When I told my family that my husband and I were departing for a month in Medellín, Colombia, they were skeptical, to say the least. Like many North Americans, what they knew of the city was based on a blurry image of drug lords, guerrilla wars, and images of Pablo Escobar on magazines and television screens. The amorphous threat of danger in what was once the murder capital of the world still loomed large.
But in the time since Don Pablo was finally killed on a Medellín rooftop as he tried to flee the authorities, things have been changing in the City of Eternal Spring. The heavy influence of cartels persisted for many years afterwards, to be sure, but after significant government intervention and, even more so, the will of the citizens to reclaim their beloved city, Medellín has begun to thrive.