How I Started a Community Savings Group Through Youth Dance Classes

In November 2016, I had no idea where to start when I moved to Dibulla, La Guajira fresh out of training with the daunting Peace Corps’ community economic development program objective to start a community savings group (CSG). Never did I think it would be a lot easier than I expected thanks to the amazing…

My Journeys to the Fincas

Co-Written with my wife Alexandra I have the distinct opportunity to work closely with a Cacao Association called the Asociación de Productores Orgánicos del Municipio de Dibulla (APOMD). With them, I’ve been able to visit about 25 fincas (farms) within the municipality. During my 2 years living in Dibulla, La Guajira, I visited at the least…

35k Bike Ride in Dibulla

Originally posted on Oíste – Peace Corp Colombia’s Online Magazine On my 30th birthday, I decided to take a bike ride for self-reflection. I’ve always found exercise to be therapeutic, even meditative, but I didn’t expect such a random surprise. February 21st, 2018 was pure magic thanks to the happenstance meeting of 4 sparkly-eyed kids,…

Pre-Carnavales Under the Mango Tree

One of the most famous carnivals in the world is in Barranquilla, Colombia. The secret I have to offer is that Colombia’s Carnival celebrations span anywhere along the Caribbean coastal region near the cities of Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, and Riohacha. I happen to be living in Dibulla, La Guajira, a coastal pueblo near Riohacha…

Colombia’s Independence Day Celebration in Dibulla

My first Independence Day celebration in Colombia as a Colombian-American was on July 20th, 2017. I’ve performed at two Colombian Independence Day events in San Diego, California in the past with the dance group Algarabia Colombiana, along with other gatherings that occurred when my family lived in Texas and Michigan. No matter the occasion, but…

How to Dress Professional, Fashionable, AND Comfortable on the Colombian Coast

This article was originally posted on Oíste, Peace Corps Colombia’s Online Magazine There is no doubt that the first piece of important information a Peace Corps Colombia volunteer will tell potential trainees is that the Colombian Coast is HOT HOT HOT. I still remember the video of former Colombia volunteer Jimmy Everett explaining humorously and thoroughly how…

Cacao Process

I’ve had the distinct honor of working with APOMD (Asociación de Productores Orgánicos del Municipio de Dibulla), the association I’ve worked closely with during my service here in Mingueo, Colombia. They are an association of roughly 40 farmers with a combined land usage of 250 hectares (~618 acres). Though they are still small producers, they perform…

Afro-Colombian Dance Performance during Semana Santa

  Originally posted in Peace Corps – Colombia’s online Magazine Oíste Girls between the ages of 6 and 12 performed with Afro-Colombian pride during this past spring break celebration in Dibulla, La Guajira. The older girls performed a remix of three songs they chose: a song by Nigerian artist Yemi Alade called “Johnny,” followed by…

¿Quién Soy Yo?

There are things I know about myself. I know where I come from, how I’ve passed the years, and for the most part, my personality. Except when I’m speaking Spanish… sure I can explain where I come from and stories from my past, but there comes a level where you can make your personality transparent…

Dibulla: The Ideal Place to be Reborn

The slogan for Dibulla (pronounced ‘Dibuya’) is “el sitio ideal para volver a nacer“, or “the ideal place to be reborn.” This has been nothing but true for us since we moved here in November 2016 for our Peace Corps service. We have been reborn in many ways already, of which some ways have been…

Dibulla Pre-Carnavales – “Nueva Generación” Dance Youth

This article was originally posted in Oiste – A Peace Corps Colombia Volunteer-Run Online Magazine.  I have been dancing with young ladies from my community since the very beginning of January. Once school started in early February, they stopped coming to my class because they had to prepare for their grade-specific Carnaval dance presentations at…

Peace Corps Colombia Bebé

The following does not represent the views or opinions of the Peace Corps A small-city Ohio man and a big-city Colombian woman, both fresh out of college. Both were ready for adventure. This is the story of my parents and how the Peace Corps brought them together. Since I will be following in my Dad’s…