Showing posts from October, 2010


Another Afrocolombian group trying to increase the self-esteem of the Afrocolombian people in the Pacific region of Colombia is the group Chocquibtown . They sing about the pride of being from the Pacific and the wonderful things of the region. You can see their video here:

El Encanto de la Ley 70

Oops! I missed it. A big sorry to all parents of children or adoptees of Afrocolombian origin. Back on August 27, the law called Ley 70 celebrated its anniversary. Law #70 guarantees protection for the ancestral territories of the Afro-descendants. It also requires that the government invest in the economic development of these areas, as well as protect their cultural identity and civil rights. This year, two girls, both born the year that the law was passed, have become the official "unofficial" voice of the Afrocolombian movement. Their names are Eidy Dayanna Estacio and Kelly Angulo, and they are the lead vocalists for the group Son Cimarrón . The group itself consists of 20 Afrocolombian youth. On October 10, 2010, the group launched its album "El Encanto de la Ley 70" (The Enchantment of the Law #70). Here is an interview and examples of the music that the group sings:

Bandera -- Aterciopelados

In September, the Colombian musical group Atercipelados announced the release of a cartoon using their song Bandera. Bandera is a song with quite a politcal statement. Here are the lyrics: Quién dice cuál es la bandera -- Who says which is the flag que sobre un pedazo de tierra ondará? -- that flies over a certain piece of earth Quién decide quién tiene el poder -- Who decides who has the right de limitar mi caminar? Dime quién-- to limit my walk, tell me who Que quién es usted? que dónde nací? -- Who are you and where were you born Entonces no puede venir por aquí! -- well then you can't come over here Que de qué color es y qué donde nací? -- what color are you and where was I born Entonces no puede venir por aquí! -- well then you can't come here Quién dijo que un trozo de tela -- Who told you that a piece of cloth cierran las puertas y las fronteras? -- closes the doors and the boarders Quién me limita este mi planeta? -- Who limits me on this my planet Si soy tercermundista

Sale El Sol -- Shakira

Shakira also launched a new album last week. This time the album returns to her roots and from the samples I've heard sounds a lot more like Pies Descalzos than any of her more recent music. There are plenty of ballads, as well as a few rock offerings. She also seems to have spent some time with Dominicans as a couple of songs have definitely a more merengue feel. The album also includes the World Cup Waka Waka song in both Spanish and English versions. Hear the title song and see the lyrics here: You can hear clip from all the songs, purchase the CD, or buy the download here: ie = UTF 8& qid =1287801359& sr =1-1

Y No Regresas -- Juanes

The world famous Colombian rock star -- Juanes -- just released a video for his new song "Y no regresas" (And you don't come back). The song can be found on his latest album, Yerbatero (available for download. The lyrics are below. Then watch the video. Es tan difícil tenerte entre la vida y la muerte Me duele que estés tan distante Llevando desesperanza a todas partes Te herí yo lo sé, perdona, te herí, yo lo sé Mis ojos se ven cansados de llorar La rabia de este amor... Y no regresas, y no regresas No soy el mismo, sin tu amor Me duele que estés en silencio Hablemos sin hacernos preguntas Hallemos el miedo Te herí yo lo sé, perdona, te herí, yo lo sé Mis ojos se ven cansados de llorar La rabia de este amor... Y no regresas, y no regresas No soy el mismo, sin tu amor Y no regresas, y no regresas No soy el mismo, sin tu amor.

Special Needs Adoption

Yesterday, I wrote about the age range changes for adoptive parents. Today I wanted to discuss what the new "lineamiento" or guidelines say about special needs adoptions. First, ANYONE (including single parents) OF ANY AGE over 25 can be considered for the adoption of a child with Special Needs -- no matter the age of the child in question. Second, people wishing to adopt children with special needs RECEIVE ALL PRIORITY. Meaning that their paperwork will be processed before any other people. Third, Adoptive Parents requesting a child with Special Needs are considered 1st Priority and therefore are NOT placed on a wait list at all upon approval. Fourth, ICBF states that once the dossier is approved by them, the referral process will take no more than 3 months. Finally, Special Needs children are defined as the following: a. Sibling groups of 3 or more. b. Sibling groups of 2, when one is older than 8 years of age. c. A single, healthy child, if older than 8 years of age. d.

