Colombia Tierra Querida

Colombia is the country where I was born. It is time and time misrepresented in the eyes of the people that do no live there. I am not just talking about people in the United States, but all over the world people think that my country is just a hot spot for drugs and guns.

I have always ignored people’s ignorant remarks about drugs. I tend to react to it with humor of some sort, and then try to explain how I grew up a city that is just as cosmopolitan as a big US city like Chicago is. Cali and Chicago are similar in a lot of ways, they are both the 3rd most popular city in their respective countries. Chicago after New York and Los Angeles IMHO, and Cali after Bogota and Medellin. Chicago people are just as proud to be from there as people from Cali are. In the future I will devote a post completely to showcasing Cali for all that it is but for now I have something else in mind.

I want to change people’s perception of Colombia in a bigger way. I want to start educating people on how beautiful my country is, but it is a daunting task. I have beem thinking of opening up Proyecto Colombia (The Colombia Project), is not there yet but the more and more I think of the idea the more I like it The site is now there, but it is still under construction.

I had initially wanted to open a reconnection side for people that had been adopted from Colombia and did not have a resource to learn about their country. Colombia’s web presence it still in its infancy and well, resources in English are at times hard to come by or not easy to navigate. I want to go a little further though, I am tired of people thinking that Colombia is a country with towns where chickens run wild and pigs fly as passengers right next to you on the plane ride there. We can thank Hollywood for that. So do I have any volunteers?

Also, for all of my non Colombian readers, could you post what you think of when you hear the word Colombia… and maybe some questions about the country, don’t worry I won’t take anything personal I just think that if I build a site, an FAQ is a nice start. Thanks in advance.

36 comments on “Colombia Tierra Querida

  1. Well, Logtar – I have to be completely honest. The first terms I think of when I think of Columbia are:

    drug lords.

    Because that’s what gets play in the media, and unless I’ve made a special concerted effort to learn about something, that’s all I’m going to know.

    Now, I know intellectually that Columbia is a lovely country with good, hard-working people. But as far as I know, so is Ecuador, or Peru, or Argentina, or Uruguay or any other South American country. But “drugs” is what Columbia is known for in American popular culture – that doesn’t just include media, but they are a big feeder to it.

    I guess when Columbia’s good cultural reputation exceeds its reputation for drugs, maybe things’ll change. But until then I hope to read more about what it’s really like from you.

  2. My english is not excelent, but i think that if you need some help writing good things about Colombia I love to help you.
    Just tell me the way.

  3. It is great to have someone interested in let it people know what our country really is.
    I work for a production network, we do events like Latin grammys, latin billboards and MTV awards and all latin and american shows that take place in south Florida, and is amazing the Colombian talents working as a promoters, producers and performers, so me too have a lot to explain to my fellow co-workers when they hear the word “Colombia or Colombian” as you said I don’t take personal, I use the best of my knowledge to give them a nice description of my country also I told them the ugly things that in my case make me get out it there, sometimes is easier because co-workers that go on tour with big bands or well known bands, corroborate what I’m saying, like most of them think that you can’t take tap water in Bogota or Cali, or if you get sick you wont have a professional care hospital, that sounds ridiculos but that’s how some think of my Colombia.

    Keep in touch and good luck with your site.

    Moises Diaz

  4. I remebered a long time ago when a spanish “cyberfriend” ask me if i do know what a car was. He think that there are not cars or roads here in Bogotá. He think i was living in the middle of the amazon forest.

  5. Me acuerdo en medio de Napoli, un campesino se acercó a nosotros y con tranquilidad nos preguntó “¿A cuánto me venden ustedes cocaína?” ¡Ah la ignorancia universal! Si se decide a armar el site, me encantaría ayudarle de alguna forma, con algunas fotos quizás.

  6. There’s always a misconception of ideas and concepts that outsiders if you will, simply don’t understand. I have to admit that when somebody mentions Colombia, your response is exactly what I hear. If that were me, that would make me want to blur away that idea and make me want to know more about the concept.

  7. I understand what you’re saying. I’m not from Colombia, but where I’m from people have lots of misconceptions about it too. I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. People think there are still race riots going on there in 2005 or Klan rallies in the streets. It’s sad the prejudices and ignorance people have about other places, especially ones they’ve never been to.

    I’m in an interracial marriage and I dated or was married to this woman for 7 years while living in Alabama and people ask us if we had to “keep it low profile” and crap like that. I just politely remind them to look at a calendar and realize that it isn’t 1965 anymore. Then I remind them that places like Cincinnati and Los Angeles have had race riots in the last 10-15 years and do they think they’re hell holes of intolerance?

