Recently, ProColombia and Marca Pais have launched a book that gathers the magic of Colombia in 212 pages. The Book of Warmth is a collection of stories and high quality photographs that explain why Colombia is the most welcoming place on earth.
In a few months I will be visiting Colombia for business, and since I have a few days to tour the country, I downloaded The Book of Warmth to find out what to do. I must confess that my idea was to have a guide to the most diverse activities I could do there, but as I dipped into these pages, I discovered that the project is much more than that. I was able to understand what is behind the Colombian warmth and how that quality forges the idiosyncrasy of one of the friendliest countries to visit.
Starting with the smile of its people. A recurring gesture that caught my attention in the beautiful photographs, something that Colombians have on their faces almost customarily, which they perform with ease and high degrees of authenticity. Colombians smile showing their teeth, raising their faces to the sky and narrowing their eyes, forgetting that there may be reasons not to smile. But this is not the case, because for them smiling is not a decision, it’s part of who they are. As one of the passages of the book expresses, kindness and smiles are companions: «[…] Starting with changing the history of a city that shines with the sun and with the smile of its residents, who are willing to say good morning to you in the street even if they don’t know who you are, or give you detailed directions so that you don’t get lost».
Those are the kind of friends everyone wants to visit. Throughout all its territory, traveling through the six regions that the book describes, locals open the doors to their homes, offer a coffee cup from Manizales and a map with tips for the paradise where the pink dolphins live. Farid, a local from San Andres, says in his story: «He is proud of the sense of hospitality that the people in the island have. For him, growing up by the sea has helped him to be more broad-minded and to understand warmth as respect towards differences and the ability to construct along with other people.”
Colombians have all biomes in 1.139 million km². They belong to equatorial humid climates, tropical deserts and tropical dry forests. So whether it’s by the sea, on the mountains, in the river or the forest, with or without rain, in warm or cool temperatures, warmth takes over the climate and our bodies. «That warmth that the guadua has when the wind blows is the same as the people here. A joyful and fragrant warmth,» narrates another passage in the book.
The respect for their culture and their pride for the world. In Colombia, its population loves nature and what it provides, but even more they love to show the magnificent natural environment of their land, as well as its care and sustainable alternatives. This is emphasized in one of the chapters of Tutunendo, Choco: «Edwin has been an exemplary entrepreneur who doesn’t want to leave his land, in fact, he dreams of becoming a host of the jungle; he is among the many people who are in love with their region».
Besides having beautiful scenery where these stories are set, The Book of Warmth is a detailed work that deserves to be narrated. For this reason, I highly recommend it.