Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in Medellín?

For me as a paisa, living and growing in Medellín means many feelings, memories and customs, including

-To deeply love my land, my roots, the mountains, my city and the whole history of our ancestors.

-Have a mother from Marinilla and a father from San Pedro who, with the vision of their families, came to this land in search of opportunities.

-Have 16 aunts, 6 uncles, like 50 cousins ​​and be ready to meet one more.

-Spend weekends and vacations on the farm, go horse riding, catch and eat guavas, medlars and tangerines; Also, grow up surrounded by country people and learn from their special wisdom.

-Eat arepa for breakfast, bandeja paisa for lunch, eat some empanadas for afternoon snack and, why not, repeat the menu at supper.

-Know and remember the pain we lived in a time of shadow and, at the same time, realize that the light shone stronger to transform through love, culture and innovation.

Loving being paisa

-Get up every day to collectively create, move forward, undertake and contribute a grain of sand to the region.

-Greet the people around, in the elevator, in the store, in the line and talk about anything.

-Admire the silleteros, the muleteers, the troubadours and all their traditions.

-Have ridden in chiva, enjoying all its folklore.

-Take an amaricano among friends, while talking about ideas, projects and future plans.

-Dance with aunts, uncles and cousins ​​in family gatherings and sing all the December songs, vallenatos and folk music.

-Wait for December to come so we can light candles, make the family novena and eat all the custard and buñuelos of the year.

To be a paisa is to be a good host of this land and to do it with the heart.

For you what is it to be paisa?

Here we share some experiences of people who have come to Medellin to live and carry a paisa in their heart

Jaqueline, a canadian paisa

Jaqueline T.


“For me, living in Colombia has been a grand adventure!   

The first six months I spent in Santa Fe de Antioquia.  Living in Santa Fe was so much fun, everything was new.  I had not lived in a small town or in a foreign country before.  A different language, a different world. 

Around once every couple week, I would have a reason to come into Medellin.  I so looked forward to being in the city.  Great restaurants, good shopping, great city energy. 

Fast forward six months later and I am back in Medellin.  I am learning the language, fitting into the big city vibe, learning the rapid transit system.  I live here.  This is my city. 

The lights, the energy, the industry, the culture, it’s now my home.  It’s not some weird long vacation in a small South American town, it’s where I am learning to be Paisa.  I’ve figured out how the traffic works, where the hardware stores are, what a Rappi guy is and how to safely maneuver a Grin Scooter.

I have Colombian friends and I am buddies with the guards and ladies in my apartment building. I am slowly exploring all areas of the city and knowing my way around.  I have a gym, a housekeeper and my own manicurist who come to my place.  I have a Doctor, a florist, a seamstress and my favorite fish store.  I am home.

I have fallen in love with this crazy beautiful tropical energetic city and her inhabitants.  I just recently was standing in line at the butcher and a lady standing beside me just started to chatter about everyday things to me in the store, in Spanish, as if I were a local. I discovered at that minute: Yo soy local!”

Russ, a russian paisa

Russ S.


“Moving to Medellin was very spontaneous but logical for me.

I felt growing pressure of upcoming cold north east USA winter. Along with that was growing stressful situation on personal and biz levels and my mind requested to relocate somewhere where it’s warm and spiritual and different. And it was a day before Christmas

Few months prior to that spontaneous move, I visited Cartagena and Medellin as typical tourist and was impressed with Colombia.

I’ve visited many South American and Central American countries along the Caribbean’s. So, it was not the weather. Was something else. Anyway, for the first time in my life I celebrated Christmas and new year alone and was happy.

The Colombian atmosphere, genuine warmth of people, spanish language with amazing paisa accents, hugging Antioquia mountains…. All were sanctuary and spiritual to me.

So, few days vacation became few weeks, few weeks became few month and now it’s few years.

Vacation ended in mid-January as I firmly decided to stay here, so I spent few weeks in Santa Elena house with friends, dogs and lots of nature. I never was surrounded by so much diversity of flora.

Once I moved back to Medellin, I rented the Apartment, office and decided to relocate my presence and biz here for long time. So Colombia brought me balance, love and happiness.

This is how it felt for about a year.  I am super productive and balanced comparing to other parts of the world i lived  for extended time like eastern Europe and North America.

I am grateful for relationships I’ve had done here. I’ve learned Colombian hospitality even closer being with paisa’s families, and friends; enjoying homemade paisa food, experiencing common family issues, problems and happy moments. 

I traveled a lot thru Colombia and observed much: Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Bogotá, Cali.

Antioquia still gives me most spiritual and balanced feeling. I will stay here. Would love to have apartment in Laureles and house in Guarne or Santa Elena.

I’ve lived in Laureles, Belen, visited comunas often. And I was happy to be able to get along with most of the people everywhere. If you show respect you will get respect, y no dar papaya. Simple moral and common sense rules.

I hope to bring value and contribute to Colombian economy, develop good business here and gain more friends and settle personal life”.

James, a paisa from the USA

James S.


I moved to Medellin full time back in July 2019.

I mainly moved here for the change of life and the beautiful things Colombia has to offer. The weather, the people, and the quality/variety of foods here are incredible. The cost of living is very reasonable, and the healthcare is outstanding in both costs and services rendered.

I am very happy with my decision to leave the US and now I am a Paisa. If you are considering a move to Colombia, I definitely recommend it!”

Joel, a paisa from the USA

Joel N.


“I travel for my personal growth.

Along my journey I look for people and cultural influences that can have a positive impact on my character. In the Paisa people I found so much more of that than I expected.

The Paisa culture is very beautiful. The way they present themselves, the way they talk to one another, their welcoming and sharing attitudes, and the positivity they all seem to have was so refreshing for me.

Colombia has become like a second home to me now thanks to the people and I know that time spent here is positive influence on me”.