New Age Guidelines for Colombian Families

ICBF recently announced a major change in the adoptions process. This will significantly impact adoptive families of Colombian origin. In turn, this will also have an impact on foreign families who are on the waiting list to adopt. Let me explain. Previously all adoptive parents -- Colombian or Foreign --wishing to adopt a child younger than 36 months (0-3 years) needed to be 38 years of age or younger. Now, while foreign adoptive parents must still be younger than 38 years of age, Colombian adoptive parents may be up to 40 years of age to qualify to adopt from this youngest age category. Additional changes include: Colombian families 41-45 years of age may adopt a child 3-4 years of age, while foreign families must be 39-41 years of age. Colombian families wishing to adopt a 5-6 year old will be between 46-50 years of age, and foreign families for this same category must be between 42-45 years of age. Finally, Colombians up to 54 years of age may adopt a child as young as 7 years of

Debajo del Botón

In an continuing attempt to provide you with more resources to use while teaching your kids about Colombia and Colombian culture, here is yet another song that you can teach. It is so very repetative that it should be easy to learn. Debajo del botón ton ton (Underneath the button) que encontró Martín tin tin (that was found by Martin) había un ratón ton ton (there was a mouse) ay que chiquitín tin tin (oh that little one) Ay que chiquitín tin tin había un ratón ton ton que encontró Martín tin tin debajo del botón ton ton You can hear the song here:

Colombian Blood Type

I was recently reading the book 1491 , by Charles Mann. As I read, I came across the mention of a genetic bottleneck that had occurred among the Native American Indians. One of the examples given in support of this genetic bottleneck idea was that there is a predominance of type O+ blood among people of the Americas. Intrigued, I checked my family's blood type and indeed, they are all O+. Hmmm. While in Colombia, on July 20th, we participated in a Blood Drive that was held at our local church. When I told the workers my unusual blood type, they were pretty shocked. According to them, they had never seen anyone with my blood type. It kind of worried me. I hope that I never need a blood transfusion in Colombia. Do you have O+ blood? Are you Colombian?

2 Caballitos

You want your child to hold your hand while walking down the street. This is not always an easy task. So, you may want to try using this great Colombian rhyme. You chant it while linking arms and skipping. The words are as follows: Dos Caballitos de dos en dos (Two little horses two by two) Alzan las patas y dicen adiós ( Lift up their legs and say goodbye) Adiós Mamá, Adiós Papá, (Goodbye Mamá, goodbye papa) me voy para Bogotá. (I am headed for Bogotá)

Festival de Cine de Bogotá

Last week, Bogotá hosted its 27th annual film festival. It is held around the 1 week of October every year. The competition's main prize is the Círculo Precolombino de Oro . This year, it was awarded to the Colombian film: Retratos en un mar de mentiras (Pictures in a Sea of Lies) by Carlos Gaviria. Having seen the trailer, it looks like a heavy movie with plenty of violence. It is probably not family friendly. However, there are other prizes including prizes for films in 3 different documentary categories: Social issues, Environmental Issues and Art. There is also an award, called the Premio Alexis , for the best Colombian Short film and the best production by someone under 18 years of age. In other Colombian film news, the movie "Vuelco del Cangrejo" was selected as the Colombian entry in the Oscar competition. Here is the trailer once again:

El Baile de los Macheteros

One of the highlights of our trip to the Parque del Café was the cultural dance presentation. The favorite dance of our family was a dance of the coffee growing region that includes "fighting" with machetes. I have done some research about this dance, and thought you might be interested. The dance originated in the early 1900's as a game of sword fighting, with machetes, used to impress the available women in the area. The game was played at festivals and on Sundays throughout the area, but was particularly famous in Puerto Espejo. The best player was named El Tuerto Felipe (One eyed Felipe). He knew all 32 moves that could be fairly made with the machete during the fight. The moves have names like 'the half moon', 'the flight of the angel,' and 'the cross.' Based on this tradition, the group FUNDANZA developed the dance that you can now see in the park. Here is a sample of the dance.

Yipao -- Jeep Willys

Every year in June, the town of Calarcá, Quindío, hosts the annual YIPAO parade and festival. The term Yipao is actually derived from the English word for JEEP, as the festival pays homeage to the American made Jeep Willys that have become a symbol of the coffee growing region. In the mid 1940's, the first jeeps began to arrive in the region. Originally, they were imported by the Colombian Ministry of Defense, but soon the farmers in the coffee growing region began to purchase them because of the ease with which they traversed the difficult roads in the area. Soon, they were the main source of transportation for all sorts of agricultural products. The festival last for 5 days and culminates in a parade of Willys and a competition. The parade has beeen listed in Guinness as the longest Jeep parade. The competition has several categories and prizes are awarded for: 1. The best transporation of agricultural products. In this category you will see Jeeps loaded with such items as coffe


In some parts of Colombia, particularly along the Pacific Coast in El Chocó and Valle, there grows an interesting fruit -- BOROJÓ . The fruit itself is green and about the size of a softball. It grows on trees that are anywhere from 9-15 feet tall. The fruit is highly nutritious. It offers a good source of protein, vitamin B and phosphorus. Research conducted at a Colombian university shows that it contains a substance that can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. I got to try the fruit for the first time on our recent trip. People make drinks out of the pulp, which tastes good at first, but has an aftertaste of rotten cheese. I personally couldn't drink it after a few sips. Colombians believe it helps with bronchial infections and it is also considered "nature's viagra ". Photo:

