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Events 10

Medellin-based national clothing and fashion-industry trade group Inexmoda announced August 5 that that the just-concluded, 31st annual “Colombiamoda” fashion show here – forced to go virtual because of the Covid-19 crisis – attracted 220,000 visitors through its www.colombiamoda.com internet platform.

Aside from the thousands of Colombian designers, producers and suppliers attending this year’s show, international attendees included representatives from Perú, Ecuador, Costa Rica, USA, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Brazil, Panama, Puerto Rico, Perú, Portugal and Uruguay, according to Inexmoda.

In total, 455 clothing brands showed their wares to 2,500 national and 700 international buyers, via 4,400 Inexmoda-organized business meetings.

In addition, University Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) and Inexmoda organized 27 technical and fashion-trends conferences that attracted 74,000 visitors through various digital platforms for this year’s show.

Colombiamoda 2020 also included five “master class” sessions, 15 workshops and 21 expert-advisor sessions on consumer trends, digital marketing and sustainable business.

“Technology played in our favor and became the essential tool to create experiences around business, fashion and knowledge,” stated Carlos Eduardo Botero, Inexmoda executive president.

The all-virtual edition of Colombiamoda 2020 “was full of challenges and learning. Today we are pleased to have made the right decision to transform Colombiamoda, since it also allowed us to discover a path full of opportunities that deserve to continue to be evaluated,” he added.

At Colombiamoda 2020, “the garments with the highest demand have been underwear, sportswear, casual clothing, pajamas and beachwear, and the countries that have participated the most have been those from the Caribbean, the United States and Ecuador,” added ProColombia president Flavia Santoro, who heads-up Colombia's international business-promotion efforts.

“The great response from foreign demand confirms that Colombia continues to position itself as a trusted provider, even amid current circumstances,” Santoro added.


Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the Medellin Mayor's Office announced July 18 that it has decided to postpone the 63rd annual ‘Desfile de los Silleteros” flower parade to November 8, rather than in August.

What's more, all the usual "Feria de las Flores" events leading up to the parade -- and the parade itself -- will be "virtual" (broadcast on Telemedellin and internet apps) rather than attended by in-person massive audiences. The events are now scheduled to go forward from November 2 to November 8.

Because of the Coronavirus menace that otherwise would threaten the nearly 1 million people who normally crowd alongside the parade route, this year the  “silletero” flower carriers will parade by themselves.

Special precautions and biosafety protocols will protect the silleteros, the musicians, the dancers and artists that add life to the week-long event, according to Medellin Secretary of Culture Lina Gaviria Hurtado.

As in every edition of the annual Silleteros Parade, a panel of judges will view each flower creation and present awards for the various design categories. After that, the silleteros and their flower creations will be transported to central Medellin for the flower parade, the Mayor’s Office added.


Colombian music star Carlos Vives first gained international fame in 1993 by bringing traditional vallenato music to the whole world, via the sensational hit-single, “La Gota Fria.”

Ever since, Vives’ pioneering group “La Provincia” has frequently topped the Latin American pop-music charts -- as well as popular music-video internet links.

Besides winning numerous Grammy awards, Vives and La Provincia have over the past 25 years garnered huge followings at live performances in many countries far beyond Colombia.

Now, with his brother Guillo and Mexican multinational restaurant investor Mera Corporation, the Vives brothers just brought a traditional-foods “Gaira Café” to the international departures area at Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordoba (JMC) international airport – with a second, Medellin-city “Gaira Café” location on the horizon, brother Guillo told Medellin Herald.

In a September 9 press conference at JMC attended by scores of TV, radio and print journalists, the Vives brothers lectured, sang and showed-off their newest Gaira Café location here -- their third nationally, and all featuring traditional foods from Colombia's Caribbean coast, where the Vives brothers were born.

The brothers first launched Gaira Café 20 years ago in Bogota -- initially as a restaurant -- and then later added a third-floor musical auditorium, which continues to feature some of Colombia’s top emerging pop-rock artists.

While the JMC location is only open to ticketed international passengers -- hence not ideal for attracting spectators to concerts like those at the Bogota city location – it will nevertheless on occasion bring trios or other music groups for impromptu performances at JMC, according to the Vives brothers.

Following the press event here, Mera Corporation president Rafael Aguirre explained to Medellin Herald that his company is investing US$10 million in several restaurants (including slots at JMC) – of which about $1 million went into the latest Gaira Café.

The Mera investments at JMC also include a new Juan Valdez café, an Amazonia Café, a Petit Gourmet restaurant, a Guy Fieri Burger Joint outlet, a Mondongo’s café, and a craft-beer service.

Mera is also eyeing the possibility of opening a Mexican restaurant in the under-construction balcony section at the international-departures area at JMC, Aguirre told us.

The first collaboration between the Vives brothers and Mera came in 2018 at Bogota’s El Dorado airport, involving the second-ever Gaira Café. Along with a Guy Fieri restaurant, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, an Amazonía Café and a Guacamole Ándele restaurant, all these outlets together form what Mera calls the “Zona R” food court at El Dorado.

