The Finca Life
“Once again I was pleasantly surprised,” writes new Colombia Correspondent Ed Bayer. “Following my most recent visit to The Land of Eternal Spring, I continue to be overwhelmed by the open arms, genuine kindness, and unparalleled willingness of the local population to welcome Americans to their wonderful city of Medellin. On this most recent trip, I was asked by associates in the city to offer my opinion on a development project they’re considering undertaking and so had a chance to travel just north of the city to a town called Copa Cabana.
“The concept is to develop a limited quantity of super-energy-efficient ‘green’ homes for a discriminating clientele. The homes would be constructed on 1 acre-plus parcels perched on the side of a gorgeous green south-facing slope that is part of one of the few remaining fincas nearby the city with enough land to support this concept.
Home sites would be limited to perhaps no more than 8 or 10 in a mini gated community typical of the small indigenous finca communities sprinkled throughout the mountains of the outlying areas of Medellin.
“During our road trip to see the land being considered for this project, we checked in a couple of times at roadside tiendas to confirm that we were headed in the right direction. As we pulled into the parking lots of these quaint little establishments, we were immediately approached by local vendors aggressively jockeying for position to be the one closest to our van, but not for the reason you might imagine. They were not attempting to seek ultimate positioning for selling their wares to us but instead to be the first in line to offer their assistance.
“A van full of Gringos surrounded by waiting Colombians. It sounds like the story line for a missing persons TV show. Sorry…not in this town. I would be naive to profess that crime is non-existent in Medellin and that one should not exercise caution and an awareness of his environment when traveling here, but that is true for any metropolitan area anywhere in the world, including in the United States.
“A few more miles and four or five turns after leaving the freeway, we arrived at Limonar and were greeted by the attendant at the base of the mountain community. We had now traveled approximately 40 minutes from the heart of Medellin.
“After a quick drive up the mountain past several beautiful private estate-type fincas, we arrived at our destination; the home of the land’s owner. Our host welcomed us into his family’s home. After a rest and a cold drink, we headed out to visit the adjoining piece of property that will support the development.
“The parcel is nestled into a lush green slope overflowing with native species flora and boasts stunning views back toward Medellin. The slope of the terrain means that the planned estate homes could be arranged in a manner as not to obstruct each other’s views of the town below or the distant mountains. The air was fresh and clean, the region quiet and peaceful.
“After the day out in the country, I headed back to Parque Lleras, back in downtown Medellin, only a short ride away, where I was meeting friends with plans to dance the night away.
“The better I get to know this place, the more I like it.”