From ICBF to Pro-Soccer

In 1999, at the age of 9, William Fandiño was removed from his home for reasons that are all to familiar --- abuses on the part of his parents. He spent the next years of his life living in several different orphanages with ties to ICBF (Club Michín and Fundación Alma y Niño .) Having never found a permanent home and family, Fandiño did find success while living in ICBF care for 11 years. Now, at 20, he participates in the ICBF program Proyectos de Vida. This program has allowed him to pursue studies in Sports and Physical Education and the Incca University in Bogotá . However, William feels his greatest success so far was being chosen to be on a professional soccer team -- Boyacá Chico. His dream is to of course be a soccer star. However, he wants to graduate and become a professional in the field of sports. While not every child that remains unadopted can tell such a bright story, I thought William's ability to overcome his circumstances was worthy of mention and off


If you are not familiar with Colombianadas, you are missing out. A Colombianada is a humorous look at the funny things Colombians do or write. It is a way for Colombians to make fun of themselves publicly. The best collections of Colombianadas can be found HERE: OR HERE While we were in Colombia, we eagerly looked for our own Colombianadas. Here is our collection. Wondering who the audience is for this sign "No Smorking Cokein"? Anyone want a Sandwis? Anyone want to play basketball? Oops! Maybe soccer? But then again, there is a river behind the trees. Just don't ever try to shoot a goal. Wonder how much Harley Davidson paid for this advertisment?

La Papa -- The Potato

The Conquistador Gonzálo Jiménez de Quesada wrote an account of his conquest of Nueva Granada -- what is now Colombia -- called Historia General de las Indias . Unfortunately, this record has been lost. There does remain, however, several writers from the late 1500's and early 1600's who did have access to his record and used it as a basis for their own records of the conquest of America. One of these men was Juan de Castellanos . Castellanos came to the Americas in 1545, landing in Cartagena . Eventually he became the priest of Tunja . There, using Jiménez's work as a base, he wrote his epic poem, Elegias de Varones Ilustres de Indias . The first part of which appeared in Spain in 1588. In his poem, he writes of the first encounter of the Spanish in Nueva Granada with the potato, which occurred in 1537. ... they entered into the large villages of Sorocotá , and all were deserted... even though their houses were all filled with corn, beans and truffles (to

Ratón Pérez -- Colombia's Tooth Fairy

In a Spanish tradition, mothers would give their child's baby teeth to rodents with the belief that by doing so, their children would grow up healthy. It was from this tradition that the Ratón Pérez developed. Ratón means mouse in Spanish. Ratón Pérez is the Spanish equivalent to the Tooth Fairy. He visits little children bringing money or gifts when baby teeth are left under the pillow. The story of Ratón Pérez was changed and popularized by Father Luis Coloma who wrote a story called, of all things, Ratón Pérez. You can read the story, in Spanish, here: In our house, the kids have enjoyed the following book, which helps to integrate both cultures when a tooth is lost. You can pick it up at Amazon for less than $11 US and there is potential free super saving shipping :)

One Family's Return Trip: Home

There are a lot of mixed feelings about being home. We love Colombia! The boys are already planning another return trip. This time everyone wants to go to the Amazon -- my new theme "A Amazonas en el 2011". We will see if it all works out, but I am cautiously optimistic. That said, the boys were happy to see familiar signs and hear familiar sounds, and particularly to see familiar friends again. We are a family with a home in the US, but part of our hearts in Colombia. Therefore, we can't say "Adiós", just "Hasta la próxima."

One Family's Return Trip: Mandatory Last Stop

Our mandatory last stop in Colombia is always Crepes and Waffles. It has just become a tradition. Amazingly, there is now a Crepes in El Dorado airport -- how convenient after the short flight from Cali and before a long one to the US. Crepes not only has delicious food, but they have a very interesting work force. Most of their employees are women and single mothers. In a time in Colombia where many businesses refuse to hire single moms, Crepes and Waffles promotes it. As far as ordering, I am a rut kind of person. If I'm ordering something once and I like it, I order the same thing every time. . My Crepes favorite is the Panne Cook with chicken and spinach. I love it :) especially with the Limonada. My sister-in-law is just the opposite, I think she likes to try something new every time. She ordered the Pita Vegetariana. It looked delicious and she raved about it! If you have tried Crepes and Waffles, what is your favorite menu item? If you are looking forward to your first expe

Lorenzo the Parrot

I need to make a new tab "Stranger than Fiction." My husband always jokes that when you hear stories in Colombia, the things that happen would make great novels. So, once again, here is a story from the Stranger than Fiction file. I think parrots have always had a problem with the company they keep. They have been involved with mayhem since the days of the pirates. Now, they are spending time as look outs for drug dealers. Check out this news report from September 21, 2010.