"This tour will make you understand key moments of Colombia's history to focus especially on its rebirth and future considering geography, the city, and through the voice and example of true peace weavers who are already working on new paths of hope and memory for the country."
I am a journalist passionate about history, geography, and, especially, the experiences of Colombia's inhabitants. I have been writing about peace, rural development, drug policies, victim repair, biodiversity, and climate change for national and international media during the last six years. I worked at the Oficina del Alto Comisionado para la Paz who led the negotiations for the Peace Agreement. I studied Literature in Colombia, Journalism in the United States, and Political Science in France.
After the enormous effort made for the Peace Agreement - that gave an end to a more than 50-year old conflict and its eight million victims- Colombia is at a crucial moment, which will define the path for the next decades. To understand the present, heal the wounds from the past, and build a stable peace for the future, is necessary to look ourselves from a different angle and recognize the tremendous complexity of Colombian history and the contradictions that had been part of it.
The Weaving Peace tour will make you understand crucial moments of Colombia's history to focus primarily on its rebirth and future considering geography, the city, and through the voice and example of true peace weavers who are already working on new paths of hope and memory for the country.
You will start the tour with a hotel pick-up at 8:00 am with the specialist guide Andrés Bermúdez Liévano. The first stop will be at Parque Nacional, where you can understand -thanks to a human-scaled map- the complexity of the Colombian geography, which is the main reason for Colombia’s biodiversity and potential, but also a big handicap for social and political struggles that have labeled the country’s history. Identify the regions, ecosystems, and the most important geographical features are the perfect start to understanding Colombia's road towards peace.
You will travel through the Eastern Hills towards La Candelaria, the historic district in which resides five centuries of Colombian heritage. There you will visit Café Wuasikamas, where the Inga indigenous community prepares and sells a prize-winner, specialty coffee they grow in their reserve located in the mountains of southern Colombia. You will enjoy a delicious coffee or agua de panela (a hot beverage made with sugar cane jaggery), while they tell you about why their coffee business, which means Guardians Of The Earth, is a symbol of what the peace agreement is looking for the whole country. You will hear their story and learn about their suffering during the war, and how the replacement of illegal crops, allowed them to live and preserve their culture and rich mountains they inhabit.
Afterward, you will walk through Bogotá's historical Center, stopping at Plaza de Bolívar. This Plaza contains various political, religious, and executive powers since the Declaration of Independence. It also was the setting for La Toma del Palacio de Justicia, one of the most remembered and bloody episodes of the country. This was also the site where the massive nonviolent protests related to the Peace Agreement signing took place in 2016.
You will then continue walking a few blocks north to the corner where the charismatic political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was murdered in 1948, giving a start to the six decades of political violence that impacted Colombia's recent history. Here you will hear about how this event shook the country's foundations, and led to tragic consequences for Colombia's population.
You will walk through historical Avenida Jiménez - an avenue that illustrates Colombia's social transformations during the last decades- to arrive at Distrito Chocolate, a coffee shop/chocolate-shop that prepares hot or cold chocolate produced by a dozen of farmer cooperatives from the country. While you enjoy one of their beverages, their baristas will explain how cocoa has become the main resource for thousands of families that have left illegal coca farming behind. You will also learn why this is a key chapter in the Peace Agreement.
From this place, you will move to Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación, a space made by the city to rebuild the country's memory and honor the people that suffered the most during the conflict. You will observe the work made day by day by the women of the Costurero de la Memoria, weaving into cloth their stories, dreams, and sufferings as a way to heal the wounds of the past and create visions for the future.
After, you will stop at Museo Nacional de Colombia, where you will enter the Memoria y Nación exhibit and observe the prize-winning textiles of the Tejedoras de Mampuján, a group of Afro-Colombian women from the Caribbean who received the National Peace Prize, for starting the tradition of creating woven tales of Colombia's armed conflict victims.
Lastly, you will have lunch at Salvo Patria, a restaurant with a native-rescued-food philosophy that builds and supports small producers to reactivate the rural areas and improve their inhabitants' living conditions. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch while you talk with Alejandro, the chef, and founder of this project.
Comfortable shoes and clothes.
Visits to Museo Nacional and Centro de Memoria Histórica depend on the day of the week and the traveler's interests.
-Centro de Memoria Histórica is closed on weekends.
-Museo Nacional is closed on Mondays
On Sundays, you will have lunch at Canasto.
This tour was featured as an article on Dame Traveler. Check it out!
Changes on the tour may occur due to external factors. These changes will be notified to you with anticipation.