    Unfortunately, many people are intellectually lazy. Stereotyping is much easier than thinking critically. I get garbage from people all the time about where I’m from and it is easily more cultured than where I live now eventhough the place I am (Orlando) has a population that’s much larger. Birmingham has first rate performing arts facilities, an excellent museum, thriving night life (there’s no “last call” time…bars can stay open all night if they want…something not found in a lot of places), plenty of 24 hour dining options (something severely lacking in Orlando), a fantastic park system (some HUGE parks), etc. etc.

    I understand where you’re coming from.

  8. Logtar,

    I know exactly how you feel. But you can’t ask everyone to know everything that is far from their life. You are the only man I know from Colombia. So besides the stereotype Colombia, I can think of —Logtar, Cielo and their interesting blogs. And I like to know more about Colombia of course.

    I am sure every nation has its essence and dross. Correct the stereotypes in people’s mind is a tough job—we learn things from the media and from the experiences. We would never go to some places that we know little about— we even hesitate to try a new dish in the restaurants, a new style of the dress or a new brand of the product until we read/heard about some other people tired it and it is good. Needless to say to change our mindset…It may need continues efforts to rebuild the images of Colombia through generations by its government and by its people.

    I hope you don’t feel bad, but you are doing the right thing — tell everyone who visit your blog and they will tell their friends and so on.

  9. This blog is so necessary! It is a long lonely struggle to convince people about the amazing story that is Colombia, one that continuously impresses me! All I ever see are critical sites that leave me baffled as to how President Uribe could have an 80% popular approval rating. If the place is so bad, why is economic growth soaring, why is crime down to practically nothing, why is the peso strengthening, why is this country paying its debt early, why are Colombia’s guerrillas moving to Mexico and Venezuela, why is tourism up, why are the Lonely Planet bulletin boards raving about the place – why????

    Thanks for starting this blog!

  10. Yes that is the intent, to keep on posting and making it grow. Right now it is still in development. As soon as it is up and running consistently I will get the word out.

  11. First thing I think of when I hear the word ‘Colombia’?

    It’s ‘star.’ Shining star. Defies fate. Total turnaround. Revolution. Leader. Optimism. Unique league. Make it to the finish line. Winner. Doing it right. Going the right way. God’s country. Tell me more. Awesome.

  12. I just happened to see this site, while browsing blogs.
    I have made 3 trips to Colombia in the last 4 months. and I cannot wait to go back there!
    One sentence history- i met my current gf- who is colombian; in the US..she is back in colombia, but we are still maintaining our long dist relationship.
    If you go to my blog, I am trying to write as much as i can about good things in colombia. Also, i have a blog to a girl from India who is living in Bogota and having a blast!
    if you are interested, drop me a line!

  13. I happened to see this web, I was checking my e-mails as I usually do. I always keep my contry Colombia in mind even though I came here when I was 11 years old and know I am 27 years. I love this country and it’s given me so many good things, but I never forgotten my Tierra querida Colombia. Colombia it’s a beautyful country and it’s people are as well. Not everything about Colombia is bad like drugs, carteles, etc…
    You know guys who much it hurts and it bother when people from other nationalities ask you where are you from? and your answered is I am from Colombia. Many of those people say Where it that city located at? or where in the U.S is that or they think of Columbia. Which the only similarity they both have is the spelling. Or the don’t have any clue of where Colombia is. And those whom may have an Idea all that come to their minds about Colombia is OH Coffee, and or drugs. And you try to explaning to them for about the beauty of our country everything that you can remember and if you don’t remember you make something beautyfull. After you are done you ask them so what do you think now? and they say well I think this and this, but also this and that opinion they have is regurding to the news they heard about drugs and it was in Colombia they said. And in your mind your just tired of trying to explain something that they won’t understand this is just a waste of time. But I am here and all of us Colombians we are here to set an example.
    And that all I have to say I am very happy to see a web page where we can express how we feel as Colombians.

