Expats Corner: Practical Advice, Recommendations: Part One
The number of English-speaking expats in Medellin is starting to grow – and along with this growth comes greater demand for bilingual services, including housekeepers, tradespeople (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons), drivers, doctors, dentists and many others.
So, to help connect the expat community, Medellin Herald is launching an expat-recommendations section. To find this section, click on “expats corner” on the blue bar at the top of the front page, then scroll down to the “practical advice” subsection.
Today’s recommendations from three local expats here cover housekeeping services, bilingual taxi/tour drivers, and dentistry:
Hogaru is the housekeeping agency I use.
They are very easy to work with - you can do everything directly on their website or by email or phone. They have a manager who speaks English, which is very helpful. You can choose the day of week you want as well as the time frame that works best for you: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.- 5 p.m., or all day.
You can also schedule as few as one visit; however if you schedule four or more, then there is a slight discount. And it seems to be very easy to have the same housekeeper for each visit, if you desire.
We have been very pleased with Diana, our housekeeper. She speaks no English but somehow we get by. She comes in and gets to work: she cleans the floors, windows, bathrooms, kitchen, even cleans the balcony! When she still has time left, she has cleaned the refrigerator!
Dr. Juan Carlos Mejia Escalante at Artica Dental clinic speaks Ingles and performed great work on both my wife’s teeth and my teeth. My wife had a tooth veneer that she received in India that kept coming loose. Dentists in the US and Ecuador couldn't get it to stay on.
One visit to Juan Carlos (he says he doesn’t use the "Doctor" title as it seems too impersonal) solved the veneer problem. He said previous dentists were using the incorrect type of adhesive for a veneer.
The new veneer has held in place ever since Juan Carlos attached it. So I had Juan Carlos clean my teeth as a preventative measure. He cleaned them himself, not handing the task off to an assistant.
Great cleaning job and rates for the most gentle cleaning procedure I have ever experienced. Juan Carlos's specialty is crowns and bridges, but he obviously does general dentistry also. Juan Carlos was very personable and professional. We especially appreciated the fact that he would give advice if asked, but he never tried to sell us on dental services we didn't need at present like so many dentists do these days.
Bilingual Taxi/Tour Driver
We are somewhat hesitant to refer Noe Reyes to the public. He is so wonderful we don't want him so swamped with tour guiding and taxi requests that we lose our access to him. You won't find a better tour guide combined with a wonderful human being.
Noe speaks very good English and drives a four-passenger, almost-new Chevy taxi. His tour guiding specialty is Pablo Escabar tours in Medellin for which he receives tour requests from around the world.
Noe grew up in Medellin and survived here during Escabar's reign of terror; some of his siblings had to flee the country. So Noe tells his tour customers what it was really like here back then, not what they see on television.
He also gives tours southwestward into the zona cafetera (coffee-farms) area and over to the popular Guatape town (near the famous El Peñol rock). Noe is a delight to listen to and instantly becomes your friend. When he isn't tied up with a tour, Noe offers regular taxi service in Medellin, the airport, and elsewhere. We recently used his service to give us an apartment scouting tour of Sabaneta and La Estrella. Noe showed us areas of interest to us and never hesitated to stop and ask security guards for apartment information on our behalf.
Then he surprised us with an additional tour of areas of Laureles and Belen where he grew up and knew the neighborhoods very well. His rates were very economical. He is extremely conscientious about arriving on time to pick you up. Please do not overbook him; we want access from time to time!
Noe Reyes Taxi Cab Service
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