Bogota

I went to Colombia with the intent to just stay in Bogota and get a taste of Colombia. Little did I know that the Copa America was going on and that it would consume a few of my days there. I was able to watch two games and see Colombia beat Brazil and tie Peru. It was incredibly exciting to watch a futbol match in a country so excited and proud of their sport.

 I was told I had to go see the Catedral de Sal or Salt Cathedaral of Zipaquira and was not sure what to expect. Honestly, it was a lot of crosses and lot of bible references but was a cool experience. The cathedral is in a salt mine and definitely an interesting experience.


            I was also told I must go to Monserrate which is a beautiful cathedral (see a theme here) at the top of a mountain in Bogota. It is about 3200 meters high and you can hike it or take the train/cable car there. It is a beautiful view of Bogota and well worth the trip.

  

Sometimes though, and more often times than not, traveling is about the random little experiences and the people  you meet and not the big tourist attractions. We were heading home one day when we were stopped by a group of students that just wanted to practice their English. The questions were, “Are you Single?” What is your name?” Where are you from?” How old are you?” And they were very cute. When they would forget how to say something they would run to their teacher and ask her and write it down.

And then of course there are the people I love meeting and bonding with to make the travel experience just amazing!

  

Bogota Street Art

I went on a free graffiti tour through Bogota and once again, was blown away by what street art can be. The first graffiti in Bogota was written on the walls of caves by the indigenous Chibcha people. From there it evolved into a form of social commentary and cultural expression especially during the height of the civil war. Graffiti is technically not a crime in Bogota and the streets have exploded with art! The new mayor was a former M-19 member (a Colombian Guerilla movement) and would use the streets to get his message across. He thinks the streets should be free to give messages and the most that can happen for graffiti is a small fine equivalent to a parking ticket.

Stinkfish is a Colombian street artist who commonly features stenciled faces with elaborate and intricate designs through them.
  

Toxicomano is another street artist from Colombia that uses their punk rock style to show off their anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist graphics.

This street art shows how the poor would literally carry the rich on their back to make money. Often times this meant carrying society, religion and commerce with them and it came with a price.

The street artist Crisp is from Sydney but currently lives in Bogota. He likes to use stencils to portray visually appealing and political pieces.

Lik Mi is a female street artist that spent some time in India. Her stickers are influenced by yoga, kama sutra and these dogs.

You can recognize the work from Pez anywhere you are. He is from Barcelona and loves to paint fish characters with big eyes and a big mouth!

  I don’t know who this piece is by but I love the details of the hands.

This piece is a collaboration between a few members from the same crew. It is a huge mural on the side of a hostel.

This piece is meant to show how there are homeless everywhere in the world and thus the box over the face. It doesn’t matter where you are, the socioeconomic pitfalls can be seen around the world.

There is a crew in Bogota called APC (Animal Poder Crew) started by Stinkfish (mentioned above) and has about 20-30 members. These members are from all around the world and all have a different style but collaborate well together.