The Inspiring and Transformative Journey Of Medellin

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Due to its tumultuous history of drugs, death, and destruction, Medellín had hit rock bottom in the early ’90s. The good thing about rock bottom, however, is that the only way to go is up. And Medellín has come a long way in the past two decades, overcoming serious challenges and reinventing itself. Vibrant Medellín, the third largest city in Colombia, is the most popular destinations in the country and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

M19 storms the Palace of Justice in Bogota, November 6th, 1985

It has also become one of the most popular destinations in Latin America for remote workers and is a growing hub in entrepreneurship. Digital nomads are increasingly flocking to the city to experience all the incredible things it has to offer.

See Also – 6 Secrets Expats in Medellín Know to be True


The city is known for its friendly people and pleasant climate, and the beautiful landscape adds to the charm of the city. From being labeled as one of the most dangerous cities in the world to being awarded for its innovation and urban planning, Medellín’s transformative journey is nothing short of inspiring.

This transformation has included the demobilization of guerilla groups, major policy changes, the addition of social programs, and serious infrastructure investments. Things that would have been considered unimaginable to locals just a few decades ago are taking place, and have been successful in transforming Medellín into this vibrant city we see today.

See Also –  Nightlife in Medellín: A Visitor’s Guide
The Municipal Government installed these outdoor escalators to make the commute easier for people living high in the hills in some of the traditionally poorer and more dangerous parts of the city. Photo: Jaymack Photography (click the picture to see a truly impressive gallery)

The government’s strategies were primarily aimed at promoting social inclusion by making the public spaces more accessible to the poorer communities, improving infrastructure, and fostering trust through social initiatives. One way the Alcaldia de Medellin (mayor’s office) sought to implement these strategies was by innovating the public transportation system through the construction of outdoor escalators and metro cable cars. These developments helped improve the mobility and connectivity in poor and often dangerous neighborhoods such as Santo Domingo and San Javier in Comuna 13.

See Also – Comuna 13: A Neighbourhood Transformed 

These neighbourhoods were previously cut off from the city center as they are located on the steep hillside and could not be reached easily. This had led to disorganization in these neighborhoods as the government wasn’t able to overlook the functioning and security of the areas. Lawlessness abounded. And while security concerns remain in some of the hillside barrios, the situation has is substantially better than before. The construction of public spaces like libraries, parks, and investment in various social projects to promote education have enabled people to gain easier access to better resources and economic opportunities.

The Tranvía in Buenos Aires, a recent extension of the metro system, takes thousands of people for their daily commutes.

Public safety has also improved a lot over the years, and this has resulted in an influx of tourists in the city. The positive changes and developments have instilled a sense of pride among Medellín’s citizens, and they are more welcoming of visitors as well. Check out the following video that highlights the impressive transformation of Medellín:

From Drug Wars to Cable Cars: Medellin’s Rise


The people of Medellín, known for their friendly nature, have been able to look past their infamous history and work on building a better future for themselves. Medellín will surely amaze you with its warmth and innovative spirit. This lively city has a lot to offer to its visitors.

Visit the beautiful museums, enjoy the scenic views from the Metrocable, sample some authentic authentic Colombian dishes, experience the exciting nightlife, or take a free walking tour – there are endless opportunities to explore this innovative city. The city of eternal spring will continue to thrive and mesmerize travelers from all over the world.  

Are you a local with stories about Medellin’s troubled history? A tourist who recently had an enjoyable trip to the city? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience in Medellín.

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Matthew Danielson

Matthew Danielson

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