All the Exercising Outside

Most mornings the patio of Cafe Otraparte becomes a space for “gymnasio” and yoga. It’s around the corner from where I’m staying, so I go a few times a week.

Paisas (people from Medellin) sing along with any music that’s playing – in an exercise class, in a formal music performance…anywhere really – out loud, enjoying it for all it’s worth.


I think this song from Celia Cruz was playing when the woman in front of me, top right of the picture, starts embodying the soul of the song, doing her own dance, singing every word with all her heart. The class leader knows her name and cheers her on, the class starts clapping and whooping.

It’s a party now and we’re all singing and dancing and sweating!

After class, people head to the front entrance of the Museo de Otraparte and have a refreshing cup of Hot Coffee on the patio.

That doesn’t sound delicious to me when I’m drenched in sweat. I don’t even drink hot coffee here – strictly cold brew or granatizada, (frozen) for me.

It’s hot here! And by hot I mean around 75 degrees Farenheit by 10:00 am.

That’s how I am now, after a few months in Medellin, 75 degrees is hot.

People wear long sleeves, sweaters and coats at 75 degrees. I wear a thin coat of sweat most of the time.

Museo de OtraParte has a cultural agenda, including movies, literary talks, conferences, concerts, workshops, theater and guided tours.

It was founded by the family of an author and philosopher who’s theories didn’t fit into any known constructs, so they dubbed him from another place, “otra parte.”

People seem to love getting exercise here in Medellin.

On Sundays and holidays they shut down a major thoroughfare, the Avenida Poblado, so people can walk, ride bikes, whatever they want.

Vendors along the route sell mango, made-as-you-watch mandarin orange juice, coconut cooked with brown sugar, hot coffee, and more.