Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia (Talk-Radio)

As troubles continue in Venezuela, we in Colombia are becoming more aware of how this is directly affecting life, the economy and our society here. So, it is time to focus on the situation in Venezuela once again and this week we hear from a former officer in the Venezuelan National Guard, Javier Nieto. 

Nieto now runs an executive security outfit (http://www.enkelson.com/) and is of course up to speed and informed on the security issues currently afflicting our sister country. We speak about the porous borders between Colombia and Venezuela, the influence of Colombia’s FARC and ELN guerrillas within Venezuela and indeed the politics of President Maduro. 

Tune in to listen to a firsthand account of the reality of Venezuela not covered by the mainstream media and form your own opinion of the contemporary ills in this region of northern south america.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-09-22.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 11:59am EST

Did you know that there are psychoanalysts out there treating patients through something known as and referred to as “Geek Therapy”? This week we sit down with Josue Cardona in North Carolina and discuss his role in this emerging practice and his recent trip to Colombia, invited to present Geek Therapy (http://www.geektherapy.com/) to Colombian students, health workers and the like. Given that Colombia is a relatively conservative country in her practices and traditions I am particularly interested to hear how the lectures and workshops were received and how Josue found Colombia on this, his first visit. Tune in to hear a truly fascinating insight into the Colombian psyche and of course all about Geek Therapy itself.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-09-15.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 8:45am EST

Outselling any other guide on the market, the Lonely Planet is the go to resource for anyone thinking of travelling to Colombia. This week we sit down with three-time LP Colombia guide author Kevin Raub (http://www.kevinraub.net/) and talk about the latest edition that he is currently working on and hear about some of the "new" locations to be included in 2015's version. Raub brings his inimitable style to the interview, perhaps becoming of a journalist formerly in the employ of Rolling Stone Magazine and of course positively brims with positivity about Colombia as a fantastic destination for the traveller, be it top end or backpacker. Tune in to hear about Raub's take on the security situation in-country and a few priceless anecdotes.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-09-08.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 10:29am EST

Kidnapping is down in Colombia but other issues continue. This week we sit down with Security and Risk Management Expert Benjamin Hockman and discuss the dangers and realities in the country. How should you prepare before planning a trip to Colombia, who is potentially at risk, what is the state of play in various parts of the country? And it doesn't end there, we talk about Colombia put in the context of Mexico and neighboring Venezuela. We learn about how Hockman came to be in this industry and what it means to work in this field. Not to be missed for an informative and fascinating insight into Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-09-01.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 9:03am EST

Since Colombia’s peace talks began in November 2012, 14,000 people have been forcibly displaced within its borders each month. This week we talk with journalist Jessica Weiss (http://www.jessicaleeweiss.com/) about this horrendous situation and her new project launched on the crowdfunding platform Beacon Reader where, should the pitch be successful, she will publish an in-depth article per month regarding those affected by Colombia's armed conflict. Weiss is a freelance journalist and writer based in Bogota, Colombia, where she is learning about a society in the process of emerging from conflict and writes for The New York Times, Fast Company Magazine, World Affairs Journal, the Associated Press amongst other publications.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-08-25.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 9:00am EST

A 12 year veteran of Bogota and Colombia, floridian Andrew Dier is now the author of the most recent guide to Colombia on the market, the first edition of the Moon Handbook to Colombia (www.moon.com) and we love the end product.

We get together with Dier in the chic environs of the upmarket Juan Valdez cafe in Rosales, Bogota and speak about the guide book, the writing process and indeed his first venture in Colombia, “Colombia Diversa” (www.colombiadiversa.org) promoting gay rights in the country. With his knowledge of the Colombia and having set up this well respected foundation, Dier is clearly the right person to be speaking about Colombia and it is a great pleasure to have him on Colombia Calling talking about all things Colombian.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-08-18.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 10:20am EST

Had you asked me during my university years whether I could see myself in the future living in Colombia, the ready answer would be "of course not", I can only assume that this is what Lottie Lawrence a young British lady must be thinking now as she is charged with the awesome responsibility of bringing lacrosse to Colombia, setting up a league between private schools and participating in international tournaments. Hers is an adventure that has taken her from teaching in the coffee region to coaching lacrosse in Bogota and accompanying a team to the world championships in Denver, Colorado. It's both heartwarming and exciting to hear of projects like this coming to Colombia and actually coming into fruition, tune in to hear a good news story.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-08-11.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 11:52am EST

When you reduce the interview with Christopher Kirk to its most basic elements, it’s a love story and the blindness that this can produce when an individual is so deeply wrapped up in it all. Listening, you’ll understand what I am getting at, basically, I let go and allow Christopher to chat away sharing with us the details which he sees fit to air, and even if he is self censoring, it’s hard to tell as the story is so gripping and involved. Hear about Kirk's love story with a mysterious Colombian lady named "V", an escort, prepago, drugs mule or misenterpreted entrepreneur and the subject of a newly released documentary "I Touched All Your Stuff".

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-08-04.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 9:53am EST

“The Mick” is an Irishman named Christopher who got started in crime early in Dublin, Ireland. A case could be made that sexual abuse by Catholic priests or his IRA family connections contributed to his path. But he’d admit it all came down to rebellion and love of drugs and alcohol. How did he end up in Colombia and why is he still here? We talk to writer Colin Post (http://www.expat-chronicles.com/) of St Louis, Missouri to find out more about “the Mick”, his story and of course hopefully give Post a boost on his crowdfunding campaign to get the novel about Christopher, “This Mick’s Life” published. The resulting Colombia Calling show is a rollercoaster ride through Bogota’s underworld and its characters. Not to be missed!

