Colombia’s people are enthusiastically proud of their country, generous with their time and their culture. They love to share food, stories, music, themselves. They truly are the most gracious hosts.
The people of Colombia smile often if not always, warm, welcoming, beautiful smiles. We have experienced so many examples of the generosity that is Colombian culture since being in Barranquilla and each one has truly touched my heart.We have made friends almost instantly because Colombians seem to want to be your friend and work to do so right from first meeting.
I truly love the people of Colombia.
We have been so lucky to find a great rental here in Barranquilla, Colombia. The place itself is the perfect size for us with lots of natural light, a cheery décor and in a nice neighborhood. But the best part about our place isn’t anything to do with the apartment or the area, it’s everything to do with the owner of the property, Nazly.
We first corresponded with Nazly online when we were trying to track down a longer term rental. Naz doesn’t speak English and we don’t speak Spanish so chatting via email worked well because the text could be translated via the computer. Once we agreed on a price Naz offered to meet us at a shopping mall close to the apartment to take us to see the place. She arranged for an English speaking friend, Guillermo, to attend the meeting to translate.
We were to meet in a cafeteria at the mall. We arrived first and Nazly arrived soon after recognizing us immediately, she had visited the blog. She smiled and approached us with open arms like a long lost friend would. We introduced ourselves and she conveyed Guillermo would meet us soon and he did.
We made a little small talk and Naz left the table to grab some refreshments. She returned to the table with drinks and a small cake for everyone to share. She made us feel as though we were her guests in Colombia and she would do everything she could to make our experience a good one. We enjoyed the refreshments and cake and then left to drive to see the apartment.
On the way Naz drove around the area to get us oriented with all that the area had to offer. She would enthusiastically point out a shop or business and Guillermo would tell us all about the services offered there. It was like having our own personal tour guides to show us the great places to see, shop and eat. She really wanted to show us the best places and was so proud of all of the development happening in Barranquilla.
We drove around the area for almost an hour and then arrived at the apartment which is actually a 10 minute walk from the mall we met at. We saw a lot of the area that night! Once at the apartment we met Nazlys daughter and her niece who were preparing the apartment for us. Naz showed us around the place and then we sat on the patio to visit a bit more. I feel like we had already got to know a lot about each other and we had just met.
Colombians want to know you and share so much of themselves right away. They love people, making friends comes naturally to them.
Once we confirmed we liked the apartment we hopped in the car again to see Nazly’s house which is really close to the apartment. We sat out on her back patio visiting with everyone, Guillermo doing a great job translating for all of us. It was an unexpected lovely evening for us.
Naz made us some delicious food and introduced us to her cute pets. Meeting Bella, Naz’s little dog was Makai’s favorite part. The Air BnB apartment we were staying at was quite far from the new apatment but Naz insisted on taking us home to know the route to pick us up the next day to move into her rental. Guillermo agreed to meet Nazly at our place the following day and come with us to the new apartment.
Rob and I felt a bit stunned after we said good night and went up to our apartment. What we had expected to be a quick walk through of the apartment turned out to be a great visit with new friends, the majority of whom didn’t even speak the same language as us! It was crazy, awesome and heart-warming. This kind of hospitality was what Rob and I had read about Colombia but it turned out to be so much more generous and genuine than what we had hoped.
I expected Colombians to be welcoming but they are so much more than that.
Nazly, her family and Guillermo have welcomed us like family and made us feel we have made friendships that will last long after we leave the beautiful, happy country of Colombia.