Beggars or Entrepreneurs

I arrived in Colombia with more compassion for people in need than I’ve ever had in my life, which means my heart strings are constantly being pulled. Colombia has opened its doors to the people of Venezuela escaping the political strife there, and they’re everywhere. Most arrive with nothing and in far trouble than I ever was in Cuba. They’re more innovative than I was, though, and few resort to simple begging. I’m constantly coming across, or being approached by, people selling packs of gum, chocolates, biscuits, pens anything that can be bought in bulk and sold individually.

Others stand in busy backstreets and direct drivers to parking spots, guiding them into even the easiest spot in the hope of a tip, and they’re usually successful. And people with more skills, who are more probably locals, run out to entertain traffic stopped at lights. Jugglers are common, but I’ve seen acrobats stretch their slacklines across the road and one young man who used a slackline as a trampoline

So common are these entrepreneurs that I have to follow the example of many locals and limit myself to helping one per day, and be glad that at least the climate here is generally friendly to people without a roof over their heads.

Categorized as Colombia

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