Colombian Retail

When you think of Colombia, what’s the first word that comes to mind? Now, have you ever been to Colombia?

One of the advantages of travel is being able to see first-hand how the world really is as opposed to how you’re told it is.  Retail is one of those areas that can help “paint the picture” as it were of an overall general progress of a nation.  It is a broad reflection of a country’s economy and infrastructure – and sometimes you’ll find yourself to be even surprised that what you thought was one way turns out to not only be different that your expectations, but even beyond what’s in your own backyard.  (Airports are like that too.  If you look at say LaGuardia then compare it to some of the airports found in Asia today there simply is no comparison).

Here are some photos I took earlier this year in Medellin while walking through a well known mall in the city.  You’ll see the retail shops of certain Colombian brands you may have not even know existed.  You’ll also see UK and American brands.  The Banana Republic in this mall is nicer that the one at the mall in my area of Atlanta.

Brands are crossing borders into territory they used to never be seen in.  And some of these brands are able to source production “locally” and sell it locally since Colombia is a producer of apparel.

The retail scene is Colombia is on the move and no doubt this is also happening in other key Latin American cities. The interesting thing is that the shelf pricing is about the same as in the USA but the general income levels are not.

In any event, getting yourself to see the world in person gives you a perspective on how things are and how things move that nothing else can replace.

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Real World Education

This is the most important photo I may have ever taken.

Earlier this year I took my elementary aged kids to Latin America to start to see the world. This surely is a photo I will show them in 15 years. We were in Medellin, Colombia which is of course smack dab in the middle of the mountains. The city is basically split into two halves – the nicer South end of the city and the hillside favelas on the Northside.

Medellin is very innovative and within the past 10 years constructed an above ground metro that leads to a massive cable car system they call “metrocable” that runs from the Medellin River at the base, all the way over the favelas and beyond to the countryside. We took a ride on that metrocable floating 100 feet over the neighborhoods below for a 360 view of this part of the world.

There’s school and then there’s school.


The Floating Man of Cartagena

While traveling in Colombia I popped this shot of this street performer just suspended about 3 feet off the ground on a side street. Can you figure out how he’s doing this?


Heading to Medellin, a city full of hills, fresh juices, pastelitos, salsa, merengue, and WSJ’s 2013 named city of the year.

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Four Views of Medellin

Was in Medellin and hit the roof top of a great hotel in El Poblado and snapped these shots which can give you a roundabout sort of view of how Medellin looks.

The View in Colombia

View from Colombia looking down to the Rio Cauca in Antioquia. Made our way from here to the top of the hills across the river to Jericó for some coffee.