Culture

13 Places That Are Bringing Colombian Culture To Miami

Colombians are settling and thriving in Miami in record numbers and the city is transforming itself with new nightlife and foodie offerings thanks to the recipes, sounds and culture of this South American country. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing cumbia and vallenato the next time you’re at a club dancing to reggaeton or salsa on Biscayne Boulevard. Here are just a few places in Miami that are offering up Colombian cultura in the Cuban enclave.

1. Amazonica

Amazonica sits nestled under a sprawling 80-year-old oak tree in the historic Buena Vista neighborhood of Miami.

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This food destination is offering up delicious Colombian bites including obleas, a wafer-like disc filled with jam or dulce de leche, and choladasm, a cup filled with fresh fruit, ice and condensed milk.

2. La Poderosa Bar 

The music and #goodvibes of Baranquilla come at you with a punch as soon as you step into this bar in Miami’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood.

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As soon as you walk past the bouncer, the bar resembles the bodegas you would walk into while visiting your abuela and primos during family vacations. The prices of fruits are plastered from wall to wall and a painted Fabuloso bottle says bye to you on a mural as you make your way to the exit.

3. El Patio

So what exactly is the Vintrash bar experience? Take out some cash at the nearest ATM and trade it in for some funny money at Wynwood’s El Patio to find out.

Garden patio chairs and floral couches surround patrons as they dance to electronic beats mixed with salsa at a mini amphitheater with wooden raised steps. Hungry after showing off those moves? Grab a bite to eat at the bar with a perro caliente—a Colombian hot dog topped with pink sauce and crispy potato chips.

4. Shots Miami

If you’re in Miami to party rock like LMFAO circa 2009, then you’ve come to the right place.

The co-owners of this bar were inspired by their travels in Medellín and decided to bring the hora loca and crazy props stateside for an interactive shots lineup.

5. El Cielo by Juan Manuel Barrientos

How do you mix neuroscience and molecular gastronomy together?

Inspired by his ancestral Colombian roots, chef Juan Manuel Barrientos has been able to do just that at his modern fusion restaurant in Miami’s posh Brickell neighborhood, where he wants to see which emotions come out of his patrons after trying his dishes. 

6. La Moon Restaurant

La Moon is where Miamians come to get some carbs in their system in order to avoid a hangover the next day.

Arepa burgers, perros calientes topped with a quail egg and mazorca are all on the menu to help keep your headache at bay.

7. Bolivar Restaurant and Lounge

If you’re looking for some empanadas and bandeja paisa after a day frolicking on the beach, Miami Beach’s Bolivar Restaurant has you covered.

Complimentary corn cakes with salsa on top are served up while you decide on either a mojarra Cartagena, patacones with shrimp or shredded beef.

8. Pueblito Viejo

Originally started in the Windy City, Pueblito Viejo wanted to give Colombians in the 305 a love letter in the form of mementos.

Hanging from the ceiling you’ll find items such as wayuu bags, flutes, dolls and fruit garlands that help transport you to the Colombian countryside. Not only is this nostalgic, it is beautiful decor.

9. Manantial Market Place

This market wants to make sure you have any Colombian staple you may need while living in south Florida.

Bandeja Paisa. #Colombian food! #Miami

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Flags in the colors of the Colombian flag guide you down the aisles as you pick up fresh pan de bono, Colombian soda or corn meal to make arepas.

10. Seta Apparel

You can’t truly know a city without paying attention to the threads its people are sporting.

Two sisters brought their love of fashion from Colombia and started adding sequins, chains and embroidery to their clothing designs. Now their clientele has spread from Miami and beyond rocking their rocker chic/boho vibes. 

11. Veza Sur

Mixing the flora of Miami with South American lagers is what gives Veza Sur its taste—literally.

The craft beers are #HechaenMiami as the tagline goes, meaning you can grab a pint with tastes of guava and citrus inspired by a Miami summer. This brewery in Wynwood formed as a partnership between Bogota Beer Company and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Oregon.

12. Juan Valdez Café

What’s Colombia without coffee? This chain of coffee spots was founded in Bogota and has brought Colombian java to its multiple outposts in Miami.

Sip on an ice mocha while munching on an almojábana (Colombian cheese bread). Doesn’t that sound like a pleasant treat?

