Ten young professionals from different nationalities visited Colombia for ten days as part of a program that expected to change their perspective about Colombia by showing them the country not only as a beautiful tourist destination but as a place of opportunities.
FARC, drugs and war are some of the concepts to which Colombia has always been linked in the media all over the world. Knowing that most of the prejudices foreigners have about Colombia needed to be challenged, Alan Wangenberg started the Colombian Connection Project, that step by step hopes to change the perception of the country and its image in the world. The participants in the project visited different places in the country, shared a number of activities with several NGOs and took part in lectures given by famous Colombian personalities. The objective was to show them a different country, the real one behind the stereotypes and stigma. Besides, the project raised funds for ‘Colombianitos’, a Colombian charity, and will soon be releasing a documentary that gathers the experiences of the participants.
The project received collaboration from different Colombian organizations such as Colombia is Passion, Federación Nacional de Cafeteros and the Bogota Visitors and Convention Bureau. Semana International reproduces two of the testimonies of the participants that came to Colombia with skepticism and left with a unique experience. – Source
The work that Mr. Wangenberg does is very important and it is something I have considered myself. Colombia is as misunderstood as any country could be and that is thanks to the media. We need more native English-speaking people who are willing to turn that idea on its head.
Perhaps though, Mr. Wangenberg should have the participants take a writing class or ask them to at least write more, unless of course the purpose is to teach the participants about Colombia rather than teach those who might be reading their stories.
On a side note, a documentary will be coming out shortly on the experiences of these travelers, called Shooting Colombia.