Charity Block Party

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Kids playing
Kids playing (photo: David Lee)
Charity block party in Medellin
Charity block party in Medellin

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I met Lily at the Exposiciones metro station and we took a taxi past the San Diego Mall on the way to one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods.

I was joining her in support of a local charity run by a woman who cleans the office space in which she works.

Yes, apparently the cleaning lady is a community leader and has inspired many of those around her at home and at work to help out.

As is often the case, the actual event had little in common with the picture I’d conjured up in my head.

Singing and dancing
Singing and dancing

We exited the taxi a block from a tent under which music was blasting, and people were singing and dancing.

The sides of the narrow street were filled with people coming out to support the event.

People were selling crafts and knick-knacks from small wooden stalls.

We bought two beers and found a few free chairs in the shade offered by a porch.

And since there just happened to be homemade empanadas for sale on that same porch, we enjoyed a few of those too.

Lily and I at La Octava bar
Lily and I at La Octava bar the night before

The afternoon gave me a chance to get to know Lily a little better in a part of Medellin much more indicative of the larger population’s lifestyle (vs. my Envigado and El Poblado).

Some of Lily’s coworkers were there, and we received a short tour of the rather large home out of which the charity was run.

A game of bingo was set to begin in one of the large rooms.

Kids at play
Kids at play

A playground was perched on the mountainside with a perfect 180-degree view of Medellin in the valley.

We were able to spot a variety of landmarks from the vantage point.

We enjoyed a second beer (in the name of charity) and headed back down into the valley as the sun began to set over the western mountains.

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