    I am very proud to be Colombian and if anyone wants to contact me you can do so by e_mail which is on to of my page.
    Thankyou Y que viva nuestra Colombia Patria querida




  15. I haven’t been to Columbia but I would love to go. I have lived in several foreign countries including Mexico and Costa Rica. I personally think people are the same wherever one goes. They all want the same things, to work, to laugh, to live, to love. Every country has good and bad things about it. We have many gang related drug murders here in the U.S. every day. It is no different here than there for crime. That is my opinion. When I left to live in Mexico for two years people were reading me horror stories of people being kidnapped and murdered in foreign countries. They asked me why I wasn’t afraid, and told me I should be. I don’t understand that, since bad things happen here every day in this country too. Most people are decent. Few are evil. People are just people. It doesn’t matter what country you are in. A drug ridden neighborhood in the U.S.A. can be just as dangerous as any place in the world. It is foolish to be afraid to travel, and to see the world. People who are afraid of Columbia or any country are going to miss out on valuable learning experiences. They will miss sharing their culture and experiences and learning new ones. It is crazy to be afraid. Too bad the media stereotypes Columbia the way they do. They build up America to be the best, and really it is no different.

    I don’t know what kind of help you want on Columbia, but if you have any ideas that want researched, like culture, history, nataural beauty, etc… I would gladly help you and even write a story for you. If you want help let me know.

    Viva Columbia.

  16. The first words that come to mind are:


    Here in Iceland the only news we get are about that, drugs and guerillas.

    good luck with your project, the more we know about each other the more we respect each other.

  17. First and foremost thank you for this blog. I am an American of African descent doing a semi-research on interracial relationships in Colombia from afar. As in many countries race relation is an issue dealt with from afar or up front in personal. My questions are: How are Colombians of African descent viewed? Are interracial relationships a social no no?

    Thank you

  18. well, in my country which is colombia is not a racial place at all. The city that i come from (Cali) is full with african colombian people , and not only in Cali but all around . So you see theres not only african american peple in the u.s but in south america too. bye

  19. I also am a Kelly Mora, but I am from Costa Rica. I get a lot of criticism about my country too and I hate that. I could say a lot about the United States. (its not like the USA is a “moral” country) So every country has it’s negatives. We should just focus on the positives.

    Peace out

  20. People every where like to “label” and find something wrong with others…traveling all over the world, I encounter in every trip some one that has not even seen pictures of Medellin Colombia , where Iam proudly from telling me what a horrible dangerous place I came from . I how ever don’t get upset because luckly for us, their ignorant remarks can not take a way the beauty of our country .However just last week I found a web site called and in their studies Colombia is the second Country in the world among many other things in quality of life etc , follow by the glorios U.S.A. in 151 place and many countrys in Europe in the 40’s and 50’s places .Why will this non – Colombian organization gave our Country such a high rating ? go and see for yourself, we Colombians not only have Colombian people we also have a litle be of everything in a beautiful land , we are loving ,hard working people that have been judged by the actions of very a few . I am sure with what goes on now days no Northamerican will want to be compare or judge by the actions of their President or the people that we see at the Jerry Springer Show … we do not have that type of people at home . But we do like people in general regardless of their color or place they come from . see for yourselfs come and visit us one day ! y QUE VIVA COLOMBIA !!!

  21. Soy orgullosamente colombiana, y estoy viviendo en Carolina del Norte. Llegue a tu website buscando informacion para hacer una exposicion en la universidad acerca de Colombia, ya que mi proposito mas grande desde que estoy en este pais es el de por lo menos tratar de ensennarle a la gente un poquito mas acerca de Colombia, porque son tan ignorantes que, como han dicho ya varios en la pagina, ni siquiera saben donde queda nuestro pais, o creen que les estamos hablando de Columbia… De verdad es muy rico sentir que no estoy sola en este proposito de tratar de “educar a la gente de otros paises” acerca de nuestro pais… GRACIAS a todos los que estan fuera de nuestra amada Colombia y estan tratando de hacer lo mismo, dando ejemplo y dejando a nuestro pais y a nuestra gente “bien parada” (jajaja)…muy colombiana la expresion!
    FELICITACIONES por el website, fue mi mayor fuente y mi mayor inspiracion para mi exposicion.

    I’m proudly colombian and now I’m living in NC. I knew your website while I was searching for information about Colombia for a presentation at the college, because my biggest purpouse since I’m in this country is to teach people more about Colombia, because sometimes, as many people in the website have said, they are so ignorant that they don’t even know where our country is located, or they think that we are talking about Columbia… It’s so emotionant to realize that I’m not alone in this purpouse of “educate people of other countries” about our country…THANKS to all the people who is outside our loved Colombia and they are trying to make the same thing, to be an example and to show the beautiful things about our country and its people.
    CONGRATULATIONS for your website, it was mi mayor reference and mi mayor inspiration for my presentation.

