I’m always really pleased when my readers get in touch with me via the blog or leave a comment. People have asked me so many different questions about living in and moving to Colombia, and while I’m happy to help when I can, I don’t always have the right expertise. The most common questions relate to private Spanish teachers, Colombian visas, how to find a job (especially as an English teacher) and where to live in Bogota. But sometimes people ask specific questions about visas, or how to buy a property in Colombia. The truth is, there are others who could advise you better than I can on some matters, and here are some of them:
Law, Finance, Business, Immigration
Real estate and buying property
If you need any documents translated for a visa, work or any other purpose (they offer numerous different languages) I recommend Inglés Bogota. I used them once and they had the official translation delivered to me in 2 working days. They also have English-speaking staff so you can write to them in English.
Richard McColl at richardmccoll.com is a journalist, conflict resolution specialist and has a popular radio show and podcast called Colombia Calling. He also runs a hotel, La Casa Amarilla, in Mompox. If you have questions about the Colombian conflict, are a journalist or media outlet looking for a quote or an interview relating to Colombian politics, culture, or just about anything else, Richard’s your man. If you are curious about studying at a Colombian university or teaching at one, he may also be able to point you in the right direction.
Victoria Kellaway of Banana Skin Flip Flops fame is a journalist and author of Colombia A Comedy of Errors. She is also co-editor of Was Gabo and Irishman? Tales from Gabriel García Márquez’s Colombia (to which I also contributed a chapter). She may be able to advise on publishing a book in Colombia, and will certainly have loads to say about Colombia’s quirks (which you’ll be able to read all about on her blog and in her book!).
Gwen Burnyeat is a British anthropologist and an expert on the Colombian conflict and peace process. She recently produced a documentary about how the cultivation of chocolate is contributing to peace in Colombia, Chocolate of Peace. Now living in London, she used to teach at one of Colombia’s best universities, the Universidad Nacional.
Nicholas Allen has worked at several Colombian universities and may be able to advise about working or studying at one.
Traveling around Colombia
Sarah Duncan (Sarepa) and Chris Bell at See Colombia Travel have extensive experience traveling to the deepest, darkest depths of Colombia. If you need tips on places to visit, advice about safety, transport options or anything else, their websites will be very helpful. You can also reach out to them on social media.
Ecotourism and Volunteering
Chantelle du Plessis and Andres Umaña run Andes Ecotours. They specialize in ecotourism and work closely with the local communities that they visit on some of the tours. If you want to escape from the well-trodden tourist track and to immerse yourself in Colombian culture, interact with the local people and visit the most beautiful rural places in Colombia, consider booking a tour with them. They are experts in sustainable development and can also give advice on doing voluntary community work in Colombia.
English Language Newspapers
Do you live in Colombia? Are you an expert in an area that I haven’t covered? (or have I inadvertently forgotten to mention you?!). Please get in touch on Twitter or via this blog and let me know so that I can add you to the useful contacts!
Photo credit: Julia Taylor