People from London hardly ever say they are from UK. They are from London. The same story happens to people from States. They are never from States, they are from California, Ohio, Texas etc…And I think people from Medellin will follow this path…They are just so proud to be from Medellin. They are paisas! And they have reasons to feel this way as the history was tough on them. The ghost of the most dangerous gangster, whose name shouldn’t be said out loud, is still present in people’s minds and hearts. And for sure works as a big stereotype in minds of people from abroad. And I think it is unfair for Colombians and Paisas

Last week I got a big shot of Colombian’s history and history of Medellin. I’m still under a big impression. How amazing is that from being the most dangerous city in the world Medellin became one of the most innovative cities with a huge potential? And you can see it in almost every corner of the city. There is a metro, the only one in Colombia, super clean and never too full. However the most impressive thing about Medellin is a cable car system. Such an idea! They’ve built 2 lines so far and 3rd is going to be open very soon. The barrios – poorer neighbourhood of Medellin stay on the green hills surrounding the city and the cable car system was built mostly to make their life easier.  But at the end the whole system made everyone’s life much easier, helping with traffic jams and obviously became a tourists attraction too which brings people and money to the city. Not even saying about the spectacular view from the north line of the cable car. Stunning!

I’d like people from everywhere in the world to get more aware of the current Colombian’s reality and instead of living in a fear of drug cartels and kidnapping, they realised that this is the PAST. Now Colombia is a country with an amazing potential and history to share with. Colombians are one of the nicest nations I have ever met and they are so welcoming. They feel proud and happy about the fact that we – travellers want to visit their country. Especially Paisas, because 10 years ago nobody wanted to put their foot in Medellin.

I want to say in behalf of dearest Colombians: please, give up checking internet forums such as “Is Colombia safe?” and search for amazing landscapes, beaches, coffee farms, green hills and cities which will simply make you feel you want to stay here forever.

Marta Parada