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Bogotá: a city of opportunities (amongst the chaos)

Bogotá, like most world capitals, is a cosmopolitan city – hay de todo un poco (there is a bit of everything) – and thus is a city of many peoples (if not many cultures, exactly); Colombians have drifted towards the city of Bogotá for various reasons. One is that it offers more opportunities in terms of studies and jobs. It is relatively easy to set up a business in Bogotá and start trading; costeños (from Colombia’s Caribbean coast) will come and set up restaurants offering dishes from their region, will set up stalls or little shops selling artisan goods (such as the Wayuu mochilas – beautiful hand-woven shoulder bags); in fact, you can find cuisine, clothes, music from all regions of Colombia in Bogotá, .. but one thing most people seem to resent is the fact that they had to leave their beloved regions and come to Bogotá in order to succeed in business.

Then there are the ex-pats, who have found themselves in Colombia for various reasons. Many, like myself, have a Colombian boyfriend or girlfriend, who they either met in their own countries (usually in Europe or the US) or in Colombia during their South American travels. We often find ourselves turning to teaching English as a way of making ends meet, and meeting new people. Other ex-pats were travelling around South America and found that they couldn’t bear to leave Colombia. Then there are the entrepreneurs, who saw in Bogotá the same business opportunities as the people from other parts of Colombia, and established English teaching companies, newspapers and tour companies to name but a few. Bogotá may be lacking greatly in certain areas (which I’ll go into later), but for a budding and determined entrepreneur, it IS the land of opportunity.

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