Medellín Living’s Year in Review (2014)



As 2014 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to recap our sixth year at Medellín Living.

We blew our 2013 traffic stats out of the water with 494,000 visits and 1 million page views. These are incredible milestones for a site about a city many still deem too dangerous to visit, let alone live.

To all our readers, thank you for your continued support. Your curiosity, questions and recommendations ensure we have no shortage of topics to cover.

Special thanks to our 29 patrons who’ve gone a step further and offered financial support through Patreon this year. 100 percent of these donations go toward paying our team of writers.

Speaking of writers, it wouldn’t have been possible to reach 1 million views if it were just Ryan Hiraki and I alone.

Back in May, I brought on a half-dozen new contributors who began to cover a wide range of topics, from apartment rentals to local NGOs and Colombia’s performance in the World Cup.

Shout out to Ryan Hiraki, Jeff Paschke, Ioana Calin, Leah Davis, Lisa Eldridge, Ryan Shauers, Nick Milne, Melissa Clark and Andrew Macia for their work this year.

We continued to organize and host reader meet-ups, totaling 17 for the year, and bringing together hundreds of readers and friends at venues throughout the city.

Highlights included our sell-out Thanksgiving dinner at Humo, our first charity fundraiser at Tarambana and the Medellín Guide iPhone app launch party.

In 2014, we published a 269 posts. Here are the highlights.

Parque Envigado decorated for Christmas
Parque Envigado decorated for Christmas

Top 10 Most Visited Posts Published in 2014

As you’ll see below, Jeff’s “Apartment Rental Guide” series was well-received, with all four posts in the top 10 and several related ones making the list too.

  1. Dating Tips: Up-to-Date Advice for Foreign Men
  2. Apartment Rental Guide: Costs and Lessons Learned
  3. Cost of Living in Medellín for a Couple
  4. Apartment Rental Guide: Overcoming the Fiador Requirement
  5. Apartment Rental Guide: Finding the Perfect Apartment
  6. Apartment Rental Costs in Medellín
  7. Apartment Rental Guide: Handling Utilities and Shopping for Furniture
  8. Jobs Colombia Works for You
  9. Taking Spanish Classes at Universidad EAFIT
  10. Starbucks in Bogotá: The First Starbucks in Colombia
Visiting the finca of Don Aristides, a silletero, in Santa Elena
Visiting the finca of Don Aristides, a silletero, in Santa Elena


This year we finally published a story on the city’s gay scene, in addition to a few more stories on the local culture as viewed from the female expat angle.

John Knox Seagle’s four-part series, “Expat Observations,” while controversial at times, stirred up a lot of comments and highlighted some of the challenges of living in a foreign culture.

Cariñito Café
Cariñito Café


Medellín’s indie café scene is exploding, giving Juan Valdez, and eventually Starbucks, a run for their money. This year we covered a mix of existing and newly opened cafés.

Food tour
Discovering the best chicharrón in the valley on a food tour with Medellín City Tours


We continue to review restaurants without abandon, yet it feels like we can’t keep up. Like we’re seeing with the cafés, the restaurant scene is burgeoning before our eyes.

Live tango at La Cabaña del Recuerdo
Live tango at La Cabaña del Recuerdo


This year, we made it a point to diversify our nightlife coverage, including a greater focus on electronic music venues.

If you’re looking for your weekly fix of house and techno, we’ve now got you covered. Trance is less popular and if you’re into Drum ‘n Bass, you’re better off flying to Bogotá.

Nacional fans at Estadio
Nacional fans at Estadio

Sports & Recreation

The World Cup was the big story this year and it was a ton of fun to watch the tournament in a foreign country for the first time, let alone one that made a historic run to the Quarterfinals for the first time.

Juliana, one of the two kids we helped by raising money for Mahavir Kmina
Juliana, one of the two kids we helped by raising money for Mahavir Kmina

Charity & Volunteering

In 2014, we began to build awareness around local charities. Our coverage of this theme picked up when Nick Milne and Ioana Calin joined the team and culminated with our first holiday fundraiser. Together we’ve raised $1,650 for Mahavir Kmina this month.

David Gonzalez flying high in the Ciudad del Rio bowl
David Gonzalez flying high in the Ciudad del Rio bowl

Everything Else

This year we launched Paisa Perspective, a new interview series and we finished profiling all of the comunas and cities which make up Medellín’s suburbs.

I covered Colombiamoda for the fourth time, but sat out La Feria de las Flores.

Previous Years

Is there a topic you’d like to see us cover in 2015? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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  1. David, I thought I saw you were in Tampa; if you should head down the coast towards Ft Myers and want to meet up, let me know. Enjoy your stay

  2. I’d like to suggest an article about tipping. I still struggle to get it right even though I’ve been here for seven years.