Cartagena, world heritage city! is going to be hosting the Cumbre de las Americas, or Summit of the Americas confrence this coming week. Everyone is all abuzz about it. I hear that it’s possible that we might have some class canceled (some more class canceled) because my school is near the center. But then again, we might not, since we aren’t -that- near the center.
Basically Cartagena is two cities, Cartagena, world heritage city! and the rest of us. I live right on the fringe of that divide, living in the shadow of La Popa. We do get some chiva buses out here that race to the top of the hill and then zoom right back to the city. But we also live on the Avenida which is no world heritage site.
Basically, some world leaders and their posses will come to the city and hang out in the center and Boca Grande for a few days, and talk about things about America (my Colombian friends assure me that there is only one American continent). Or something.
Changes that seem to be related to the confrence that I’ve noted on the ground:
- The police are everywhere. Everywhere! The center area is crawling with police, and they are even all the way out in my own personal mall/grocery store, Caribe Plaza (did I tell you I do most of my grocery shopping at a Carrefour in a mall? It really is the closest place. I feel very Posh Corps doing it.)
- There’s a new Juan Valdez outdoor café thingy in the shadow of our world heritage clock tower. Maybe it’s permanent, maybe it’s to do with the confrence. Some people are unhappy about it. I hear there might be a protest.
- There are electric billboards all over the place talking about the cumbre! and security! Flashing lights! Bright colors!
- I saw a billboard in my neighborhood that was pura inglés. About postobon soda of all things.
Sporty police cars, SWAT vans, police horses loitering around everywhere. People taking pictures with these things.
- helicopters buzzing overhead all the time
- No class Thursday or Friday. Or maybe just no class Friday. Or maybe just no class Friday and no one will come anyways on Thursday, just like no one came to class today. Also we don’t have class Wednesday for completely unrelated reasons.
It’s possible we might get to meet the President, but I hear the chances are about negative five percent. Whatever that means.