This is about time. And how it can change a place, almost beyond recognition.
Well, time – along with imagination, determination, and a lot of hard work.
There was a time – and really, in the great scheme of things, it wasn’t that long ago – when Medellín was really struggling. In the grips of a drug epidemic, with “cartels” like the thugs associated with Pablo Escobar seemingly doing much as they pleased, and a homicide rate that made it one of the most dangerous cities in the world, it seemed that – Botero’s amazing artworks aside – nothing but bad news would ever come out of Colombia’s second largest city. A time where little Rocco’s soundbite, “Cocaine central, Columbia,” would have been grimly appropriate. Neither the legendary work ethic and ingenuity of the paisa nor all the good weather in the world could change that.
But change, though tough to achieve, has finally come about.
In a hard-fought competition overseen by The Wall Street Journal, Citigroup, and the Urban Land Institute, with voting from all over the world, Medellín beat out Tel Aviv and even New York to be crowned the “overwhelming” victor.
And, as you know, we here at the See Colombia Travel Blog hate to say we told you so. We’ve been noticing the amazing transformations that have been occuring in this famous city for a while now. And, to our relief, it’s finally becoming famous for the right reasons. Although it’s undeniable that there are parts of Medellín that are still struggling, it’s equally as impossible to deny the giant leaps forward this city has taken.
And, about time: there’s never been a better one to take a Medellín tour. This city, always proud, now has palpable, genuine reasons for this pride – being the most innovative city of the year, for example. We can’t help feeling a little proud ourself. A city that has always been famous for its beautiful weather and women (people never fail to tell me), Medellín boasts countless attractions and world-class festivals – of flowers, poetry, and fashion. It’s a city whose time is now; and its people are ready, willing and able to take the time to show you why. Don’t leave it to pre-pubescent Instagram accounts: it’s about time to see what Medellín is all about for yourself.
Medellín; Most Innovative City of the Year, it’s about time for us to congratulate you, and wish you the best. You deserve it.