Early in the morning, the bus with all the Swiss students and some of the Colombian students left Barranquilla for Cartagena. Once at destination, Prof. Luis Carlos Zúñiga Liñán and his students from the communications department of the local university Utadeo welcomed us in Cartagena. Prof. Liñán kindly gave us an overall picture of the city and the local market. Then, in small groups and accompanied by local students, we visited the “Mercado de Bazurto” in a busy, hot, and humid Saturday. The market, compared to the Barranquilla’s Market seemed to be better organized and in some areas better preserved. Stunning was to see the different sellers with their good somehow divided in categories spread around the market. We noticed that there has been an effort to try to formalize the informal vendors that crowd the Barranquilla Market. Still, hygienic standards are not at the top levels, especially concerning the meat market. But the general feeling among us students was that the visit to the market, was totally worth it.
For lunch, we went to a traditional Colombian restaurant where we met Philip Wright from the Observatorio del Caribe. During a bus tour through the poor areas of Cartagena, Philip gave us even a better insight into the problems of Cartagena. Especially when it comes to the infrastructure and the validity of some political decisions, Cartagena seems to have some unsolved issues.
The day was long intensive and very warm… And what’s better than sharing our experiences while having a cocktail on the historic city walls of Cartagena and watch the romantic sunset?!