  22. I’ m really colombianO, right now I’ m living in Washington state and if you need some help ( my english is not that good) in english to write good things about our country let me know.


  23. En el ano que he estado aqui en Washington state me he puesto en la tarea de mostrar lo hermoso que es nustro pais. Desde que llegue todo el mundo me preguntaba Where are you from? Y yo les respondia que Colombia y lo primero que me decian era oooooh cocaine, Where is that country, What part of mexico is it? Pero les cuento eran unas preguntas estupidas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Llegue a tu blog por que estoy haciendo una exposicion para mi colegio y me parecio muy chevere lo que escribiste. FELICITACIONES!!!!!!!!

  24. Only ignorant people think of Colombia, and not columbia, as a country of drugs, cartels, and lord’s of drugs. Colombian people are very smart and hard workers so that is why they are smart enough to make fool of other countries which do not want to recognize that the problem is not the drug itself, but their own people who use it. I say ignorant since in North America, its people do not even know their own geography so that we do not expect them to know the beauty of Colombia. To know what it has and offers to the world. While Colombia can list a huge number of positive elements that make it one of the most, if not the most, priviled of the world, others as N.A. can list a very small against a large list of negative elements that are distroying its own cultura. Blame the drugs to avoid facing the decadence of your own society. We need to recognize our own beauties so that we can face the reality and stop blaming others for a failure culture.


  26. Hi, I was like others and thought Colombia was more about drugs than anything. I should have known better because the media takes things and pumps them up so they can sell it. I am a southern boy from Alabama and had never been farther away from home than Kentucky. After going thru a divorce I began talking with several Colombian women and found one that I was really attracted to. After talking a couple of months I got on a plane to Bogota. Evereyone at home was telling me i was crazy but i went anyway. They said “you are going to be kidnapped beacause you are American”. Well i went and i enjoyed MUCHO. I am now working towards bringing her here so we can marry. Colombia is a very romantic Country. I also found the food and people to be great. I admired the way everything is kept clean there unlike my own country and state. every thing was kept clean and manicured. So, as far as this southern country boy is concerened the media and the people that believe the media are all full of it. Like I said I love the place and I hope to go back again. If anyone here ever goes be sure to go to the church on top of Monserrate mountain, it is beautiful and so is the view of Bogota.

  27. Hola a todos. Soy colombiano, estoy estudiando en EEUU, y me gustaría comentar sobre varios de los puntos expuestos por otros lectores en entradas anteriores.

    Cuando llegué el año pasado a estudiar, una de las primera impresiones que me llevé fue la que muchos de ustedes se llevaron. Las personas no saben, y a muchas de ellas realmente no les interesa, la mayoría de las cosas que los colombianos consideramos cultura general.

    Sin embargo, mi experiencia como estudiante en una universidad que fomenta la diversidad cultural, y que por tanto tiene estudiantes de muchos lugares del mundo, me mostró que en cierta medida existe una explicación racional y que, así no nos guste, nos toca aceptar.

    Durante las primeras semanas conocí a gente de más países de los que jamás habría pensado conocer. Y fue así que caí en cuenta de que, así como ellos no saben de nuestra cultura, o tienen una imagen equivocada de la misma, yo, y creo que la gran mayoría de los colombianos estamos en la misma situación con respecto a muchos países del mundo. ¿O acaso es que los colombianos sabemos, por ejemplo, algo más de Zimbabue además de que tienen la mayor inflación del mundo? Por lo menos yo no sé mucho de Zimbabue, y, estoy seguro que incluso, muchos colombianos (así como estadounidenses, mexicanos, peruanos o habitantes de cualquier otro país del mundo) ni siquiera dónde queda, y, en el peor de los casos, qué es.

    Así que creo que pecamos de orgullosos al catalogar con dscalificativos a aquéllos que no conocen de nosotros, porque, de la misma manera, estoy seguro de que nosotros no conocemos mucho sobre ellos. Es verdad, son ignorantes, somos ignorantes, la información y el conocimiento son prácticamente ilimitados, mientras que la capacidad del ser humano para adquirirlos es finita y muy poca en la mayoría de los casos. “Sólo sé que nada sé”, diría Sócrates, ese personaje filosófico, cuya existencia todavía es cuestión de duda.

    La ignorancia, a la que preferiría llamar desinformación, es entonces perdonable, y no es un pecado.

