After years of virtual silence, Colombia has become a topic for a small, but active group of foreign bloggers, allowing readers to get to know the country outside of what is offered by the mainstream media.
The country’s most popular and long-lived blog is Medellin Living, set up by American travel blogger David Lee. The weblog offers visitors or ex-pats to Colombia’s second largest city a more in-depth look an what the city has to offer, but has since its start been followed by a number of other, mostly Bogota-based blogs.
For Paula Delgado-Kling of Talking about Colombia, her weblog’s aim was to provide more information on serious issues that go on in Colombia that she felt were not put into perspective by local media.
“The blog has helped me get to know this character called Colombia. When some news stories erupt, like the scandal of the Tolemaida military base or the secret archives of Raul Reyes, it’s like Colombia is whispering in your ear. ‘Listen up’, Colombia says, ‘this you need to know’,” she told Colombia Reports.
Mike Hower of The Tall Gringo said his blog was mostly to chronical his daily life in Bogota and to “give people a more realistic perspective of Colombia, since I would be living and working in the poor parts of Bogota, where most gringos never go.”
Stephanie Sadler, who writes on Little Colombia Observationist, is writing about her even more uncommon daily life in a small village in Colombia’s northeastern Santander department, not only to improve her own knowledge, but that of those abroad who do not know what Colombia is really like.
“There’s a lot of misconception abroad about what Colombia is all about and not many people know a lot about what the country is really like, beyond the negativity they hear in the media. By starting this blog, I’ve been able to show people abroad the real Colombia. I’ve had responses from people who are amazed at the beauty of Colombia and the fact that I didn’t get kidnapped the moment I got off the plane,” said Sadler.
All of the bloggers Colombia Reports talked to agree there should be more blogging going on from Colombia. “I’d like to hear more from people doing human rights work. There’s so much going on that’s not being covered in the mainstream media and I find that listening to their stories uncovers a lot of missed truths,” Aubrey Patiño of Chocolate con Queso said.