Paisa Perspective: Fernando Jaramillo – Writer


Fernando Jaramillo is a writer from Envigado. He is studying literature at UPB and is the youngest and only paisa winner of Premio Barco de Vapor Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, a national writing contest.

His novel, “Summer Wine” (originally titled “Euforia”), will be published this year and launched during the Bogotá book fair (Filbo) in April. As part of his prize, Fernando received $10,000 and a book tour, among other benefits.

He can be contacted at

Favorite Restaurants

Parmessano, in Ciudad del Río, is delicious; they have great pasta. In general the restaurant scene in Ciudad del Río is great.

Also, restaurants on Avenida Jardín in Laureles. I like Avenida Jardin because it has variety. I also spend time in Café Revolución. I really enjoy it.

In Envigado I like the fast food that is right next to all the bars and nightclubs because it makes going out simple: you eat and then you go have a drink.


I like to spend nights sitting down somewhere to have a drink, especially on the street. I don’t enjoy Parque del Poblado as much, but I think it’s a perfect place to meet up and start your night. Parque Lleras is great but it can be a bit too heavy for some nights. It gets pretty busy.

I love bars in the center. There’s a bar at Hotel Nutibara called “Nutibar.” It’s really cool, has great variety. They play whatever music you like.


I love film. I go to a lot of movies. I highly recommend Procinal movie theatre at Las Américas because they always have great independent films. Also, Cine Colombia in Vizcaya (Poblado), they do a mix of commercial and independent movies.

Fernando’s Reads

I enjoy reading Colombian authors. Fernando Molano is my favorite.

He published three novels and I have so many editions that I have a total of about ten of his books. He hasn’t been translated to English yet, but I have considered translating him as my thesis. I also read a lot by Félix Ángel.

Paisa Culture

What makes paisa culture so special and unique is something I mention in my novel.

In Medellín the union between people plays quite a role. Everything is so personal, people are warm and they invite you to share experiences. I’m not saying other places aren’t like that, but I feel that this really is what sticks out when you look at paisas.

They break the ice quickly, which can make some people uncomfortable, but in the end it’s what makes us different.

Fernando Jaramillo
Fernando Jaramillo

The City

Medellín is a city that, sadly, doesn’t believe in memory. So let’s say, a silver lining of that is that Medellín loves to build new things, to be innovative.

Medellín works in areas: these people hangout there, other people like another place, etc. That’s why I think downtown is so particular. It is so small but it is still fragmented.

People that go to Parque del Periodista are different than by Centro Colombo Americano, even if it is a block away. All these people will be different than those that hang out in Parque Berrío, and so on.

Barrios Altos

Foreigners sometimes miss out on neighborhoods like Santo Domingo, Popular, Robledo, because they stay in very “pop” areas.

The Mirador of Santo Domingo is a perfect place to visit, lately I’ve seen more foreigners go. The parks and libraries in all these places that are automatically defined as “dangerous” can really surprise visitors. There are dangerous places out there, I can’t say there aren’t, but the beautiful places in Medellin aren’t always just the ones we believe are trendy.

About the Award

The award has a great public following. There have been more than 300 manuscripts sent for a single contest and that number is unbelievable. For the Chamber of Commerce writing contest there are usually about 200.

I think that this is what makes for great stories for children and teens. We have better stories for children and young people that inspire them to read more and hopefully to write for young people to keep this as a cycle.

This award says that Colombian society is taking a second look at how they go about literature in schools and how to teach our children to be creative.

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  1. Congratz on the award! I want to address a topic and open it to discussion. This is the economic inequality in Colombia. It seems mostly the few rich, and the many poor. The rich hold the poor down with very low wages. I recall reading about an incident at a Coca Cola plant where the union leaders were trying to get better wages and they ended up being killed. Do the rich use the big gangs there as enforcers to keep the poor down? Even if you manage to become a lawyer or doctor, you still dont make that much money from what I have heard. I can only pray for a better future for the Colombian people. I welcome all to comment on this

    • This is just leftist rubbish. Economic prosperity comes from low taxes, strong property rights and stable currency. The reasons for Colombia’s economic lag are due to lack of economic freedom. To fix the economy, make it free. The Fraser Institute ranking of freedom correlate with higher incomes. The countries that address income inequality have the most income inequality, think North Korea and Cuba

  2. Great perspective. This boy has amazing thoughts about Medellín, you should write more articles like this one. I can’t wait to read his novel.

  3. With the United States currently experiencing “changes,” that will affect not only America’s future, but all of the planet, I wonder what will become of “Latin America….. From Mexico to the bottom of South America, there are sufficient Natural, mineral and Human resources for all to enjoy a quality of life conducive to peace and growth. However, the truth is, most of us are poor, and getting poorer. With so much, how is it possible to have so little? What is happening, or perhaps not happening from Mexico to the bottom of South America..