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-07-28.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 1:10pm EST

Briton Carl Meek met his Colombian wife in London some years ago. They decided to move back to Colombia set up businesses and start a family, tune in to find out why, after several years, they ended up moving back to the UK. With two incredibly successful Colombia-inspired ventures, Meek talks to Colombia Calling about his coffee importation company and independent coffee shop in Milton Keynes (http://bogotacoffee.co.uk) and his project with the Gladney Center in the US bringing adopted children from all over the world now resident in the US down to Colombia to interact and spend time giving back at an orphanage here in Bogota (http://adoptionsbygladney.com). Tune in to what is both an informative and inspiring interview.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-07-21.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 12:58pm EST

Have you ever imagined yourself kayaking along Colombia’s most iconic river? With the dynamic team from Awake Adventures (www.awakeadventures.com) this is now a reality.

In August Awake Adventures have an amazing opportunity to take you kayaking from Tamalameque to El Banco – to coincide with the Cumbia Festival here – then on to the town of Guamal and then my stomping ground of Mompos. They are looking for bloggers, journalists and so on who want to sign up and come along with them to record this fantastic adventure. Hear about their other plans in Colombia, Cano Cristales, Mavecure, the Pacific Coast and so on. Awake Adventures are strong believers in geotourism and are young Colombians keen on making a difference.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-07-14.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 11:53am EST

Websites come and go and blogs are a dime a dozen and can be an infuriating medium to research but, due to Colombia’s total divorce from international tourism for almost 30 years, some enlightened souls have seen fit to create informed, clean and up to date websites to provide the traveller with the information needed, one of these is Josian Chevallier’swww.off2colombia.com . We speak to Frenchman Chevallier about the inspiration behind his website, charity work in Colombia and his latest and perhaps most exciting project, a web portal for the region to rival the traditional sites calledwww.viajala.co . So, if you are researching a trip to South America and need an alternative and are looking for something new, check out this page.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-07-07.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 10:53am EST

Australian writer Sarah Duncan is a regular suitcase packer, professional list maker and travel writer who is happiest when she’s sitting in a busy café with a pot of tea and good book. She writes about travel, food and what it’s like to live in Colombia on her travel blogwww.Sarepa.com but we get her on Colombia Calling to talk about her love of Colombia and then give us an insight into her new and free e-book “How to Quit your Job and Travel the World”. Tune in to listen to this unofficial ambassador for Colombia tell us about her experiences and inspiration found in Colombia.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-06-30.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 7:41pm EST

The Colombian presidential elections have come and gone with incumbent Juan Manuel Santos set to be sworn in for his second term of August 7. This week we break down the results of the elections and discuss, with two analysts Kevin Howlett (www.colombia-politics.com) and Mark Kennedy (www.thebogotapost.com), what this means for the peace dialogues in Cuba with the FARC guerrillas, the possibility of peace dialogues with the ELN guerrillas and the importance of a strong opposition led by former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. Tune in for a full dialogue on where Colombia finds herself politically at this moment.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-06-23.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 4:30pm EST

Every now and then a young enterprise comes along and shakes things up, this is exactly what I felt when I was invited to experience Bogota through the five senses with 5Bogota (www.5Bogota.com). Theirs is something new and fresh and these vibrant young Bogotanos are out to revolutionize how we discover and enjoy an often maligned city. 5Bogota has turned tourism in the capital on its head and is going about promoting their city in a fresh and interesting fashion. Highly recommended, great fun and a break from the norm. Colombia Calling wholeheartedly endorses 5Bogota.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-05-16.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

It’s our long-awaited World Cup special with football journalist Carl Worswick joining us in the studio before heading off to cover Colombia’s games for ESPN. We’ll be talking about Colombia’s chances against the likes of the Ivory Coast, Greece and Japan in their first World Cup tournament since France 1998. Of course there’s the pressing detail of the second round of the presidential elections on June 15, the day after Colombia’s opening game against Greece. Politics and sports will once again merge here in Colombia. A fascinating take on the game for those interested in following the sporting feats of James Rodriguez and Teofilo Gutierrez in Brazil. Who will be the standout players and who will flatter to deceive?

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-06-09.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 10:43am EST

I am not a gambling man, in fact I’m not very good with numbers, but this week we have a true master of the art on the show. Dan Kaiser, a US citizen, has been down here in Bogota for almost a decade and he is the owner of one of the capital city’s most visited casinos, the Rockerfeller. Listen to Colombia Calling interview Dan Kaiser about the business of running a casino in Colombia, the clientele he receives and some of the anecdotes…ever heard the one about the patron who attempted to gamble away a defibrillator? Well, Dan Kaiser has lived it and it’s not all Vegas bling, this is Bogota.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-06-02.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 5:36pm EST

Given Colombia’s political and social isolation it comes as no suprise that levels of English spoken here are pretty poor, but, things are changing as the game changes here. Companies are seeking employees with language capabilities as the business world in Colombia changes. This week we talk to texan Eric Tabone of Bogota Business English (www.bogotabusinessnessenglish.com) who, on seeing a gap in the market for a high quality, top level English institute set up his business in Bogota. We talk about opening a business, how he came to be here, who are his target clientele and how he sees the company growing. Stay tuned if you are thinking of coming to Colombia to teach English as BBE will shortly be launching a teacher trainer program.

Direct download: Colombia_Calling-2014-05-26.mp3
Category:Talk-Radio -- posted at: 4:14pm EST

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