One day Joe was walking through the Historic Center of Cartagena with Louis, a university student who was attempting (in vain) to teach Joe Spanish and also help him find interesting photographs in the city. As they wandered through the Plaza de San Pedro, Louis pointed to a neatly dressed man seated under a tree. “See that gentleman over there? That is how all business keepers use to dress — what we would call business casual now.” The man had well pressed clothes — a dress shirt and dress trousers.
Today Two Who Trek takes a look at individuals working in Cartagena. There are businesses that employ many people, such as banks and manufacturing facilities. But our focus is on the people who fend for themselves — in short, the individual entrepreneur. What are some of the jobs that people do on their own to survive, to put food on the table? We found many interesting examples.
In our last post, we covered the many delectable delights one can find while wandering the streets of Cartagena’s Historic Center. Throughout the area, many vendors use carts to sell fruits, vegetables and other food items. Because of the variety of offerings, we decided to focus now solely on those carts. Continue reading
Food options in Cartagena are either familiar or awaiting discovery. Ceviches are typically made from fresh fish like sea bass or snapper and marinated in lime juice, onions and cilantro. Continue reading
Colombia is home to about 20% of the world’s birds. The bird immortalized in painting and sculpture around Cartagena is the Maria Mulata. A medium-sized bird of iridescent black or brown, Maria Mulata is neither blackbird or raven. Maria Mulata’s official name is the great- tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus).
The story of Maria Mulata is a traditional tale shared with Two Who Trek by several local residents. Long ago, in the barrio of Getsemani, people and exotic animals co-existed. One of the animals was a vividly colored bird called Maria Mulata. When a raging fire overtook the neighborhood, Maria Mulatas carried the people to safety. The people were saved and forever grateful to their deliverers. Discolored by the fire and smoke, the bird’s colorful feathers remain blackened to this day but with proper sunlight, we can still see a hint of Maria Mulata’s former plumage. Continue reading
Just as in the movie quoted above, a notable sight on many entry doors of Cartagena buildings was the Door Knocker or Aldabas de Puerta. Historically gracing the front doors of fine homes since ancient times in Greece and Rome, a door knocker traditionally denotes the association of the inhabitant. Door knockers in El Centro fall into four basic categories: Continue reading
Staying cool in the heat
Clothing should be practical and aesthetically pleasing. In Cartagena, the available options meet that criteria and more. Here, clothing flows and the textures and patterns make it fun to wear.
In reviewing our Galápagos posts, we found one thing we left out – the scenery. There has been a taste of the natural beauty in the background of some photos in previous posts. For our last post about our archipelago adventure, we’re sharing images of one of the truly amazing places in the world. We only visited a handful of the 61 islands and were not able to see all the different terrains that Galápagos offers. What we did see was fascinating and will stay with us throughout our lives.
The end of this story isn’t so much about ending a vacation within a vacation, but learning more about the creatures who share our planet. This experience was truly up close and personal and totally amazing! Continue reading
Mammals, like reptiles, arrived in the Galápagos by sea. On their own volition, earlier generations of sea lions, fur seals and dolphins swam here. Their progeny now inhabit the area year-round. We spent joyful hours watching marine mammals and learned many things about all the area inhabitants from our naturalist guide, Pedro.