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food / travel

In Cartagena, Racism And Poverty Stain Colombia's Caribbean Jewel

Tourism feeds a construction and real estate boom in the historical town of Cartagena de Indias. But the shadows of this former slave port hide a huge gap between rich and poor.

Selling the basics in Cartagena
Selling the basics in Cartagena
Mauricio Albarracín

BOGOTÁ — Cartagena de Indias, a registered World Heritage Site, is the jewel in Colombia's tourism crown. Its colonial buildings and Caribbean beaches make it a choice destination for domestic and foreign travelers, and as such, it has become a magnet for travel-related port and real estate investments. It all looks grand on paper, but there are things tourists don't see, and wouldn't want to.

When visitors stroll on the Bocagrande or in the walled city, they will hear invitations to visit "Playa del Rosario, Playa Blanca and Barú." They will inevitably want to discover these pristine beaches and the translucent Caribbean, and take boats from a pier near the Convention Center for a day trip to paradise. A typical trip would include visiting the Rosario Islands and particularly the Aquarium on San Martín de Pajarales Island. There is lunch, usually on Playa Blanca, with the rest of the afternoon left for lounging on the beach. The boat then either takes tourists back or they can sleep in a hostel by the sea.

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Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Sveiki!*

Welcome to Thursday, where more Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol, Sri Lanka defaults on its debt,and George W. Bush offers an epic geopolitical gaffe. Meanwhile, Lili Bai in Chinese-language digital media The Initium looks at what’s driving the current “expat exodus” at play in Shanghai.

[*Latvian]

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