A popular community located south of Poblado, Medellin, Colombia.

Our guide for Envigado was Carolina Villigas, a freelance professional photographer. I first met Carolina at the University of Antiquoa Museum where she was photographing preserved animals that are now endangered. These animals and birds are some of the inhabitants of Colombia’s extensive parks. Carolina's photographs will become a critical part of Park Ranger Handbooks so the rangers can quickly and accurately identify and protect those species declared endangered.

I was impressed with Carolina's photographic equipment-a Hasselblad Electric with backs for both film and digital use, plus a wide assortment of Zeiss lens. As we chatted, I explained "my mission" with Medellin Info. Carolina was gracious enough to volunteer as my guide, and show me the area where she lives, Envigado, a city with a population of about 160,000.

The tour began as Carolina arrived at my hostel, in her pick-up truck. First she showed me an expansive view of Envigado from the windows of her apartment. She lives where the air is cooler and cleaner, complete with a nice fresh woodsy aroma, high above the downtown area of her favorite city: Envigado. Her neighbors are mostly long time residents with neat homes or small farms.

Our first stop was the sprawling Central Mayorista, the major Farmers Market serving Medellin and the surrounding area. Carolina wouldn't even let me give her gas money, but I was able to talk her into accepting a small gift of a dozen fresh Mangos, for herself and friends. Carolina's “photographically trained eyes" helped her quickly select blemish-free, nice colored Mangos.

If you love fresh fruit, vegetables and other good things to eat the Mayorista has got be your type of market-where shopping is a pleasure! In addition to selling to the general public, the hundreds of vendors also sell to supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, schools, universities, hospitals, etc.
Mayorista includes a large section of super markets where you can shop in person, order by phone, or E-mail. If the market doesn’t have what you want an employee will scurry around the Mayoristato to complete your order. There is a delivery charge (no matter how big or small the order) of 5 mil Pesos, (about $2.50 u.s.) delivered anywhere in Medellin. Always fresh, the widest selection, good prices and convenience, the Mayorista.

Your English speaking contact at Central Mayorista is Diana Marcela Florez A. ( who will be glad to answer questions relating to Mayorista.

Our next stop was downtown Envigado, the Central Park and Carolina's church which she can see from her mountainside apartment. The church, which is undergoing restoration, fronts the Park which is a strong indication that it was the first church in the area.

I spot a nicely restored '37 Ford and recall that my father was a Ford employee at the Dearborn, Michigan Rouge Plant during that time-I wonder if dad helped assemble this beauty?

Carolina was a good guide, and very proud of Envigado. She offered this comment: "Our police are well trained and respected. They are strict enforcers of the law, so our crime rate is very low. “If you get yourself in trouble (I wondered if she wasn't warning me?), in Envigado, don't even think of trying to offer a "present" to a Envigado police officer".

Planta San Fernando is a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant which serves residential and industrial customers in five municipalities in the southern portion of Medellin, The plant went on line in 1999 and can treat 1.8 cubic meters of sewage per second.
Steady growth of the entire Medellin area, requires that a similar plant be in operation by 2010. The treated affluent is discharged into the wide and shallow Rio Medellin which has a rock bed that naturally aerates the treated discharge. There is no odor from the river. During the month of December, in honor of Christmas, the Medellin  River  changes its name to: Rio de luz a spectacular light
show, over, and up and down the river. The River of Lights has become a major Christmas time attraction enjoyed by young and old alike.

If you have questions about Envigado, or you’re interested in hiring an experienced, award winning professional photographer, you may contact Carolina Villegas at: TIMO@EPM.NET.CO or her cell at: 300-327-6516. Carolina has studied in the states, and speaks excellent English.

Thanks for the tour Carolina.

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