one of the highlights of the entire trip has been #TheRealCartagena
tour with local “celebrity” #AlexRocha
. the historic center of cartagena is a gorgeous, almost frozen in time part of the city, but outside the old city’s wall, there are major social economic issues, classism, corruption and extremely impoverished afro-colombian neighborhoods. it’s so easy to travel to a seemingly perfect city and turn a blind eye to how 40% of the country really lives. before you travel to colombia you’re always told to not go off onto the roads less travelled. this was an authentic experience that has truly changed the way i look at the world. we saw homes that were literally built from cardboard and scrap wood. many of these homes don’t have the most basic of amenities, like a front door.
alex has dedicated his life to these barrios, the same ones in which he grew up and still lives in today. he has also been able to keep many of the community’s youth off the streets by teaching them history, social skills, languages, music and arts, and different outlets in finding jobs in the tourism industry. thank you for sharing your home, your experiences and your culture in the most honest way.