Colombia Calling - The English Voice in Colombia

Sitting down with us across the pond in Berlin is Colombian architect Roberto Uribe who gives us an insight into his artistic intervention along Bogotá's infamous Calle 22. To give you a further idea about the importance of the Calle 22, the street extends around 2.5km from the foothills of the Andes Mountains known as the Cerros Orientales, down through Colonial Bogotá, crossing through bohemia, 1950's era expansion, through some down at heal barrios and out into the Sabana de Bogotá. In short, the Calle 22 offers what could actually represent a microcosm of Colombia along one street in the capital.

All the while you can follow Calle 22 and the architecture, but it's not just about this, it is also about the people who have come from different areas of the country by choice or forcibly displaced to be here. You'll find traditional Bogotanos or Rolos, people from the Pacific Coast with their restaurants and hair salons, others from the southern plains with restaurants and beyond. Everyone is represented.

So, we get the chance to sit down with Roberto and talk about his project, the reasons behind the art interventions, how he went about doing it, what the experience was and the outcomes. For more info please see his website and see what the team is up to and thinking of doing next.

On a personal note, I have been studying this area of Bogotá for some time and it is of great interest to me. Hopefully some of my enthusiasm for this kind of interview comes across in our open and fun conversation.

Direct download: RCC_145.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:15am EDT

In an exclusive first interview with the press as the new Director of the Colombian National Land Agency (Agencia Nacional de Tierras) Miguel Samper Strouss sits down with Colombia Calling to give us the inside track on land issues and transitional justice in Colombia and the peace dialogues with the FARC.

Son of former Colombia President Ernesto Samper (1994-1998), Miguel Samper has followed his father into the world of politics having worked in various roles including that of the Vice Minister for Justice amongst others.

To have been able to gain access to a politician of such calibre, rank and note has been nothing short of a coup for Colombia Calling and you'll enjoy the open dialogue which we enjoyed with Miguel Samper on this occasion.

Why is this interview of interest? Well, to understand the nature of the long-running Colombian conflict, to understand the on-going peace dialogues with the FARC guerrillas in Havana, Cuba and the very real expression of a spiritual connection which Colombians have with the land, are all tantamount to understanding the Colombian psyche. That's why we feel so privileged to have been able to record an interview with someone as notable as Miguel Samper Strouss.

Direct download: RCC_144.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Given that our television channels are inundated with food-inspired shows of every shape and size it is for this reason that we have decided to explore the world of food tours in Colombia with Nicole and Jeremy of La Mesa Food Tours ( with their offerings in both Medellin and Bogota.

La Mesa Food Tours are gastronomy-inspired adventures to discover the history, culture and cuisine of a country! Our local food experts act as your culinary guide to authentic flavors and hidden food gems while uncovering the unique character and sights of incredible Colombia.

So in this fun Episode 143 we sit down and discuss Colombian cuisine, the opportunities to explore street food and high end offerings in Bogota and Medellin and why Colombia is perhaps experiencing something of a culinary renaissance.

But, La Mesa's tours don't end there, (additionally they run a tour in Antigua, Guatemala) but there's also the option to enjoy a tour of a coffee hacienda and see all of the processes from the picking and harvesting to roasting and tasting, just down the road from Medellin.

Tune in to Episode 143 with Nicole and Jeremy of La Mesa Food Tours and explore another side to Colombia's tabletop culture.

Direct download: RCC_143.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am EDT

Simon was born in Bogota, Colombia and was raised in Detroit, Michigan. He's been working in the International Education/Meaningful Travel field for over 10 years. After graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Rural and Environmental Sociology, he found himself volunteering internationally in Trujillo, Peru. He credits this experience as the springboard into the world of International Education and Meaningful Travel.

And now he's back in Colombia tracing his heritage (more about that during the show) and setting up a program so as to bring US students down to this country. Tune in to hear about Simon's life, his plans and support him in this quest to bring meaningful travel to Colombia.

Direct download: RCC_142.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am EDT