13. Monserrate Restaurant

Tucked in an unassuming strip mall in Doral, Monserrate will ease you into Colombian comfort food.

If you’ve never had sancocho soup or tried a Colombian empanada with lime on top, then this is the place for you. Come hungry, leave happy (and order a Postobon Manzana soda can while you’re at it).


READ: Anyone Who Has Ever Been To Colombia Is Guilty Of Bringing These Regalitos Back

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‘Insecure’ Star Kendrick Sampson Shared Emotional Instagram Post About Experiencing Police Brutality in Colombia

Things That Matter

‘Insecure’ Star Kendrick Sampson Shared Emotional Instagram Post About Experiencing Police Brutality in Colombia

Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Anti-Black police brutality isn’t just a problem in the U.S.–it’s a problem around the world. A recent Instagram post made by “Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson proved as much.

Sampson–who has been very involved in Black Lives Matter protests this year–shared a post with his 930,000 Instagram followers detailing the police brutality that he faced in Cartagena, Colombia.

The video shows a Cartagena police officer appearing to tug on Sampson’s hands before striking him in the face. The officer then takes out his gun and cocks it in a threatening manner. The entire scene is upsetting, to say the least.

The video was originally posted by Sampson’s friend, Colombian actress Natalia Reyes, who wrote a fiery Instagram caption condemning the Cartagena police:

POLICE BRUTALITY, this is my friend Kendrick Sampson @kendrick38, an actor and dedicated activist of the @blklivesmatter movement in the United States, today this happened to him here in Cartagena and everything hurts, not only because he is a friend but because that is the day to day of many, because we got used to this and that is NOT okay, it’s not normal, the police have the right to ask for your ID but they don’t have the right to punch you, dig in your underwear (as happened before someone started filming) and pull a gun on a person who is not committing any crime or offering any resistance, taking him to a station, not wanting to return his ID and even trying to admonish him? What if this person wasn’t filming? When is this gonna stop? It’s time to rethink the use of force.

@nataliareyesg/Instagram

Sampson reposted the video on his own Instagram account with his own commentary on the discrimination he faced in Cartagena:

Cartagena is AMAZING but this is the 6th time I was stopped in 5 days. It happens to Black Colombians often. I’m told stopping is policy but what is NOT is they reached down my underwear aggressively, slap my arms 5 times hard, punch me in my jaw and pull his gun on me. He then cuffed me and dragged me through the streets. I did not resist any legal procedure. Thank u for posting @nataliareyesg & for helping me through this. And to the person who recorded this.

@kendrick38/Instagram

Some of Sampson’s Latino followers as well as others who have simply visited Colombia chimed in with their thoughts.

One follower said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you here. Cartagena also suffers from racism and such obvious police abuse, I don’t know how long we’re going to have to put up with all this. This is disgraceful.”

Another Colombian said: “Colombian people are pure love bro … sorry for that bad moment. Police in this city think that his uniform it’s power or something like that, many police agents think that are better than you only for wear that uniform and that’s so sick my man…”

This Afro-Latino traveled to Colombia and had a similar experience: “I wasn’t hit this way at all, but when I was visiting Cartagena earlier this year in November, they stopped me and my other black friends and questioned us. No one else in my group (a mix of mestiza, fair-skinned Indigenous, and yt ppl) to ask us why we were standing outside of our hotel.”

Latino celebrities like Rosario Dawson and Lauren Jauregui responded to Sampson’s post offering their sympathy and support.

“I’m so grateful you were able to walk away from this altercation alive and horrified that that’s something to have to be grateful for,” wrote Rosario Dawson. “Police brutality is rampant worldwide and the violence must end. No more impunity.”

Lauren Jauregui simply wrote: “Holy f–k bro. Sending you so much protection!!!”

Colombia has the second largest Black population in South America, right behind Brazil.

Black Colombians make up 10.5% of Colombia’s population. The global swell of activism after the death of George Floyd stretched to Colombia over the summer, with Afro-Colombians taking to the streets to protest anti-Black racism and police brutality.

There’s a longstanding myth that Latinidad is “color blind” because of its shared history of European colonization and the blending of multiple cultures. But cases like Sampson’s prove that is not the case. Police brutality and anti-Blackness is just as real and pervasive in Latin America as it is in the United States.

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

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Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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