    Pero una cosa es aceptar que no se sabe o se sabe muy poco sobre un tema, y otra es juzgar a partir de poca información obtenida de una u otra manera. Y ahí sí se peca. El estadounidense que le pide a un colombiano droga, (o, peor aún, como me sucedió a mí, el estadounidense que le ofrece cocaína a un colombiano pensando que este es drogadicto debido a su nacionalidad, a un accidente de tiempo y espacio), el colombiano que piensa que el estadounidense es rico y feliz por ser estadounidense, o que el suizo sabe de chocolates por ser suizo, o que el pakistaní es es un islámico extremista por ser pakistaní… en fin, el ciudadano de cualquier país que juzga a otro por su nacionalidad, o llevándolo al extremo de la generalización, la persona que juzga a otro por cualquier condición, ese peca. Peca de egocéntrico, de intolerante; Ese sí peca de ignorante.

    Por lo anterior pienso que no se puede generalizar cuando de hablar sobre las personas se trata. No se puede decir que todos los colombianos somos narcotraficantes o drogadictos (de hecho, EEUU sigue siendo el mayor consumidor de droga del mundo, y a nadie se le ocurre decir que porque alguien es estadounidense es drogadicto), pero tampoco se puede decir que todos los estadounidenses son ignorantes. Primero porque pienso que la palabra que se está tratando de usar en este caso es desinformada. Pero aún así, y aunque la gran mayoría de estadounidenses sean desinformados, especialmente con lo que respecta a la cultura general de los colombianos, aún así estoy seguro de que hay algunos que sí están informados, en algunos casos incluso más que muchos colombianos. Y si no me creen, les sugiero un libro sobre la historia de colombia, probablemente uno de los mejores que se han escrito, escrito, paradójicamente, por un estadounidense: “The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation in Spite of Itself”(traducida al español con el nombre de “Colombia, una nación a pesar de sí misma”. El autor se llama David Bushnell.

    Me acabo de dar cuenta que las respuestas a esta entrada son muy viejas, así que prefiero parar aquí, seguir los enlaces a las demás páginas, y ver el avance del proyecto, que me parece muy interesante. Tengo muchas más cosas que decir, y que pensar, pero eso será en otra ocasión.

  28. Hahaha wow there are quite a few Kelly Mora’s. I too am a Kelly Mora FROM COSTA RICA. How weird. Kelly isnt a very common Hispanic name cause as you other Kellys might know, people jokingly say “que le importa” (Kellymporta) If you speak spanish you would understand.
    Anyways, I LOVE Columbians. Yes all latin american countries joke about who speaks better spanish and who has better culture. Well we are all LATIN AMERICANS and that we share. Columbians and Costa Ricans have so much in common. When I am in a store and hear someone speaking spanish I can INSTANTLY tell if its a columbian, cuban, mexican, costa rican etc… and EVERY time I hear columbian my heart jumps cause they are similar to costa ricans. I always strike up conversation with them and my impression of columbians has ONLY been positive. I personally know a lot of coke dealers in CR and in a city in the EEUU. (little fact of the day: I know that there are MANY people from countries all over the world that go to columbia to START a coke dealing business!! NOT COLUMBIANS!!!) BAD PEOPLE ARE BAD PEOPLE! Being born from a certain country does no make people bad nor the country bad. There will always be bad people in this world EVERY WHERE!!! I love Columbians, Costa Ricans and ALL Latin americans and all races of the world. We are all HUMAN BEINGS. That is what we share in common.

  29. Like any other country it changes over the years. I was there in 1989 it was beautiful but a little tariffing. I went back in 2009 it was still beautiful and it made me cry. Because that is my beautiful country and I finally wasn’t scared out of my mind. My country is nothing like the usa but it is splendid, you have to see it before you judge. LOVE COLOMBIA

  30. I have Colombian friends in my hometown, they had to leave Colombia for political reasons. That doesn´t mean that they don´t love their country. They do and they are very sad they had to leave. From what I know it´s a beautyful country with lots of natural resources.
    My daughter did an internship in Bogotá and I was fortunate to be able to visit her there. We also went to the caribbean coast. It is indeed a very beautiful country and I really met lovely people there. But I also saw dreadful poverty. I know there are many other countrys in the world that are poor. But Colombia is a wealthy country. Under different circumstances Colombias wealth could be of use for many more people…
    You go on loving tu linda Colombia!
    Best wishes

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Colombia Tierra Querida"

  1. Colombia: Changing Outsider Perception

    Logtar explains why he has created a new blog, Proyecto Colombia to help educate non-Colombians about the positive aspects of his home country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *