Comuna 13 – from one of the most dangerous parts in the formerly most dangerous city in the world to a tourist attraction –
Medellin is from all the places I have seen the one with the least beautiful architecture but with an amazing vibe which brought me here twice in the six weeks I spent in the country.
One part of the city everybody wants to see is the so-called Comuna 13. One of 16 neighbourhoods in Medellin and one of the most dangerous ones in former times. The drug war and also the FARC terrorised this area where poor people live narrow by each other and one of the biggest mass graves in the world is located nowadays.
The local escalator is used for transportation of people from the bottom to the top of the Comuna and is also claimed to bring the gringos but also some additional money there. Free English, Sport and Dancing classes for the locals show the reward.
Yes I also did the tour to get an impression how life is nowadays. The neighbourhood reminded me quite a bit of the Favelas in Rio which I just have seen in documentaries so far. Just with more tourists wandering around. I felt pretty safe – maybe because I did not made the experience like a couple I know when guns were shot close by one day later – and could enjoy some more of the Colombian street art as well as some street dancer who where doing their great show for the tourists.
For me as German it is hard to imagine how it was to grew up and live there in former times when the FARC – in the beginning as Robin Hood and later by bending people with terror – ruled the community. It shows me that i should be thankful that I grew up in a safe surrounding but also that happiness and friendliness has nothing to do with peace and money.