Coconuts, Cayeye, Coffee, Color and “Calor”


Calor means heat or warmth. That pretty much describes the city of Santa Marta, Magdalena, whose temperature hovers around 90 degrees Farenheit, and whose peoples are friendly and welcoming. Other words that come to mind are listed in the title of this post and featured in the images below, but it is hard to capture the spirit of this town with words or even images. There are many things I like about Santa Marta, but especially that it is a natural point of convergence for many cultures, specifically indigenous communities like the desert Wayuu and the different groups from the Sierra Nevada.

I made it here after a four-hour bus ride from Cartagena, a straight shot through some of the most extreme poverty and endangered ecosystems in the world, including dry tropical forests and the unique salt marshes of Salamanca preserve. Finally, I am getting closer to the headquarters of the organization where I will conduct my work on payment for ecosystem services. More on that soon!

coconut water pit stop along the road

coconut water pit stop along the road

Classic breakfast: cayeye (boiled mashed green bananas, cheese and butter) with locally-grown coffee

Classic breakfast: cayeye (boiled mashed green bananas, cheese and butter) with locally-grown coffee

The map of Colombia to my right- The Gold Museum is a place to ponder and talk about the people and history of the Magdalena region

The map of Colombia to my right- The Gold Museum is a place to ponder and talk about the people and history of the Magdalena region

Koguis, along with their indigenous brothers, climb down the Sierra Nevada to sell their craft. These 100% organic plant fiber bags are colored with natural mountain dyes and are prized by the community and collectors alike. Also available at flytribes.com (sorry about the shameless plug)

Koguis, along with their indigenous brothers, climb down the Sierra Nevada to sell their craft. These 100% organic plant fiber bags are colored with natural mountain dyes and are prized by the community and collectors alike. Also available at flytribes.com (sorry about the shameless plug)

My favorite type of color scheme is PRIDE. I was so delighted and surprised to see this LGBT rights march smack in the middle of a catholic, somewhat machista, pseudo- small town. Wow, wow, wow. This is encouraging.

My favorite type of color scheme is PRIDE. I was so delighted and surprised to see this LGBT rights march smack in the middle of a catholic, somewhat machista, pseudo- small town. Wow, wow, wow. This is encouraging.

One comment

  1. xiaominliu · July 1, 2015

    You are a explorer !!! You also did a lot adventures recently, with your family 🙂

    Please say hi to your family.

    Just noticed your introduction of yourself, “in love with our home planet, for better or worse”, that’s the things you are working on 🙂

    And always love your honest (for advertisement) 😉 It makes you real

    Liked by 1 person

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