Barranquillero (pl. Baranquilleros)
1. Someone from Baranquilla
Over the past 6 weeks, I have lived the life of a Barranquillero to the best of my ability.
I rise every morning, I rise at 6:30 and shower away the heat of the night. Once I’m dressed and ready to go for the day, my host-mother brings me the traditional Colombian breakfast of patacones (fried plantains) with criollo cheese that my host-father makes himself. Sometimes accompanied with rice, sometimes with buñelos (fried balls of dough and cheese), and always accompanied with Colombian coffee.
(Patacones with cheese and rice)
Then, after I’ve finished, I head off to work in one of the many brightly colored buses that control the streets of Barranquilla. Always overflowing with people, these buses are the lifeblood of the city. There are maybe 20 different buses altogether, with different names like Embusa, Coosatlan, Sobusa, and Cootransico. Each bus has a specific route, and it makes this route several times throughout the day, circling on an endless loop. The bus that I frequent most often is a green and yellow one called Lolaya. Every day I ride Lolaya to and from work, about a 45-60 minute journey. The buses are not air conditioned, and the fact that they are constantly packed with people and Barranquilla is always hovering around a toasty 90° does not help this at all. Even though this journey is often sweaty and lacking personal space, it has come to be a part of my routine that I cherish.
(Picture of the bus Lolaya)
Once I arrive at my destination, I disembark from the bus, and make the five minute walk from my bus stop to my work. A little foundation nestled in between houses in a residential area, called Animal Salud. Here, I work for 5 hours from 8-1pm attempting to communicate with the people of Barranquilla through the foundation’s social media sites. After I have finished work, I will take the bus home, and either take a nap or a shower or read for a while, depending on my level of tiredness, and the heat of the day.
(All of the workers at Animal Salud)
Once things have cooled off a bit, the adventure of nighttime begins. With my fellow interns, we have explored many of the places that Barranquilla has to offer. Our favorites have become Bourbon Street – a restaurant in downtown Barranquilla, Buenavista – two massive buildings that comprise the biggest shopping center I’ve entered, and Frogg Leggs – one of the many ‘discotecas’ that are oh-so-popular here in Barranquilla.
(Before going to Frogg Leggs)
Once I arrive home from a night of fun, I go to sleep, wake up the next morning, and do it all over again.