To be honest, I was a little apprehensive when I was on my way to Colombia. Years of mostly negative reports had given me the impression that I was about to enter a country of bandits, thieves and drug traffickers. Already at the airport, however, I met a nice immigration officer, and when I then took a cab to the city of Cali, the driver and I just had a nice talk and he did not in any way try to trick me. In the weeks that followed, I discovered that Colombia was actually full of very kind, genuine, honest people, always willing to help, always striving to make your stay a memorable one.
Often, people in the street would approach me, warning me to watch after my belongings. Instead of making me feel at danger, it actually gave me the feeling that I was safe. On the second day, while talking to a woman who had warned me about thieves, I ended up attending to a birthday party where I was received very well. Colombia is a beautiful country with many places to visit, but what really shaped my image of the country is the very warm, and heartfelt, welcome that was given to me by its people. Added to that, Colombians are a beautiful people, although I could not agree with the fame of beauty of the women from Cali: I saw beautiful Colombian women everywhere in the country!
I did notice a change, though, when I went to the north. This is a more touristy region of Colombia, the people are more used to dealing with them, and yes, there are cases where people try to take advantage of the foreigner. But overall, even here the experience is mostly one of friendliness. When I finally left Colombia, and had a nice chat with the security officer who urged me to come back to his country, I realized that my image of the people of this beautiful country had changed completely from the moment I arrived.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Colombian people (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Colombian people.
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