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Colombia Portraits #5: Luke Tierney, Colombia Immersion Medellin

Posted by on in Medellin

Introduce yourself... What's your name, where are you from and what do you do here in Colombia?

I'm Luke Tierney, from West Virginia in the USA. I'm one of the founders of Colombia Immersion, a language school in Medellín

Why Colombia, and why, specifically, Medellin?And how long have you been here?Luke Tierney

I originally came to Colombia because of it's clear, international accent - I wanted to perfect my own - and to explore. More and more travelers and entrepreneurs were talking about how amazing Colombia was, especially Medellín. I was in Costa Rica before and was searching for a spot in Latin America to stay put for awhile. Once I reached Medellín I knew I'd found that spot. Between the friendly culture, growing economy, and incredible location high up in the Andes, I've found my second home.

What piece of advice would you give to a newcomer?

Get out, and really explore this place. Get to know the locals, get out of the tourist centers, and dive into the culture and sights as best as you can. Time in Colombia is most fun when spent with Colombians - they're incredibly welcoming and open, and it's way too easy to fall into the trap of only meeting other foreigners.

Colombia Immersion Languaga SchoolWhat has been your favourite trip inside Colombia?

There's a lot of famous, jaw-dropping sights to visit around Medellín alone (Guatape comes to mind), but I'd have to say my favorite would be a camping trip I took near Sabaneta. We'd made some friends at a salsa concert the night before, and they invited us to come on the trip they had planned the following day. We met them at a metro stop, took a bus as high as we could, and climbed through dusk until we reached our spot at the top of the mountain. Warm campfire, mountain air, city splayed out below, and company that are friends to this day. We made sure to stop by a waterfall on our way down. Just one of many happenstance adventures here that started with a conversation.

What is your favorite place in Medellin?

Café Otra Parte. I'm a sucker for cafes with great atmospheres. In Seattle I had my favorites based on neighborhood around the city, and honestly, Cafe Otra Parte beats most of them out, if not all. It's behind the house-turned-museum of a famous Colombian philosopher. Even though it's right off a main road, once you're in the cafe, the only sounds are running water and low chatter from the people inside. The drinks are amazing and their menu impressive - I go here for a cheap coffee while I work, or for a cocktails with friends.

Colombia Immersion School

Any final comments?

I am certain that within 5-8 years Medellín will be one of the most well-known Latin American cities in places like the USA and Europe. It's already extremely well-known within the region, has grown to be one of the safest cities in Latin America, and is growing exponentially. The natural wealth of this place is incredible. I would encourage anyone traveling or doing business in the region to come visit - the only risk they run is they won't want to leave. 

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