Pretty, Safe, Welcoming Medellin

I Wish You Could See What I’m Seeing Right Now

In an effort to help support the launch of my new book, “How To Buy Real Estate Overseas,” I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately. I’ve spoken with reporters and TV and radio hosts at least once a day for the past few weeks. Every interviewer has asked for my top picks for where to think about living and investing in real estate overseas right now. Invariably, along with a handful of other key destinations, I recommend Medellin.

The response, every time, goes something like this:

Medellin! You mean the land of Pablo Escobar and the cocaine cartels?! But that can’t be safe?!”

This past week, I’ve done these interviews from my desk in my office in our apartment in the heart of downtown Medellin. Speaking with reporters and radio hosts from across the United States and around the world via Skype, I’ve responded to their questions while looking out the window of my office to the valley beyond. The view, like the view of Medellin from any elevation around this city, is all green, leafy parks and gardens interspersed with red brick structures with red clay tile roofs. Lovely.

Next door to our apartment building is a little white-washed Spanish-colonial church, one of the most picturesque churches I’ve ever seen. Twice daily and six times on Sunday, we hear the sounds of mass coming from within, the congregation responding to the priests’ cues and sharing their faith in song, loudly and cheerfully. Then, after each mass, they converge on the street outside the church, outside our apartment building, chatting, greeting friends, buying fresh-baked pastries and fresh-picked strawberries and cherries from vendors who set up tables on the sidewalk to take advantage of the regular crowds.

By 9 p.m. each evening, our street is silent. No traffic, neither vehicular nor pedestrian. All the good folks of our neighborhood are at home by this hour, with their families, just as we are, too, while we’re here.

A sea of red and green, everything sunny and bright…that is the Medellin we see each day from our windows, from our terrace. Silent, still, peaceful, and restful…this is our experience of Medellin at night.

“I wish you could see what I’m seeing right now,” I finally remarked in response to one interviewer’s shocked response to my recommendation that his readers consider the city of Medellin as a place to reinvent their lives or diversify their portfolios.

“This city is not what people think,” I added. “I only wish you could see for yourself what I’m talking about.”

Kathleen Peddicord