There is a strong focus on family values in Colombia, and most relatives gather together every Sunday to spend quality time together – no matter how old or how distant the relation. Naturally then, Mother’s Day (El Día de la Madre) is cause for celebration across the country, where people shower their Moms and maternal figures with gifts and surprises to show their appreciation for all the guidance over the years. Compared to Europe and America, Mother’s Day in Colombia is generally given more importance; here are a few traditional Paisa activities for Mother’s Day:
Breakfast in bed
Comparable to other countries, breakfast in bed is the first way to treat Moms on their day of tribute, normally made up of kids and Dad tiptoeing around while Mom pretends to be asleep. A typical Paisa breakfast is arepa, avocado, rice and beans, meat and orange juice or coffee. For an extra cute touch, children also handmake cards to serve with the food, expressing their love and thanks to their Mom.
Paisas are very generous when it comes to gift-giving, and when Mother’s Day rolls around, anything from chocolate, electronics, jewelry, clothes and personalized experiences can be wrapped and given to Mom. Another popular gift is to organize a surprise day out, or secretly arrange a meal with all the family – whatever, the event, it’s sure to be over the top, loud and likely to cause tears of joy.
Family & dinner
Colombian families may be big, but they certainly have an impressive ability to organize meeting in one place at the same time. The majority of holidays and special occasions in Colombia are spent with family, and it’s common on Mother’s Day that all extended family members join for the festivities. Whether involved for the full day or for an evening meal at a restaurant, be prepared to see Aguardiente flowing and a verse or two of vallenato.
Although definitely not an activity exclusive to Mother’s Day, it is inevitable that after Aguardiente comes dancing. Paisas love to salsa – and they’re great at it! Although some families and Moms prefer to head home after dinner to wind down the evening with their relatives, others will head for the nearest salsa bar and strut their moves. That said, Mother’s Day is always on a Sunday, so organized families may plan the fiesta for the night before.
Things to do on Mother’s Day:
Mother’s Day 2019 falls on May 12th, so there’s still time to prepare something special for your Mom, grandma or the strong female figure in your life. Plus, Medellín is packed with fantastic things to do and ways to spoil your Mom whatever time of year.
Enjoy a picnic in Jardín Botánico
Granted most Sundays in Jardín Botánico could be Mother’s Day due to the large families relaxing in the sunshine here, but why not surprise your Mom with a picnic among the lush greenery? Prepare some portable snacks in advance (sandwiches, pasta, bread, cheese, fruit, etc.) and bring a blanket and a bottle of something bubbly to sip on. Colombians tend to go all out for picnics, so take inspiration from the extravagant parties and don’t be shy when decorating. It’s also worth noting that spots in the botanical gardens fill up quickly, so arrive early to secure a prime location away from the crowds and iguanas!
Relax at a spa
It’s no surprise that Colombian women are known as some of the most beautiful in the world, and so naturally, there are plenty of beauty spots dotted around Medellín to keep pampered and pruned. Diez Hotel has an especially impressive spa overlooking Poblado’s skyline and offering a variety of treatments including massages to facials to ensure, along with a steam room and jacuzzi to ensure your Mom is utterly relaxed. Also in Poblado, Akzara Thematic Spa has full day packages complete with aromatherapy, rejuvenating massages and natural products, plus food and drink.
Browse Placita de Flores
It may be a cliché, but you really can’t go wrong with flowers, especially not in a city that has an annual flower festival. Tucked down a side street in Centro, Medellín’s flower market is one of the oldest markets in the city – dating back to 1881. Although small, the market is made up of a number of local vendors and is a great place to give your Mom an authentic insight into Paisa life. The market isn’t limited to just flowers, but swing by here to choose a fresh bouquet and afterward, tuck into an arepa while people-watching down the colorful aisles.
Escape to a finca
Finca culture is huge among Paisas, who often use any celebration as cause to leave the city and venture into the beautiful countryside for a few days. Fincas are normally traditional farmhouses that have been converted into holiday homes with plenty of rooms and a swimming pool. Take your Mom to a finca (either just the two of you or with family and friends) and spend your days sunbathing – it’s like a mini vacation without going abroad.
Around Medellín, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Guarne, Jardín and Guatape are fantastic pueblos (towns) to enjoy a secluded, luxury finca. Rio Claro is another incredible option – the natural reserve is truly picturesque and guests can stay in private cabins perched among the treetops.
Tuck in at Crepes & Waffles
A well-known chain across Colombia, Crepes & Waffles serves up a range of delicious dishes – including desserts, salads, ice cream, eggs and more – for very reasonable prices and is popular with locals. While it may seem like a generic place to take your Mom, the chain has an admirable ethos. The restaurant only employs single mothers, often those who are the sole earners for their household. Bring your Mom here for brunch and show your support for all women throughout Colombia.
If you’re lucky enough to have your Mom with you in Colombia, do as the Paisas do and shower her with attention. If your Mom is in another country, give her a call and let her know about the Mother’s Day traditions in Colombia – it’s sure to make her smile (and maybe book a visit out soon)! Feliz Día de La Madre!