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TRAVEL GREEN IN COLOMBIA

 ‘REMEMBER THAT HAPPINESS IS A WAY OF TRAVEL, NOT A DESTINATION’ – Roy Goodman.

  • Do not, as especially many Colombians in the north do, throw garbage on the street or outside the window. Are you a smoker? Please don’t throw your cigarette butts away but take them with you till you find a bin.
  • Say no to plastic bags or use them repeatedly, leave trash in the bin. Refill your water bottle. Save up money but also save nature.

  • Buy your souvenirs, food, art, …  from local sellers!
  • ‘You will conclude very quickly that these Colombian cultures suffer from poverty: Okaina, Cubeo, Inga, Kament Sá, Pastos, Esperara Siapidaara, Sikuani, Uitoto, Wuonan, Embera Eyabidá, Tule, Zenú, Iku, Kogi and Wayuu. ‘If each one of us could buy one of there products, these people would come forward’ says Cecilia Duque from the book ‘Creative Language in Colombia’s Indigenous Ethnicities’. Read more about this book here.
  • Let your shoes shine by a shoe-shiner. 
  • Do you have tons of clothes you aren’t wearing any more? Give them to local families or schools.
  • You can always support local communities, schools or local poor families with gifts like pens, pharmaceuticals, balloons or schoolbooks… BUT first find out what really is needed. NEVER give money to children!
  • Create a feeling of goodwill by learning ‘por favor’ (please), ‘gracias’ (thank you) and ‘buen provecho’ (bon appetit).

  • The approx. salary in Colombia is not much more than 300 dollars a month so don’t feel bad spending a few pesos more on your taxi, food or whatever.
  • Bargain fairly, and with respect for the seller.
  • Again, remember the economic realities of where you are. The final transaction should leave both buyer and seller satisfied and pleased. Haggling for a taxi or carpet is part of many cultures; but it’s not a bargain if either person feels exploited, diminished, or ripped-off.
  • Learn and respect the traditions and taboos of Colombia. Each culture has its own mores, and they’re often taken very seriously. Never go on flip-flops to a school; don’t ask the bill by finger snapping or whistling; don’t get to annoyed in traffic when they horn because at the coast that is a normal thing; close the door of a car smoothly; don’t get too upset when you had an appointment and no one showed up (this is again a normal thing); … Also be aware: Ironic humour is an uncommon thing in Colombia.
  • In general, Colombians aren’t long sleepers. From about 5:30 am, life is in the place. Especially in the weekends it may not stop. They can play loud music all night long… Relax! There are no bigger party animals than Colombians… Parties all over the place!
  • When something doesn’t work out like you wanted: screaming and getting angry doesn’t help. The only thing that can help is staying calm and friendly.
  • Colombians can be very polite. In public transport, for example, men quickly give their seats to women. But in the very crowded Metropolitan of Bogota, you may have problems leaving this express bus as people may enter without any affection to people who need to get off.

  • When a Colombian invites a girl out, he will pay for his drink and food. There is a saying: Having a Colombian girlfriend is expensive. The day of La Mujer is on April 8.
  • Go with the flow, take it as it gets and Carpe Diem thoughts can help you along with your adventures: It’s a HOLIDAY!
  • Share your guide or give it to other travellers rather than throwing it away. Colombia Fácil was spending lots of energy, sweat and time on this. 
  • Tips about how to travel more green -> ethicaltraveler.com.


Los Encantos del Traspatio – The Charms of the Backyard
A green, independent design fair/convention that travels through Barranquilla’s public parks, showing the work of independent designers and artists, so they can get closer to people interested in local creation. Each edition takes place in different locations, taking the creative avant-garde to a bigger and diverse public. Three times a year they offer a promotion space for local designers, which present their creations: from clothing design, fashion accessories, jewellery and contemporary handcraft to objects and lighting. All of them need a sustainability proposal incorporated in the design of their products. Their two days program is very eclectic and is a whole experience of music, dance, gastronomy, theatre and green living. 
Where-> You never know, they are like gipsy’s, *some public park* in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Twitter: Los Encantos, FB: Los Encantos, FB Fanpage: Los Encantos

Bogota on wheels 
Bogota promotes cycling as an opportunity for enjoying both open-air recreation and greener transportation. Every Sunday and holiday between 7 am and 2 pm, lots of people grab their bikes or skates, implementing their own versions of this entertaining intitiative that encourages family-friendly exercise and increases environmental awareness. You’ll find similar programs in countries like Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Brazil. 


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