Experience Colombia

The cities of the future in the present

Smart cities are in fashion. When we talk about them, it is impossible not to imagine places full of robots, flying cars and skyscrapers so high that our gaze fails to see where they end. But these are not the smart cities which have become so popular with governments, in newspapers, on the radio and in the news on TV. Real smart cities are cities that are less futuristic and unworldly, instead tangible places that strive to make information communication technologies (ICT) work to develop and improve the quality of life of the citizens who live in them.

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A park where playing awakens the mind

The room is dark and enormous. Walking in, as a visitor’s eyes adjust to the dim light, what draws the attention is a large fabric of lights overhead. It looks magical, as if the falling stars were right above our heads. But we quickly realize that we are not in space but in a brain, covered with six kilometres of neural networks overhead that light our way with flashes of brilliant lightning, the same flashes that give us good ideas.

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Powerful, sharp and courageous: Colombian cinema in a nutshell

The first time that a Colombian film was present at the Cannes Film festival was 25 years ago. It was called Rodrigo D. No futuro and it told the story of a young man who was thinking about jumping from the top floor over a city that oppressed, emarginated and tortured him. A story told with sincerity and cruelty that made a strong impression on viewers and with which director Victor Gaviria wanted to raise awareness about the situation of many young people living in extremely difficult conditions, like those of the main character. To do this he used amateur actors who behaved as they normally would have, breaking down the reassuring barrier of pretence that protects the audience and placing them in front of a crude reality.

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Medellín, the city where everything is possible

As soon as you step out on to its streets, Medellín vibrates. It is a live city that transmits a positive energy which makes you think that there, among its green hills and its flowered sidewalks, everything is possible. You may think this exciting sensation comes from its colors, always bright, or from the happiness of its people, capable of "bringing back the dead". Or maybe it is its cooking, with great dishes such as the bandeja paisa, a mixture of beans, rice, plantain, avocado, sausage, pork and mince. Or even its aguardiente, which is usually opened and drunk when the party gets going. It is likely that all of these reasons certainly have something to do with it but, in addition to these, the vitality of Medellín can be attributed to the ability of its citizens to reinvent themselves.

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The Golden Girl of BMX

When one thinks of the great cycling deeds of this country, usually male cyclists come to mind, the “beetles,” as they are called in Colombia, who ride their steel horses up the highest mountains. But one of the most incredible feats since Colombia became Colombia was performed by a girl with her steel “pony,” not so much climbing the high peaks but racing at full speed through the low hills of the BMX cycling route. She is Mariana Pajón, the golden girl of BMX in Colombia.

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The secrets of the Sons of the Tiger

The dense forest that, according to the indigenous Kogi people, is the heart of the world, protects a valuable secret for the pre-Hispanic culture of the Caribbean. It is what remains of the city of Teyuna, known today as the “Lost City,” on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in Santa Marta, the world’s highest mountain near the sea.

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