November 27, 2009 at 12:30 (Context, Life in the Big City, Medellin)
Christmas in Colombia has typically been more of a spiritual than consumer holiday. This appears to be changing. Two weeks I ago I began to hear Christmas music in the malls and supermarkets. There is a lot of advertizing for Christmas gifts, much of it aimed at kids and parents.
On the brighter side, Medellin puts on a spectacular light display every year. The river is decorated to the nines and there are Christmas lights and displays all over the city. A cabbie told me that the city sells its displays every year to other cities both in Colombia and in other countries. This does not surprise me as the work is very good and deserves to be used again.
A nice link can be seen here.
Check out a video stream of this years displays at http://www.tv.une.net.co/zonastream/
Last weekend they had the official dedication of this years lights display. We were out-of-town and have not had a chance to see them yet. The display along the river looks very interesting. They are using water fountains illuminated by LEDs and synchronized flows to create the effects. Got to ” go down by the riverside” and check them out! More later.
November 22, 2009 at 08:15 (Colombia)
Colombia is developing the groundwork to become the leading supplier of electrical energy to the region. It currently supplies power to Venezuela and Ecuador. In September, sales to Venezuela reached 59.3 giga watts and 153 giga watts to Ecuador. This in comparision to 14.9 and 78.4 giga watts respectively during the same month last year. Power production in both countries has been adversely affected by the dry weather associated with El Nino.
Plans are underway to include Panama among its customers. Eventually Colombia intends to provide power to other parts of Central America. Companies here also are beginning to license transmission lines in Peru, Brazil and Ecuador. Plans are being developed to install a submarine cable to supply the Dominican Republic with electricity.
Although Hugo Chavez has restricted the importation of goods from Colombia and revenues have fallen by about 50%, Colombia continues to be a reliable energy supplier for the Venezuelan people. Even talk of preparing Venezuela for war with Colombia has not resulted in a change in policy. Similarly Colombia has been a faithful suppler for the Ecuadorean people while Evo Morales has repeatedly made relationships difficult after the Colombian incursion which took out a key FARC base in that country. This kind of fidelity to its customers and the political maturity of the government will support Colombia’s bid to be the major player this component of regional development.
Factual information in this post is based on an article in El Colombiano published 22 November 2009: http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/C/colombia_alumbra_en_tension_internacional_mas_inversiones_en_energia/colombia_alumbra_en_tension_internacional_mas_inversiones_en_energia.asp?CodSeccion=19
November 8, 2009 at 06:02 (Art and Artists, Context, Medellin)
November’s program at the Lido Theater can be accessed here.
Last night we went to see the Antioquia Folkloric Ballet presentation “Colombia Viva” at the Lido. Beautiful, colorful and lively. Music was provided by Tierra Adentro. This is a very good band and are worth seeing by themselves. The folk ballet is a very enjoyable way to spend an evening and will give you a sense of how Colombian culture developed. You also will see the pride they take in their history and traditions.
People were lined up around at least 3 sides of the block waiting to get in! If you come to see one of their shows make it early. We arrived around 06:00 PM for an 07:00 PM performance and were two blocks from the door.
While standing in the line we struck up a conversation with a mother and daughter who also were waiting for the show. Lovely people who typify the friendliness of most people here. If you speak some Spanish it is hard to be lonely in Medellin.
The Lido is a historic theater which was going to be torn down but was saved by the City. Now restored it is the home of diverse cultural offerings for which admission is free. It is located at the Parque Bolivar in the downtown area. We have seen several great productions there and I highly recommend checking out their offerings.