In July 2017, the crystallization of a dream for Jeff Paschke began: medellinguru.com. In this portal, Jeff began to tell his experiences and stories in Colombia, especially in Medellín, where he decided to settle with his family. Month after month, he wrote about restaurants, places to visit, and things to do and gave tips to expats to facilitate their arrival and stay in the country.
However, something that started as a hobby became the number one portal for foreigners visiting or living in Colombia. He even opened meeting spaces to exchange experiences among hundreds of expats and community members through his famous monthly MeetUps.
Jeff fell in love with this land and always wanted to transmit that love from an objective and realistic perspective to the extent that he delivered valuable content to his thousands of readers. Perhaps without calculating it, with each new article published in recent years, Medellin Guru was promoting tourism attraction, the visibility of opportunities, and even foreign investment.
Medellín and gentrification
During the last few years, Medellín has been deserving of different recognitions worldwide. For example, in 2013, it was declared the most innovative city in the world by City of the Year. That same year, Unesco also recognized it as a Learning City. It is also the headquarters of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution of Colombia (C4IR: CO), and today it is also the Special District for Science, Technology, and Innovation.
This has allowed the world to see Medellín as an epicenter of investment, tourism, and development. So much so that we can say that Medellín is one of the cities in Colombia that has had the most arrivals of foreigners in recent years, and the figures show this. According to the Concejo de Medellin “in the year 2022, there was an increase of 49% of foreigners, compared to the expected figure”, leaving a positive balance for the city in economic terms.
The current reality is that in Medellín, phenomena are being experienced that are associated with global processes that large cities around the world have experienced, such as Barcelona or Mexico City, where there is a huge volume of new economies and, above all, new inhabitants who arrive with purchasing power and with different interests to occupy and activate all sectors of the city differently.
Understanding gentrification and touristification
Given this attraction of tourism and its impacts on society, more and more, we hear the concept of “gentrification” mentioned by the media, the public sector, the private sector, academia, and now, even in social networks. But what is gentrification? And how is it different from touristification?
From Urbam Eafit (Center for Urban and Environmental Studies), both terms have been studied for years. For them, gentrification is defined as a process of urban rehabilitation that causes the displacement of the neighborhood’s residents. After their intervention, a new population arrives in the sector.
While, the touristification, for its part, Urbam defines it as the consequences in a population as a result of the massive influx of tourists.
Both concepts are similar in that they generate changes at the territorial, social and economic levels from urban planning but with differentiated effects, such as the increase in prices for the purchase and rental of real estate caused by the phenomenon of “gentrification.”
Medellín Guru, as a promoter of tourism
Medellin Guru is a portal visited monthly by over 40,000 users organically, in more than 200 countries worldwide, including readers mainly from the United States, followed by Colombia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
In this sense, and considering our editorial orientation, at medellinguru.com, we are a tourism promoter in Medellín and Colombia. But now, we want to go a step further.
During the last months, we have worked as an interdisciplinary professional team to continue Jeff’s legacy and achieve one of his most significant purposes: consolidate medellinguru.com as the #1 portal for expats in Colombia, connecting foreigners with those companies of the country that offer products and services in search of meeting the needs and requirements of this growing population.
Finally, we want to be a facilitating channel that promotes a healthy coexistence between tourists and foreign residents with the locals in such a way that from Medellin Guru, we contribute to a more positive view regarding the phenomena of gentrification and touristification to the extent that we reinforce the arrival of expats as an essential link in the construction of the country that also benefits Colombians from different perspectives, including the perspective of opportunities, business, and economy.
A new era for expats
In addition, it will have detailed information on the most relevant events. These dedicated articles will help you stay informed and updated with tips and guides on everything you need to know about Medellín and Colombia as a foreigner.
This and much more will be part of the renovation of Medellin Guru, which is already beginning to be breathed here but will be officially presented this Wednesday, July 19, 2023, to celebrate our sixth anniversary and honor the memory of our founder, Jeff.
It will be a private event with the participation of different actors and referents of the city around the development of a panel called: “Medellín, Gentrification, Tourism, and Investment.”
Different speakers will participate in this conversation; one is Natalia Castaño, who is part of the URBAM Eafit team. We will also have the participation of Ledys López, Undersecretary of Tourism of Medellín 2020-2023, María Velásquez, creator of “Un Tintico with me,” and Pablo Rojas Cubides, Strategic Projects Advisor of the Software Valley and Leader of the Asia Medellín chapter of La Alcaldía.
This space will address different visions regarding the challenges and benefits of gentrification and tourism in Medellín, thus welcoming the new era of Medellin Guru. It was in which we sought to maintain Jeff’s focus on tourist attraction while connecting the expat community with companies that offer value services in the country.
The bottom line: Medellin Guru renewed: The #1 expats’ portal in Colombia
Gentrification and tourism impose increasing challenges for large cities that are coming into the international spotlight, as is the current case of Medellín, the city of eternal spring. So, in the new era of Medellin Guru, we seek to contribute to a positive look at these phenomena, bringing all the benefits of being part of Colombia’s #1 expat portal.
Benefits within reach of a click both for our thousands of readers and for companies from different economic sectors that want to position their services in mind and heart of the expat community in the city and at a national level.