My name is Phil Bunch and am often called Felipe here in Medellin. I was born in 1948 in San Diego, California, USA. I lived there, in Lemon Grove, most of my life although I traveled a lot both for business and pleasure. My career has mostly been spent in the environmental management field. I also have worked in the nursery industry and I am an avid gardener.
One of my bussiness assignments brought me to Colombia to work on the Cerrejon Coal mine baseline environmental studies during the early 1980’s. At that time I met my wife, Nubia. I not only fell in love with Nubia but also with her native country. Since then we often traveled to Colombia, mostly to the Medellin area.
In December of 2007 I retired from San Diego Gas and Electric. In January of 2008 we moved to Medellin fulfilling a dream of 30 years. We left behind family and dear friends to live here with different branches of the family and other dear friends. Thanks to the Internet we stay in touch with our San Diego roots.
In February of 2008 I took a position with a mining company, PPM, to assist them with the development and implementation of a world class Environmental Management program as Director of the environmental group. PPM has now been incorporated into Minatura Gold. My group provided environmental services to two mines and the company’s exploration and project development activities. I left Minatura Gold in late April of 2010. I will now pursue other interests not requiring the 0700 to 1600 schedule 🙂
Much of my career was spent as a consultant performing environmental studies for diverse clients ranging from individuals to major companies and the US and Mexican governments. I also administered a first-of-it’s-kind Endangered Species NCCP ‘take permit” under California and Federal law for Sempra Energy and SDG&E.
Coming to Colombia required a major reduction in salary compared to the US market but this was not a major consideration for us. We love Colombia and Medellin. I am proud to have contribute, or at least having tried to contribute to the efforts of a Colombian mining company to do things right for the physical, biological and social environments where we work.
Living as a expat in Medellin has brought new perspectives, new friends and wonderful opportunities. Gardening here is a world away from San Diego. Medellin is a fantastic city filled with cultural opportunities, great transportation and some of the best people in the world.
As this blog develops I hope to communicate what Medellin and Colombia really are, at least from my perspective. We have passed through difficult times and much of what you may think about Colombia is rooted in those bad years. The international media have focused on our problems but rarely have looked beyond them. Problems continue here and we have many challenges to face. From what I know of the Colombian people we will meet those challenges and we will exceed your expectations.