John and I love public transportation and always make a point to use it, wherever our travels take us. One of the things that blew us away about Medellín, Colombia is its dazzling transit system. But there’s a lot more going on here than just a clean and efficient metro rail, a network of cable cars, and escalators snaking up the hillsides.
During our recent visit we were able to spend a morning in one of Medellín’s most interesting and visually striking neighborhoods, Comuna 13. This area was once extremely dangerous and violent, especially when Medellín was in the grip of the drug cartels and paramilitary warfare. Residents living in this hillside neighborhood were forced to climb thousands of steps to reach their homes after a long day’s work, and most vehicles weren’t able to manage the steep roads. The result was gang warfare, isolation, poverty, and hopelessness, especially for young people and the elderly and infirm.