English-speaking visitors to Colombia’s premier tourist destination Cartagena will no longer have to engage in elaborate games of charades with taxi drivers, thanks to a new initiative to equip 4,000 taxis in the Caribbean port with English-Spanish phrase cards.
The “English Speakers” program, a joint intiative by the Ministry for Trade, Industry and Tourism and the Cartagena Tourism office, introduced the first 100 of the phrase cards into city taxis on Monday.
The introduction of the bilingual phrase-cards, which each contain 25 key phrases in English and Spanish, is part of a larger initiative to make the city more tourist-friendly.
“The goal of bilingualism should be pursued and strived for by all Colombians, especially those who derive their livelihood from activities that require a second language in order to compete in this globalized world,” Colombia’s minister of trade, industry and tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata, said in regards to the initiative.
The intiative’s launch coincides with the first day of the World Economic Forum, hosted by Cartagena.