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Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Owatonna, Minnesota
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52 posts
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Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Hello!

I will be in Medellin this summer and want to know what advice you have for relating well to the people who live there. By many accounts they tend to be welcoming and friendly to visitors, and in the one weekend I spent there a couple of years ago that seemed to be true. I will be going back now to spend a couple of weeks there and have a more in depth experience of the city and people.

I have travelled to Mexico and Ecuador and have a conversant level of fluency in Spanish (I hold a DELE) and thus am familiar with Latin American culture. Nevertheless, each country and city is different and I want to know that specific advice you have about this city. I really don't want to be perceived as an ugly american, a #@%$ gringo, or God forbid another sex tourist (apparently there is a lot of that in Colombia and recent events in Cartagena won't help).

What is it that paisas would most appreciate if visitors were to do it in Colombia?

I apologize if this seems like a dumb question, and I know the answer is not going to be formulaic, but any observations you have made in your own experiences there would be most appreciated.

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Honestly, I can't imagine what you're fishing for here... there is no magic formula or insider secret that will help Medellin locals like you better.

They're the very same as any other human being on this earth... simply be a responsible guest in their country and treat them with the same respect that you would anyone. This is not a difficult concept no matter where you travel in the world, it's nothing more than common sense.

Tranquilo, amigo.

Cheers,

Terry

Owatonna, Minnesota
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2. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

True!

Owatonna, Minnesota
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3. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

You are of course correct, Martian 24. As I said in my original post I know there is no formulaic answer because, as you said, people are people all over the world. It is not as if Americans were from Mars and Colombians were from Venus. You are right that we should not overanalyze the matter.

Sometimes there are, however, cultural differences that one is prudent to take into account when travelling abroad. Indeed, so much would not have been written on the subject of culture shock, cross-cultural communication, etc., if it were not for the fact that there are different tendencies that make one culture different from another and affect people to people interactions.

Thanks for taking the time to write a reply!

Que estes bien!

Seth

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Seth, you're visiting Medellin, a modern city with an open and welcoming Latin culture - not a hill tribe in Tibet. Don't over think this.

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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5. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Be friendly, smile, try to speak some Spanish, be curteous.

Do those things and and it will be returned in kind.

If you happen to ride the Metro at rush hour - follow the leads of the old ladies, push and shove to get on or off- otherwise a good chance of missing your stop

Gainesville, Florida
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6. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

I was in Medellin last week, and was approached on the Metro by a kind elderly woman who spoke Spanish to me very slow. I had an interpreter who told me that we was glad to have me in her great country, and thanked me for coming.

In the Minorista (local open market for selling fruits, vegetables, and meats) there were MANY questions about where I was from. When the answer was "soy Americano", the eyebrows were raised and they were impressed that I was their market area and not shopping in El Poblado.

My guide was amazing, from Medellin, spoke English very well, and took me to the "Real Colombia". Had I stayed in El Poblado, I might as well have stayed in the US. Also went to Jardin, a little Pueblo 2 hours from Medellin. Amazing experience on a Wednesday night when the locals ride their Paso Fino horses to the local tavern.

So the cultural advice: learn Spanish and connect with a local who will show you the "Real Colombia". It's awesome.

oklahoma city
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7. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

anyone inparticular you can recommend?

Gainesville, Florida
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8. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

The person that I really enjoyed is named Andres. You can connect with him and take a look at various tour options at: landadventuretravel.com

Good luck and enjoy your travels.

Gainesville, Florida
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9. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

Ooops. I messed up on the web address. It's actually:

landventuretravel.com

Sorry!

10. Re: Cultural Advice for Medellin, Colombia

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