Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A View of Barranquilla

Greetings from Barranquilla, Colombia! We’ve arrived safe and sound at our first destination, but the journey has just begun. Barranquilla is home to over 20,000 sponsored children and, in the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you some of our experiences as we visit their homes and learn about their lives.

The road from the airport is not unlike the images of any Hollywood film depicting a developing country. No fancy, bustling terminals, no chaotic city surrounding it…just colorless, cinderblock houses, tire repair stands dotting the road and screeching, multicolored public buses to dodge on the drive. Motorbikes and their drivers carrying passengers stream in and out of traffic, causing numerous narrow misses.

As the ribbon of pavement unfolds, the old begins to blend with the new, revealing a melting pot of diversity. Spanish and Carribean influences mix, while architecture, music and restaurants reflect a lively vibe of a city known in South American for its unique annual celebration, Carnaval (Carnival).

While central Barranquilla represents the big city where lie the hopes and dreams of the good life, the children who exist on the urban fringe...await our visit.

We hope that you’ll visit us again on Friday for an update from Barranquilla.


funkyyarnwoman said...

Those children are going to be SO happy to see you! You are creating memories that will last forever for each of you!
Stay safe, Jenn, and friends.

Steve said...

I have two sponsored girls living in Barranquilla. Should I get the opportunity to visit them someday, I was hoping to get your opinion of the security situation in Colombia. What kind of security precautions did you have to take prior/during your trip?

Say hello to Nevis and Yulianis for me and let them know that I think about them every day!

Ram said...

It will be wonderful to hear more about my sponsored child Yobleidys. Please say hello to her for me! Also let her know that I will be running the Antarctica Marathon on February 26.

Anonymous said...

Although it is wonderful to see a picture of the city of Barranquilla, I would MUCH rather see where my sponsored child lives. She is Eduviges Garcia Escorcia. If you see her, tell her I think of her all the time and hope one day I will get to meet her in person. Give her a hug for me.

Debra-Ann Pietrykoski (Debbie)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for visiting the blog and leaving your comments!

We just came in from a day of work in the field and spending time in a community where many sponsored children live. We will be sharing more information about that community along with a few photos on Friday.

However, I asked many of our children today what their favorite part of sponsorship is and they all told me that it´s your letters and support that mean the most.

Their words certainley touched my heart and I know that it would´ve warmed your heart as well.

Thanks again for the comments...more to come on Friday.

Mr Buz said...

Thanks for the note it will be good to see what is happening there in Columbia. My sponsored child is(Melissa Andrea Romero Martinez) I hope she is doing well and enjoyed the holidays tell her I say HELLO!! GOD Speed and protect you in your Journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I two am interested in visiting my sponsored child in a few years or even in seeing if there is a way to help her further higher education - maybe even by bringing her to the U.S. for college. Maybe you can get a sense of whether that is possible? My child is Elaine Paola Hernandez in Cartagena and is 10. If you happen to meet her, I would love to hear more about her. Thanks! Sharon

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my child's name is Elaine Paola Hernandez Martinez, Child ID # 701476


Anonymous said...

I am from Colombia (Actually I was born in Cartagena) but I live in US. I also have one sponsored girl from Cartagena. I am really glad that you have the opportunity to be in Colombia an get a better idea of my country, not the image that CNN and holywood want to give to americans. Colombia is like any other country with good and bad things of course there are some places were you can not go, but I bet there are some neighborhoods in your own city where you wouldn't go either.

Good Luck in your trip and enjoy El Carnaval de Barranquilla. Say hello to my sponsored child Maria Fernanda Montero

Donna said...

Hello, I'm so glad you are in Columbia! It gives me a better understanding of the living condition of my sponsored child. I was happy to hear that they love our letters and support. Tell them their letters to us are just as wonderful and we love to hear about their lives. Thanks for the blog and I'm wishing you two safe travel.

Marie said...

Hi, my sponsor child is from Baranquilla (sub project BRQ3138) she is living with her mother.
Her name is Kerlyn Paola Borja Barros, she is 5 years old.
I have been in Colombia once, when I lived in Venezuela (I lived there for 14 years). Colombian people are very warm and friendly. We can learn so much of them!
Have a pleasant stay, and I hope to see many photos of the places where our children live.

JulianaCrane said...

Hello Everyone! I am from Colombia, I live in Bogota, and I also have a sponsored child in Cartagena. Her name is Grey Cardona Maestre. If you get the chance to see her, please tell her I send her a BIG hug. it's great to hear you guys are visiting and I'm very excited to hear about the children, see pictures and learn about the help the program is providing.

Steve, I wanted to answer your question about the security situation in Colombia by telling you that it is safe for you to travel. The situation is MUCH MUCH better than it was a few years ago, and people are now travelling here without any problems. If you're planning to come, I would be glad to give you any tips or information you need, you can write me at

Best wishes to all!!

Francesca said...

Hello! I can only imagine the enjoyment and excitement of the children there.
My sponsored child, Laura, isn't from Baranquill though. Nevertheless, seeing BAranquilla and hearing about gives me an idea of Colombia and the way of life of my sponsored child. If you ever get to visit the children in Cartagena, please relay my grat love, warm wishes and hugs and kisses to my sponsored child, Laura (last name: Guerra). Tell her I always think of her. I cannot aford to travel so I cannot visit her but someday if ever the time comes I can afford it - I will visit her. Tell her I pray for her everyday.
THank you for this blog. THank you for what you do for and with Children International.