A Friendship Force Travel Exchange to Bogota, Colombia

Friendship Force, Bogota In 2008, a year after retiring, I joined Friendship Force of Leicestershire with Elma, my wife.  I knew little about the organisation so it was in some ways a leap of faith.  But Friendship Force has led to the sort of travel experiences I never would have imagined and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Friendship Force to anyone who has the desire to travel, or to meet people in far-off or close-to-home cultures.

One memorable exchange was to Bogota, Colombia.  The exchange was followed by a week enjoying the sights and atmosphere of the beautiful and alluring cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  Until recently, many people in ‘the West’ may not have thought of Colombia as a travel destination but with several Friendship Force clubs located there, along with dozens of friends to make us feel at home, we were charmed by this South American cultural gem.

Hats in Bogota Colombia is a vibrant country with a rich history – pre and post-colonial – with very friendly, welcoming people who are proud of their country and all it has to offer.  Surprisingly, it’s a large, modern, varied nation with great music, food, dance, museums, a very comfortable climate, and the best coffee you’ve ever had! Our Friendship Force hosts made sure we started every day with a hot steaming cup of the national drink.

A couple of weeks’ visit is not enough; it simply whets the appetite for more.  The capital, Bogota is one of the world’s great cities, similar in size to London, and one of the biggest in Latin America. Founded in 1538, you can still see original architecture in the streets today; and with its many esteemed universities and libraries it is often called “The Athens of South America”.

Friendship Force, Bogota Taking part in a Friendship Force exchange is the ideal way to learn about a country like Colombia as our hosts were warm and also planned a very interesting programme for us with an excellent balance of cultural attractions and social experiences.

As a member of Friendship Force we tell people, `Don’t Be a Tourist. Instead, take a journey into the heart of a country and its people with us’. You’ll be surprised how the simple tools of friendship, a smile, a hello help create a unique and once in a lifetime travel experience you’ll never forget.

More information

Visit the Friendship Force International website to find a club in the UK or around the world at www.friendshipforce.org. Or email Frances at info@oxfordshire.friendshipforce.org.uk

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