"I have lived in Bogotá, Colombia almost all my life. It’s a city of around 10 million inhabitants and can be very complicated to handle at first, especially for tourists or migrants; it’s divided socially and Bogotá is huge and expensive. It’s said that property could be as expensive as in New York City. On the other hand, it’s a city that offers everything you could ever need. As a place of convergence for a lot of cultures, especially Latin cultures, it is full of contrast.
I didn’t leave Colombia because I didn’t have everything I needed. I had an excellent life there, but my career and projects demanded that I go out into the world to learn. In Colombia, we lack an international approach to what is going on right now. Many people in Colombia and Latin America believe we have a lot to learn from Europe. I decided to leave at first because I wanted to gain that experience.
For me, the people in Brussels are very interesting. The most beautiful thing about the city is how it is constructed by multicultural people and their dynamic. One of the reasons I fell in love with Brussels is that I got to learn more about it through speaking French. Dutch is a very interesting language, but I am too Latin to learn it!
I think Belgians are very friendly and also appreciate a relaxed, good life. They enjoy certain things like beer or fries or chocolate, that for some people are just part of their gastronomy. I’ve learned how to live that good life in just two years.
I do miss the culture, customs and general way of life we have in Bogotá. Sometimes I regret that I am away while there are so many things going on in Colombia regarding the conflict, especially now that we are in the resolution phase. I am still involved even though I live in Brussels. I interact with Colombian political forums here. Each effort that you make is very important. Being outside of the country, our work is perhaps more noticeable than if we were had stayed in Colombia. My attachment to Colombia was very strong before, but now it’s even stronger. In the end, I do want to return.”