My Average Schedule and Teaching at the Local Schools & Community Center

As a volunteer, one of the best parts of service is that, for the most part, you really get to shape your weekly schedule however you want. Sometimes a volunteer collaborates with one school, and other schools reach out for collaboration. Sometimes a volunteer doesn’t work well with a counterpart, but then finds three new…

Consulting for a Start-Up Wayuu Artesanía Business

In Dibulla, I had the distinct opportunity to meet Luz Darys Martinez, a half-Wayuu woman from Mingueo living in Dibulla in February 2017. She reached out to me after I had posted a sign by my door looking for women who wanted to start a dance studio business. Luz Darys stopped by my house to…

Entrepreneurship & English Class at the Agricultural Cooperative Asoreagro

It took over one year to finally organize a successful and collaborative course, but not in Dibulla, rather for the nearby community of Mingueo. One thing I’ve learned in the Peace Corps is that your service requires a lot of patience, trial & error, and relationship building. I had tried to organize a Financial Literacy course…

2nd Goal Event: Cheerleading & Football!

I’ve got to admit that most of my work the past two years in Colombia I’ve probably focused most on the Peace Corps 1st goal followed by the 3rd goal, which is “to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of [U.S.] Americans” by constantly posting across social media to show how…

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 Journey 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

Originally posted on Travel Latina:
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,…

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…

The Cacao Process in Mingueo, La Guajira

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…