Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

It has been a while since we took a step back and looked at the news in Colombia and so, journalist Manuel Rueda joins us this week to provide a timely overview of what is going on and what may have been missed by the international press.

Rueda is a journalist held in high regard and reports for the international media on issues in Colombia and around the region. You can find his updates and reports in AP News, DW news, the Christian Science Monitor, TRT World and many other outlets. Chances are that if you follow the news in Colombia, you will have read pieces by or seen Rueda at some point.

This week we discuss the tragic increase in Covid-19 cases in Colombia, the government response, the extended quarantine, security in Bogotá and the plight of the long-suffering Venezuelan migrants trying to make their way back to their home country.

Tune in for an excellent overviews from Colombia

Direct download: RCC_331.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

Jennie Erin Smith is a freelance science writer from upstate New York based in Medellín, Colombia, where she is working on a book about families with Alzheimer’s disease. She is the author of “Stolen World” (2011) and we are very lucky to have her on this episode of the Colombia Calling podcast to share with us a little about her investigations and the book she is currently writing.

So we delve into the information on offer and Smith debunks some of the myths about the "Paisa mutation," and what this means for local considerations on place, people, race and society. Why rural Antioquia, if here where else and on.

Tune in to a fascinating episode about new discoveries in this field here in Colombia.

Direct download: RCC_330.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

It's a great pleasure to have Julianne Pachico back on the Colombia Calling podcast and discussing her latests novel, the Anthill. She last graced the show way back in August 2017 on Ep199 and was speaking about her first book, the Lucky Ones. The Anthill is a fresh and fascinating insight into the Medellin of today and how it contrasts with the city in which the protagonist Carolina grew up in.

I don't want to give too much away, and I enjoyed the book immensely for its warts and all take on some realities in Colombia, class, society, violence and beyond, but you'll have to read it. Below is some of the high praise which Pachico has been receiving.

A visceral, hallucinatory ride by an author who has been called "blunt, fresh, and unsentimental" (The New York Times Book Review) and "remarkably inventive" (The Atlantic), The Anthill is a ghost story unlike any other, a meditation on healing--for both a person and a country--in the wake of horror.

Check out:

Direct download: RCC_329.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

The pandemic struck and some people panic shopped for toilet paper, our guest on the @ColombiaCalling podcast, Emma Louise Jay of bucked this trend and went and bought dozens of blood sausages. Tune in to hear her anecdotes and reflections on 80 days of almost total isolation during this extended quarantine in the countryside with precious few neighbours.

Our guest has been on the Colombia Calling podcast on several previous occasions and is always immensely popular with the listeners due to her articulate and self-deprecating look at life in Colombia's sticks. Hear her tales of the stone deaf neighbour, taking out her machete in anger and how she's dealing with the aloneness...not loneliness.


Direct download: RCC_328.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST

We’re trapped. We have been confined along with our dreams, goals and illusions. With the global emergency caused by COVID-19, we have hit rock bottom and the travel and tourism industry is never going to be the same.

This is why we are talking to Rainbow Nelson of "This is Cartagena," ( for his insights on the situation as seen from Colombia's capital of tourism.

The good thing about hitting rock bottom is that there’s only one place to go from here. The only thing we have left now is to make a great staircase in which one by one, we can get back to somewhere considered safe ground. Many people have already understood it that way. There are good people out there who have begun to replace fear and resignation with hope. Where others feel only fear, these people are being driven by their imagination, finding creativity where others see only crisis.

Tune in!

Direct download: RCC_327.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:30am EST