Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

Sometimes we lose sight of where we are and why and this can very much be the case here in Colombia. On occasions, the politics permeates life all too deeply and perhaps the expat experience in this south american nation can be something quite different than what one expected. 

So, it is a great pleasure on this Ep284 of the Colombia Calling podcast to take a step back and remind ourselves why we come to Colombia. To this end, we speak to an avid listener of the podcast in Idaho, Jeff Brown, who will be coming to the country for the first time later in 2019. 

Allow this episode to remind you about your excitement of coming to Colombia for the first time and what your apprehensions and expectations may have been

Direct download: RCC_284.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika, malaria or Chikungunya, continue to be a huge health problem in Latin America, including in Colombia. Every year over one million people die worldwide from mosquito-related diseases.
On Ep238 we have a great opportunity to learn about how silicon valley is collecting data in the city of Cali and employing it to help map out breeding grounds for mosquitos carrying the Zika or Dengue virus. Premise ( is the company in question and Daniela Rubio, the Program Manager joins us on the line from Mexico City. 

To provide you with a little information and background: The primary way of controlling mosquitos is by removing their breeding grounds which are generally found in containers with standing water. Vector surveillance and vector control require government workers to cover vast terrain performing time and labor intensive activities. Often the local governments lack a large number of resources needed to perform these tasks.

Premise’s solution works to fill information gaps for cities by empowering local citizens to collect data on positive breeding sites in their communities. Through the Premise App, local citizens are able to complete different Zika monitoring tasks. These include walking mapped routes, inspecting public spaces and homes, asking questions, taking photos and even destroying breeding sites. The tasks are co-designed with local health authorities to train an average citizen to identify and destroy mosquito breeding sites that can be found on a regular street, public park or in a house.

So, tune in to hear a fascinating episode about how technology is implementing change in Cali and improving lives.

Direct download: RCC_283.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

I love this yearly episode where we get to kick back and chat to Brian Murphy and Dave Proctor about La Leyenda mountain bike race in Colombia. For those who have not heard any of our previous interviews with the race founder Murphy and the Comms director Proctor, La Leyenda del Dorado is a UCI accredited event and is Colombia's most prestigious multi-stage mountain bike race, where adventurous professional and amateur cyclists from around the world race side by side. 

As formidable as it is breathtaking, the Leyenda route tackles an extraordinary variety of terrains and climatic conditions – tropical river valleys, sweeping singletracks through stunning coffee plantations, jungle and snow topped volcanoes. 

While it sounds that we are enjoying a few pints together as we put this conversation down, I can assure you that the guys are in Cali and I am in Bogotá, but all the same, it's great to hear about the new developments in the race, the evolution of the style and the new additions being presented for 2020. Perhaps closest to my heart and interests is the fact that La Leyenda is designed to give back to Colombia, not only as a phenomenal and positive window on the country but also on the ground where their social responsibility has led to funds being put forward to help with the construction of part of a school in one of the towns visited along the race route. 

Tune in for an upbeat good news story about Colombia

Direct download: RCC_282.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT

Enfant terrible, journalist and director of the most read news website in English about Colombia, Colombia Reports, Adriaan Alsema can be an interesting character to track down and engage in conversation. Of course, you'll all be familiar with his voice and his news style given that he's been contributing the news segment for the "all new" Colombia Calling podcast style in 2019, and the results have been astonishing. Increased downloads and listeners, broader reach and indeed, more emails to me from happy fans. 

So, we felt that it is time once again to have Alsema back on the show and to talk about the current goings on in Colombia. We discuss corruption, the new political movements taking place, President Duque, the issues surrounding the flight of ex FARC guerrilla Jesus Santrich and delve into a deeper theme of a potential 21st century revolution. At least, that's how Alsema sees it and he's definitely worth listening to on this front. 

So tune in for an interesting look at Colombia this week with me your Colombia Calling host, Richard McColl and the Director of Colombia Reports, Adriaan Alsema.

Direct download: RCC_281.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Owner of mi casa petite- tiny house hotel - (on its way to being the first of its kind in Colombia). A resilient young woman born and raised in London to muslim-Nigerian parents. Spent 7 years living and working in Australia in the government and the not for profit sectors. She's restless and likes to get things done, but she's patient and is very much on a journey to setting up her business in Colombia. Navigating Colombia's business world has been a work in progress for her and she is learning a lot along the way as well as empowering others.

A must-listen to anyone considering starting a company in Colombia

Direct download: RCC_280.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EDT