What do you do when there are no roads to your village and your mission is to see that the kids have an opportunity to learn and expand their horizons. Bring in the Biblioburro. This is a very creative solution to a serious problem and to me a beautiful one. This is the bookmobile that goes where the Hummer fears to tread.

Biblioburro is the creation of of Luis Soriano, a primary school teacher at la Gloria, Colombia. Transportation is provided by Alfa y Beto, the two members of the logistics team. Biblioburrro arrives in the village on weekends when Mr. Soriano is not teaching his regular classes!

This is a classic example of development as opposed to growth. Improved quality of life without a significant increase in the the throughput of materials and energy. The growth mindset would have built a four-lane to the village. Thank you Mr. Soriano.

If you did not notice the link words above please click here to see images of Biblioburro.


Cultural Events in Medellin During 2010

The following is a partial list of cultural events coming up during 2010. It is far from complete but reflects those directly sponsored by the City.

27 March to 04 April: City of Religious Art and Culture

15 April to 08 May XIII International Zarzuela Season Spanish Operetta

16 April to 02 May: XIX International Marionette Festival by La Fanfarria

29 May to 07 June: XVIII Porro Festival

01 July to 05 July: III Congress of Latin American Culture 2010

21 June: Music Fiesta

24 June to 27 June: International Tango Festival

08 July to 17 July: XX International Poetry Festival

19 July to 24 uly: IX “José María Bravo Márquez” Coral Festival

July 20: Colombia´s Bicentennial Celebration

30 July to 08 August: Flower Festival (Feria de las Flores)

07 August: Parade of the the Flower Bearers (Silleteros)

23 August to 28 August: VIII Colombian Film Festival

Agosto 28 to 04 September: VI Scenic Arts Festival

10 September to 19 September: Book and Culture Fiesta

09 September to 18 September: XIV Medellin´s International Festival of jazz and World Music

04 October to 10 October: IX Medellin´s Colombian Theater Festival

09 October to 18 October: Vacations in Medellin (Students Vacation Week)

11 October to 15 October: VII Biennial Latin American Exhibition of Architecture and City Planning – BIAU

14 October to 23 October: V International Festival “Medellín you are full of magic”

16 October to 18 October: ALTAVOZ International Music Festival

20 October to 24 October: Medellin´s V International Festival of Film for Children and Young People.

26October to 29 October: VIII International Festival of Colombian Chamber Music

29 October 01 November: Center City Days

29 October to 30 October: Festiafro Afro-Colombian Music Festival

20 november to 28 November: XIIIInternational Mimes and Clowns Festival- MIMAME

03 December to 11 January 2011: Christmas Lights Fiesta

04 December: Welcome to the Christmas Season (Comparsas y Faroles)

07 December: Myths and Legends Parade

Francisco Cano Exhibit

We went to see the Francisco Cano exhibit at the Museo de Antioquia yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did my wife and a friend who went with us.

It is interesting to see a representative sample of the work of an artist´s lifetime in one exhibition. I had only seen a few of his best known paintings. This exhibit brings him to life as a professional who worked and developed over the years.

His landscapes show a Medellin radically different from today´s city. A couple of small canvases of La Playa illustrate a country scene with pastures along a rustic creek. Today la Playa is strictly urban habitat of steel and concrete and the stream serves as a storm drain beneath the street. Change made manifest.

I also was impressed by a painting of a fruit seller with a group of school girls in pinafores and other dresses that must be from the early 1900´s. They are pictured beneath a large tree with the sellers wares spread before her. If you changed the dresses of the school girls the scene could be from today. Somethings change slowly.

It was exciting to see Horizontes in person. I have seen many reproductions of it which are nice but the actual painting glows. Looking at this work amid the others I get the feeling that there was a great deal inside Cano which he never expressed in paintings. The power of this image, at least to me, surpasses all the rest of his works. I just wonder what else was there that we never will see.

If you want to see it go soon as it ends on 04 April.


Enough said.

A Visit to the Guatape-El Peñol Area

Looking toward the el Peñol monolith from about two miles away.

We went out the the Guatape-El Peñol area over the weekend to visit a very good friend. This is located east of Medellin near eastern slopes of the Central Cordillera. The level of the reservoir is at about 1800 meters.  The terrain drops off steeply to the Magdalena River Valley just  beyond the range of hills in the background. The climate here is a bit cooler than Medellin but is very pleasant.

Look at the monolith in the upper left side of the image. It is really big. This photo was taken from a spot a couple of miles way.

If you have not visited the area make a point of going out there. There are plenty of accommodations available and lots of things to do. You can get there by bus from the Northern Bus Terminal in Medellin for  $COP 9,000. This is a bit more than $US 4.50 at today´s exchange rate.

We did not expect it but the weekend turned into several days of sailing on the lake. Our friend´s family has several lots in the area and one of the family units is into water sports big time. When we were not out on the water we were hanging out  at different homes getting to know the folks in this constellation. Very nice people and likely to become part of our circle of friends.

Election Day


It is election day here in Colombia and things are very quite here Prado Centro. This appears to be the case for most of the country at least up to this point. There were a few incidents in other parts of the country but it looks like Medellin is pretty relaxed.


I have started walking between Conquistadores and Prado Centro for exercise. The other day I did it early in the morning and went down Junin to San Juan and west across the river. This afternoon I came down San Juan to Oriental and then North to Prado Centro. This route takes one past the Alpujarra. This is the Administrate Center for both the Departmental and City governments. It is a well designed complex of buildings and public spaces. It also passes the EPM building. There are a number of potential routes to choose from so one can enjoy something a bit different most days of the week.

This walk is about 4.6 kilometers. In the cool of the morning it really is very pleasant. The exercise also helps start the day off well. Walking it in the afternoon is good as it melts the tensions that develop through the day. It is however a lot warmer.  I have said it before, Medellin is  a great city for a lot of reasons. Its compactness makes this kind of walk easy to fit into ones routine.

Climate in Medellin

I just added a page on the climate here which you can find at this link or in the list of pages to the left of your screen.