Cafam Pharmacy at the San Antonio Exito

Consider carefully prior to purchasing from these people. I bought a package of Colypan from them and it turned out to be the wrong size. Their return policy does not allow them to return cash so I ended up paying 70,000 pesos (approximately $US 39) for a prescription that should have been around 26,000 pesos (approximately $US 14.50).  If I went there more frequently I would have taken a credit but that would not serve my needs. I should mention that I did not see any notification of their return policy.

The clerk was polite and I have no problem with her. I have sent a communication to the Exito chain as the Contact function at Cafam’s web site is not functional.

Be warned. Also please let your friends and acquaintances know about this policy.

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Guayacan Amarillo

As the dry season gets underway here in Medellin the yellow guayacans (Tabebuia chysantha) are blooming up a storm. These are the trees that look like clouds of brilliant yellow all over the city.

Jazz Festival in Medellin

Mark  June 23rd, 24th and 25th on your calendars for the Second Annual University Jazz Festival at the Metropolitan Theater in Medellin. You can find more information in Spanish here. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday 23 June 8:00 PM

Umazz Jazz Quintet Amherst (Massachusetts)
Juilliard Jazz Ensemble (New York)

Friday 24 June 8:00 PM

Ensamble de Jazz de Bellas Artes
University of New Orleans jazz Ambassadors

Saturday 24 Jun 6:00 PM

Night of Big Bands (Eafit & U. de A.)

Tickets are 40,000 30,000 and 20,000 pesos.

New at Piedras Blancas

A few observation on new recreational opportunities at Piedras Blancas. If you are unfamiliar with this area it is a must visit when you are in Medellin. It is easily accessed via the Metro to the Acevedo Station, there you take the Metro Cable to Santa Domingo and transfer to the Cable Arvi which rises above the Medellin Valley and crosses several kilometers of the highland forests,  including some very nice patches of native high elevation woods.

At the Arvi Station you can get guided tours along some very nice trails. There is currently no charge for this service. These give you a chance to see the native vegetation at close hand. When you arrive be sure to take a look at the folios in the shelter just in front of the station exit. They provide photos and information (in Spanish) on the local flora and fauna.

If you chose to walk down to el Tambo (less than a kilometer) there is a very well designed sidewalk with kiosks where the locals sell all manner of snacks  and some fairly nice folk art. This is all monitired by the development agency and I think the food is quite safe. Near the station there is a restaurant called el Punto de Rojas. It is very typical and the food is good. The Rojas family have been in the area for a long time and form a colony not far from el Tambo.

Down the hill in el Tambo will find a very good restaurant and store run by Mariano. He is a local fixture and his meals are excellent, quite large and reasonably priced.

Recently I have see a horse and carriage taking people on rides along the road from el Tambo to Chorro Clarin. I talked with the driver this morning and he offers the service at 6,000 pesos (about $US 3.33) for a half hour and 10,000 pesos ($US 5.55) per hour. I am pretty sure that he will take you where you wish to go and this would be a great way to see the sights if you don’t wish to walk. The local roads a lined with beautiful forests and are well worth seeing.

If you decide to go to Chorro Clarin you will find very nice picnic facilities with roofed kiosks which have fireplaces for barbecues and such. There are vendors who also are monitored by the the development group. They sell typical snacks like empanadas, and tortas de chocolo (corn fritters) that are delicious. These people are our neighbors and are very attentive to tourists. The area is named for a water fall that is very popular with people for wading. It spills in to Piedras Blancas Creek near the vendors kiosks.

Further down the road you will find the new Comfama facility. It features picnicking, and various recreational opportunities including a suspended exercise “trial” up into the the trees. I have not tried it yet but it looks like fun.

The Wicked Witch is Dead?

IDEAM is the Colombian equivalent of the National Weather Service in the US with additional responsibilities.  They are calling the end of this la niña event for the country. This is welcome news as the flooding and landslides during the fall/winter and spring wet seasons have been catastrophic. Now we are waiting for the passage of the normal seasonal rains to finish and take the water on up toward Central America. Here in Medellin we have our fingers crossed and are hoping that the last 15 days or so of the first rainy season are not to wet.  We did have some really nice weather over the past month with plenty of sunny, dry days.

Medellin’s Adult Homeless Program

Medellin is developing a program designed to provide assistance to the adult homeless. It has six main components:

  • Attention in the Street: concentrating on parts of the city where they frequently congregate. This includes community awareness and education programs as well as hot lines too identify people in need of help.
  • Centers for Attention: to basic social and therapeutic needs as well as motivation to improve their situation. These centers also provide linkages to other services.
  • Resocialization and Social Inclusion: Strives to get people better connected with family, the community and the world of work using therapy and education.
  • Community: Educates the community at large about how the program works.
  • Attention to Institutional Opportunities: Receives, identifies, diagnoses and refers with follow up, people who enter the system as indigents, with physical illnesses, those who are convalescing, or dieing.
  • Adult Homeless Attention Unit: Assists people who for reasons of physical or mental deterioration are unable to develop a family life or cannot integrate socially and who are a danger to themselves or others.

For information you can call the following numbers: 514-2184, 511-1821, or 514-1722. You can also call the 123 hotline and their email is sistemahabitantedeca@medellin.gov.co

I encourage everyone to become familiar with the program and help make this a community effort for the betterment of life in Medellin.