ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An American Living in Colombia

Updated on June 27, 2012
debbiepinkston profile image

Debbie is a licensed counselor in the state of Arkansas. She lived in Venezuela and worked with a local orphanage there for many years.

With my husband at Parque El Cafe near Pereira, Colombia. A thematic park all about the coffee growing, picking, drying, roasting process.
With my husband at Parque El Cafe near Pereira, Colombia. A thematic park all about the coffee growing, picking, drying, roasting process.

I Love it Here!

I live in Pereira, Colombia, in the heart of coffee country, part of the year. My husband grew up picking coffee at his uncle's farm. We have enjoyed travelling around this beautiful country, enjoying the hikes through rain forests, eating a hole-in-the-wall restaurants, watching the sunset every evening, and laughing with happy, hard working, optimistic Colombians.

I hope to share a realistic view of what it's like for an American living in Colombia. Most of it will be positive, some will be not-so-positive, but ultimately I hope readers will be inspired to travel here and see a different side of Colombia.

Something I have noticed in Colombia is that EVERYONE is hard working. Even those with a disability are on the streets, selling chewing gum, pens and pencils, cell phone chargers, or anything they can get. Today I saw a crippled young man selling padlocks, a "little person" managing a newsstand, a woman who had been a burn victim selling reading glasses, and the list could go on and on. Everywhere you look, people are braving the heat and the car exhaust, trying to sell something or offer some service. In many stores, they will bend over backwards to find what you are looking for, even it means getting it from a competitor. One day I was looking for a brown handbag in a particular style. The salesperson stated that they didn't carry that style in brown, but she said "Un momento por favor!" She ran out the door and down the sidewalk a few feet to another store, and came back smiling, with the brown handbag I was looking for. I see them work tirelessly to serve their customers, and not just "tourists". I so admire the Colombian people!

I don't consider myself a tourist anymore because I live here half the year, 3 months at a time. Our marriage is somewhat unconventional-we both maintain homes, mine in the U.S. and his in Colombia, and we each take care of all expenses of our respective homes. Yes, it's more expensive this way, but we are always happy to be reunited after a 3 month separation. I think we also enjoy our times of independence! We didn't meet on the internet, but as many couples do find each other online, more and more couples are entering in a marriage such as ours, with his/hers homes, and lots of travelling! I will write a hub about long-distance marriages in the future.

I love sitting in my living room in Colombia in the afternoons, watching the sunset above the bamboo thicket, listening to the parrots who love to perch there. I love the 70-80 degree weather year round in Pereira, and I certainly don't miss the U.S. winters. I truly feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Thinks to do in "Coffee Country":

-Parque El Cafe, a thematic park, with a nice walk through the coffee plantation, with stations that explain the various aspects of the coffee production process. They have a great show with spectacular costumes, music and dancing, all centered on the history of coffee. The show is a great opportunity to get off your feet. The park has various restaurants, rides for the kids, a water park, a petting zoo, and much much more! And of course, the Juan Valdez coffee shop! Entrance fee ranges between $18-30, depending on what you wish to do in the park.

-Parque Confamiliar, 11km west of Pereira on the way to Cartago: a water park, zoo, sugar cane process, local arts and crafts, hydroponic gardening, beautiful flowers, birds and butterflies. Entrance fee: $5-7 for adults, $3-5 for children.

-Hike to La Pastora. La Pastora is a station on way to Lago el Otun, which is near the Nevado el Ruiz, a snow covered mountain near Manizales. To get to La Pastora, you drive or ride to La Florida (good bus transportation), then catch the "Chiva", the colorful OLD bus to ride the one hour ride to Cedral, where the road ends. The hike to La Pastora took us 3 hours of intense hiking over boulders, through mud, river beds, over logs, and lots of rocks. At one point a bull was in our path and we had to wait until he decided to move along. At La Pastora there is a simple restaurant and hostel. There is also a campground and many people take their tents and stay overnight on their way up to the Lago el Otun. We ate lunch and started back down the mountain. I thought the descent would be easier than going uphill, but I was wrong. The rocks were slippery and the mud was hard to avoid. I suggest rubber boots! My hiking boots got a good breaking in.

-Salento, a small town in the mountains where there are many craft and souvenir shops, restaurants, and local festivities.

My favorite thing to do in the small towns around Pereira is to sit in a coffee shop or bakery on the town plaza and watch the people!

The sunset as seen from our living room.
The sunset as seen from our living room.
One of the parrots regularly visits his friend.
One of the parrots regularly visits his friend.
Someone has a green thumb!
Someone has a green thumb!
Typical colonial house.
Typical colonial house.
The church at Manizales.
The church at Manizales.
Stained glass windows in Manizales church.
Stained glass windows in Manizales church.
My new friends.
My new friends.
On the road to La Florida.
On the road to La Florida.
Everyday the sunset is different!
Everyday the sunset is different!
Flower market
Flower market

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • debbiepinkston profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Pinkston 

      5 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Wow Val! What a coincidence! Hope you can visit someday. It truly is beautiful!

    • MyGalVal profile image

      Valeria Rocio Huertas 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Your article was very refreshing! I loved how you described the beauty of Colombia and its people. By the way, your hipusband looks like my cousin Emilio....who also lives inPereira...lol. One day I hope to make it out to the cafe region del pais. Take care

    • debbiepinkston profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Pinkston 

      5 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Hi fellow North American married to a Colombian! Yes we definitely have the best of both worlds! There are so many misconceptions about Colombia, aren't there? I have plans to write/photograph a small book "Colombia, por el lente de una extrangera". What do you think of the idea? I plan to interview (via email) several expats to gain their perspective as well. Would you be willing to participate?

      Thanks for reading! I will follow you and check out your Hubs.

    • csgibson profile image

      Craig Gibson 

      5 years ago from Traverse City Michigan

      I am an american living in Colombia and I too think I have the best of all worlds. I am married to a wonderful Colombian woman and I live in a neighborhood in Cali that I adore. I keep thinking that I have a dream lifestyle that anyone would be envious of if they knew what it was.

    • debbiepinkston profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Pinkston 

      5 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thank you! I look forward to posting more in the near future and I look forward to learning from you and your interesting life!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      A lovely informative hub. You have certainly led a colourful life up to now. There is much more to come I am sure. Your photographs are a delight and add so much. Well done.

      Voted up and all. Following.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 

      6 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Enjoyed your hub and your pictures, especially "On the road to La Florida." The light and shadow is lovely. Welcome to hubpages and I'll follow you along. Thanks for SHARING.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)