Living in Colombia
by Ron Graham
My name is Ron Graham and I came to Medellin, Colombia in 2006 as a missionary to work in an orphanage. After 3 days here, I fell in love with the place and have no plans of leaving.
I feel that Medellin is the best city in Colombia to live, as it has all the typical attractions of a big city and the climate is warm but never really hot. It is known as 'The city of eternal spring' because the weather is consistent and pleasant all year 'round.
Now before you jump to the media-fed lie about how dangerous Colombia is, you need to realize that the government has confined the rebels to less than 5% of the country, and that is in the remote coca growing regions.
Although Medellin WAS a dangerous place during the 90's, the bad elements have left and now it is a reformed and safe city that (as well as the rest of Colombia)has seen a steady increase in tourism year after year, with more people from around the world discovering this wonderful and diverse country.
There is a huge police presence on the streets and I am safer here than in ANY major city in the U.S. Although it has the same big city problems as anywhere else, most of the violent crime that is here is drug related and in the poorer neighborhoods.
Medellin is one of the most modern cities in South America, with the only rapid transit system (electric train)in the country than runs most of the length of the Aburra' Valley that is
home to almost 3 million people. Their are also two sky trams that are part of the Metro system, and will take passengers for a bird's eye view of this wonderful sprawling metropolis.
The Paisas, as the locals are known, are a wonderful, pleasant and friendly group that like foreigners and are quick to show the world the real Colombia, not the one the media keeps falsely portraying. They work hard, long hours, usually for little money and love to have fun. They are very relational and like finding out about life in other places.
It's easy to live here. The pace of life is slow and no one is in a hurry. You can be as lazy or as busy as you want, and no one really cares. One of the things I like is the lack of government interference in your life, and the police have more important things to do than sit at an intersection with a radar gun pointed at you.
The cost of living is about half of that in the U.S., with big ticket items (cars, gasoline, electronics) costing a bit more.
Food is cheap in comparison, with fresh fruit and vegetables always available, and a really good restaurant meal is usually between 5 and 15 dollars.
Medical care is excellent and cheap, with many doctors trained in the U.S. Medellin is also known as THE PLACE for cosmetic surgery in Colombia.
Watch this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgI0-N9ZTa8 to see this wonderful city. (EDs note: The music is Spanish...)
If anyone wants more information about relocating here, please let me know.