Finding the Good with Ana

Cartagena, Colombia

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IT’S hard to say after visiting Cartagena that you’ve really got a glimpse of typical life in Colombia, but the whimsical lanes have an identity all their own.  That said one of the best things about visiting anywhere in Colombia (or anywhere in South America) is trying the insane variety of fresh fruit we just don’t get this side of the Rio Grande.  The hallmark of the walled city is the colorfully dressed Afro Caribbean women known as “palenqueras”.  They wander the squares offering amazing fruit and/or a photo op for the equivalent of a few bucks.  We grabbed a snack from Ana, and took the opportunity to ask her about her thoughts on The Good Life.


San Basillo de Palenque, Colombia


“La buena vida es vivir lo mas tranquila, no tener estrés.  Trato de trabajar todos los días para vivir bien y proveer para mis tres hijos.  Tenía 12 años cuando empecé en este trabajo y gracias a dios tengo un buen vida.”

“The Good Life is to live relaxed, and to avoid stress.  I try to work everyday to provide for my three kids.  I’ve been doing this work for 12 years, and thanks to God I have a Good Life.”



IT struck us after talking with Ana we should remember that most of the street hawkers across the globe are getting their hustle on, and doing their best to eek out a living.  Somehow Ana has managed to live The Good Life and raise three kids making $3 per fruit bowl and $1.50 per picture; all this while dealing with the brutal Caribbean heat, carrying her wares on her head.  Her smile puts things in perspective.

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