Life in Colombia, right now

May 12, 2021

I live in Colombia, in case you didn't already know that or bother to look at the bio info in the right-side column. And many of you have seen news reports of the protests in Colombia in recent weeks. You've probably even seen reports of up to 40 people who have died during those protests. That's all true, and it continues.

I live in a town of something like 140,000 people in the coffee region of Colombia - in the north of the Cauca Valley (Valle del Cauca). The town is called Cartago. Here life has seen little effect from the protests, and even from Covid-19.

Yes, we wear masks when we're outside in crowded areas, yes we do the 2 meter distancing when standing in lines. But, otherwise pretty much everything is normal. Except for what the protest have interrupted - commerce.

We get most of our fruits and vegetables locally, but we get broccoli and coliflour from the Bogata region. The protesters have blocked pretty much every major highway in the country. Trucks are not getting anywhere to make deliveries, and tons of fruit and vegetables are rotting and being thrown away every day.

Here in Cartago I can get the fruit and vegies I need except I can't get broccoli and coliflour. That sucks, I like those, especially in stir fry.

Today I went for a walk and I walked across town to the bridge over the river La Vieja. The problem is that bridge is the only way into our out of Cartago for many, many kilometers. North of Cartago about 30 kilometers is a small town called La Virginia. They have a bridge across the river Cauca, but their bridge is also blocked. The next bridge north is about 70 kilometers away. The closest bridge south is only about 12 kilometers, I don't know if it's open or closed, my guess is it's probably closed. And the road it is part of is not made for big tractor-trailor rigs.

So, there you go, that's life in Cartago, Colombia right now - pretty much normal except lacking in broccoli and coliflour.