As my final day as an intern with Andes EcoTours winds down, I am finding myself increasingly nostalgic about the time I have spent in the capital of Colombia. Like a mirror, Bogotá reflects all of the diversity to be found just outside of the city in the form of ecosystems and plant and animal species. The people, the culture, the food, the history – such diversity is part and parcel of the soul of the city. It is within this soul that I have enjoyed working and living.
I have had the chance to work with a unique social business that has reinforced my desire to enter the field of international development. The owners of Andes EcoTours have a passion for not only the nature of Colombia, but also the people – and that is a passion that I won't soon forget. Three months may not be an extensive amount of time, but it is just long enough to get the briefest of glances into the cultural and natural landscapes of Colombia. From living with a coffee-growing family to hiking acoss the páramo, every experience here has been intrinsically unique and formative.
Bogotá also gave me my first taste of 'big-city' living, yet being in La Candelaria can be likened to a small town. As the weeks go by, you become a regular face on the block and you make connections with the other regular faces. The corner security guard becomes your 'bro' and the neighborhood starving artist brings you several books as a farewell present in thanks for all the times you have spared him a few thousand pesos in exchange for his weekly stories.
I know that I will miss this place immensely, but I also know that this is not a sad goodbye rooted in permanence. I will once more fly into the city nestled in the Andes. Until then, Bogotá, ciao.