Are you just putting a check mark on your list? That was the ridiculous first question most asked when I told them I was going to Colombia for three weeks. It’s been twenty years since the country was embroiled in cocaine, violence, and conflict, yet that’s all many people know about it. So much has changed and journalist Tom Feiling set out to document the changes in Short Walks From Bogotá.
Feiling documents series of excursions specifically to areas that are just beginning to open up after years of conflict. My favorite parts of the book focus on the everyday lives of people who are desperately searching for stability (Colombia has the highest number of internally displaced people behind Syria). He also notes the glaring divisions among the country’s 46 million people – the white-skinned 10% controls 80% of the country’s wealth.
After experiencing Colombia I wanted a look into the lives of ordinary Colombians and this was a decent read with insights into a country that remains mysteriously dangerous to many. For those that know nothing about Colombia’s history other than Pablo Escobar – this would be a nice introduction.