by Trevor Acy
When you think about the country of Colombia, one of the first thoughts many people have is of the drug cartel. Previously famous for it’s cocaine traffic and murder rate, Colombia was one of the most dangerous countries in the world. And also one of the poorest in terms of income and education. But things are changing down there, drastically and at a surprisingly fast rate.
About a week ago, we got a promotional newsletter about the investment opportunities in Bogota. I was floored. The international environment there is staggering and many companies are using Bogota as a hub for the Central and South American markets. Not only have they reduced crime in the major cities (Bogota, Medellin) but also greatly improved public transportation which is benefiting the impoverished community and reducing pollution. They have attained a steady growth across multiple markets and have fantastic tax benefits for investors.
So why, if I received this information weeks ago, am I writing about it now. Well one of my heroes Anthony Bourdain has updated his personal blog with a similar story and what I think is definitely worth sharing. In his latest travels he visited Colombia, in particular Medellin. Medellin up until recently was the murder capital of the entire world. Now, it is relatively safe considering the time frame from its dangerous past, as said the public transportation has been significantly improved, foreigners (Americans in particular) are welcomed with open arms (a rare deal indeed these days). But the most impressive thing about Colombia is the government is spending an unheard of 40% of the total budget into education. Can you imagine what that kind of mindset would do here in America.
Here’s a link to Tony’s blog. If you don’t want No Reservations, I strongly recommend you do. You learn so much about other places by his interactions with real people. I would give anything to be able to do that for a living.
Edit: What changes do you think we would see here in America if our government even came close to investing that much of the budget into our educational system?