In a related presentation at the JMC press event, Colombia’s Transportation Minister Angela Orozco praised Mera's growing investments here. Mera and other investors at JMC have now transformed the international-departures area with a dizzying array of colorful shops and a wide variety of consumer enticements.

The new investments would seem to have favorable prospects, as not only has Medellin seen a huge surge of international tourist numbers (especially in the last five years), but also Colombia nationally now expects that its airports will see some 100 million tourists annually by 2030, Orozco revealed.

Such tourist numbers -- staggering by Colombian historical standards – will require billions of dollars of continuing investments in airport and highway infrastructure, including the “fourth generation” (4G) highways now under construction in Antioquia and nationwide, Orozco added.


The Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitologia (SAO, the Medellin ornithological society) announced September 19 that the fifth annual “Festival de las Aves de Medellin” will take flight October 3 to October 8.

All local Festival programs -- including lectures by national and international experts, special learning workshops and guided, local bird walks -- are free. But the post-festival birding trips to Manantiales or Napoles, Antioquia -- which require special advance registrations -- carry separate charges.

Complete Festival program details -- including instructions on how to sign-up for the workshops and the local bird walks -- are available here: https://www.festivaldelasavesmedellin.com.

Registrations for the post-festival birding trips (Manantiales or Napoles)-- departing October 6 and returning October 8 -- can be made here: https://www.festivaldelasavesmedellin.com/pajareadaspostfestival .  However, as of this writing, the Napoles birding trip was already fully booked.

The option for joining the (still-available at this writing) Manantiales birding trip is nothing short of spectacular (see: http://www.medellinherald.com/ecot/item/239-paradise-restored-manantiales-nature-reserve-symbolizes-colombia’s-hopeful-future, titled "Paradise Restored: Manantiales Nature Reserve Symbolizes Colombia’s Hopeful Future," Medellin Herald, January 04, 2016).

According to the SAO, the annual Medellin Bird Festivals “seek to position Medellin as the 'Bird Capital of the World,' as recognized nationally and internationally, and also so that local citizens learn to appreciate their natural heritage.

“It’s clear that people only love and appreciate what they know -- which is why it is vital to integrate scientific [bird] knowledge with educational-cultural events in our city spaces. Thus, this Festival seeks to offer the public a place for recreation and learning which generates knowledge, ownership and awareness of the great diversity of birds that are hosted in this territory.”

Lecture, workshop and birding highlights this year include:

8 am-12 noon Wednesday, October 3: Workshop for children on how to use the “Merlin” bird-identification cell-phone application, at EAFIT university in Medellin (Las Vegas campus).

2 pm Wednesday, October 3: Workshop on how to prevent collisions of birds against buildings and other structures, at Corantioquia headwaters in Medellin.

2-3 pm Wednesday, October 3: Workshop for adults on how to use the “Merlin” bird-identification cell-phone application, EAFIT university (Las Vegas).

3-4 pm Wednesday, October 4: Official debut of new illustrated book, “Birds of Ituango,” by EPM and University of Antioquia, and a bird-photography exhibition, both at EAFIT university (Las Vegas).

5:30 am to 11 am Thursday, October 5: Choice of bird walks either to Parque Arvi, Parque Presidenta, or San Sebastian de la Castellana.

2 pm Thursday, October 5: Lecture on Medellin’s new “green corridors” (Planetarium auditorium, next to Parque Explora).

2:50 pm Thursday, October 5: Lecture featuring professors and children from Restrepo, Meta department, on their novel “Alas de Saber” ornithology-teaching curriculum for children, at Planetarium.

3:45 pm Thursday, October 5: Expert lecture on how to prevent bird collisions with power lines in Colombia, at Planetarium.

6 pm Thursday, October 5: “Science on Bicycles” event featuring hummingbird observations. Departs from Planetarium.

5:30 a.m.-11 am Friday, October 6: Optional bird-walks to Parque Arvi, Parque Presidenta, San Sebastian de la Castellana, EAFIT Llanogrande or EAFIT Medellin (Las Vegas campus).

2 pm Friday, October 6: Lecture on the birds of the Alto de San Miguel nature reserve (Caldas, Antioquia), EAFIT university (Las Vegas campus).

4 pm Friday, October 6: Lecture on the “Merlin” birding application by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (USA) bird expert Drew Weber, EAFIT university (Las Vegas campus).

6 pm Friday, October 6: Lecture on urban birds by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology bird expert Karen Purcell, EAFIT university (Las Vegas campus).


August is the month when both Medellin and Detroit celebrate classic cars -- and the joyful return of positive vibes -- via the “Desfile de Autos Clasicos” here and the gigantic “Woodward Dream Cruise” in Detroit.


About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

Medellin Herald welcomes your editorial contributions, comments and story-idea suggestions. Send us a message using the "contact" section.

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