adults that find themselves in unfavourable situations with limited resources, or some form of physical or psychological disability, and who are at risk of exclusion from society. Now, they also focus on rugby and also Australian Rules. 

With projects in Mosquera, close to Bogotá, Nuqui in Choco on the Pacific coast and beyond, hear about the inspiring work being done to bring sports and values to children in need of options and how to channel it all through sports. 

Check out the website:

Direct download: RCC_260.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EST