By Andreina Chacin, Class of 2019
Our commitment to making Colombia #thetrek at Booth began with each of us making our ACT speech about why everyone should visit our country for Spring Break. We can confidently say – it worked! Over 350 of us traveled together to Colombia for one week of culture, parties, sun and sand. Though some dubbed it ‘a massive TNDC’, we tried our best to ensure there was something in it for everybody. We started off in Bogota with its rich colonial architecture that stems from the Spanish colonization of the Americas. We visited Botero’s (the pinnacle of Colombian Artists) museum, soaked in Bogota’s social commentary expressed through graffiti and danced the night away at the capital city’s most famous restaurant and club – Andres Carne de Res. It’s a well-known fact that everyone from the President of Colombia to Shakira have dined there and of course, 350 Boothies! Bogota introduced us to its traditional food, Ajiaco (chicken soup), and quickly reminded everyone that there was more to latin music than Despacito.
Medellin gave the Narcos (Netflix)-obsessed a chance to walk through Pablo Escobar’s life – visiting his prison, grave and cartel neighborhood. Tours of the graffiti in Comuna 13 and the historic cable car rides complemented Medellin’s vibrant nightlife. ‘Aguardiente’ was on everyone’s mind. In Medellin, we were introduced to the traditional Paisa cuisine comprised of beans, rice, plantains and meat. Boothies braved the steep climb up El Penon de Guatape (the rock) to take in the breathtaking views of Guatape. We then cooled off with the first of many boat parties.
The last leg of the trek was in Cartagena, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and home to the happiest people on earth. We explored brilliant Caribbean beaches and islands (with many more boat parties!), its vibrant cultural scene with music and dance and effortless indulgence. Seafood lovers were spoilt for choice and music lovers added Reggaeton to their list of favorite genres. What we realized at the end was that the best part of the trek was the relationships we formed with each other. Though we were a big group (the biggest spring break trek to date - including for the travel agency), we formed deeper bonds with some of our classmates, and several new friendships: this was our goal and Colombia helped us achieve it!