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November 12, 2015
The Feria de las Flores is one of the great cultural events of Medellin – and one of the biggest parties in a country of many fiestas. The 10-day long event attracts tens of thousands of people and has a number of exciting events and parades. But just what is the best flower…? Today we reveal all about a great Colombian event!
June 18, 2015
In certain parts of the world plastic surgery is very popular. The USA has the most plastic surgery operations, while it is also popular in parts of Europe and South Korea. Another region of the world where it is popular is Latin America. Countries such as Brazil and Colombia have quite high levels of plastic surgery. In today’s episode we look at the facts and (opinions!) behind it. Where is it most popular? What operations do people have? Why is it more popular in some countries than others? All will be revealed in the new Spanish audio podcast!
June 6, 2015
Every country and every culture has a variety of sayings that people use in all manner of situations. They are often illogical and used in only certain parts of a country or region. But, they are essential in truly understanding a culture and a language. Today we share with you a variety of interesting and popular refranes from Colombia…
May 26, 2015
Before the Europeans arrived to the American continent, a variety of cultures were living - and had lived – on the continent over the years. In this episode, we discuss two of the most incredible from Colombia. We start by looking at La Ciudad Perdida, a city that had been lost for hundreds of years until the 1970s. Then we look at the fascinating site of San Agustin – land of amazing statues. Both of these sites can be visited today and both have their share of interesting tales – as we tell you about in the Spanish audio podcast!
May 16, 2015
Much like legends, myths are important to many cultures. In this podcast, we discuss myths specifically related to how aspects of the world were made. We traverse the American continent and feature a story from Colombia, as well as the Tehuelches in Argentina and the Mayas in Mexico. So get prepared for some wonderful (and not so wonderful) myths from Latin America!
May 7, 2015
Legends are part of every culture. They have often been passed down through the generations, and many come from the countryside. After all, it wasn’t too long ago when most people were living outside of towns and cities. Today, we tell the tales of a variety of interesting and scary legends! From La Llorona to El Sombreron, and the terrible deal that Juan Machete did with the devil, you’ll get to hear some fascinating stories in today’s Spanish audio podcast!
April 30, 2015
Hollywood has its great points; however it is not perfect. And one thing it sometimes does, is stereotype certain groups. In this episode we look at the stereotypes associated with Latinos in Hollywood. From certain low-paid jobs to drugs, and crazy, shouting Latinas to psychopaths, here we discuss just what they are…
April 23, 2015
Truck drivers have been on strike across Colombia. In this Spanish audio podcast, we explain the main reasons why. And what the effects have been on the country… Just how are people moving around if the roads are blocked? Have prices risen in the shops? And most importantly, just how do you get fruit and vegetables if the truck drivers aren’t moving goods around the country? We explain all here…
April 18, 2015
In the southwest of Colombia is the department of Nariño. Even though it is a lesser-visited region of the country, it has many fascinating sites. And what makes it even more special is that it ranges from the high mountains to the tropical coast. Today we talk about volcanoes, one of the most stunning churches in Latin America (if not the world), and a very different nature reserve – It used to be a prison and is now a tourist destination complete with a number of snakes (and sharks for that matter!). Enjoy!
April 9, 2015
From the north to the south, and the east to the west, there are many culinary delights in Colombia! From the Colombian ‘English breakfast’ that is bandeja paisa to ajiaco and sancocho, we look at a wide range of fantastic food! There’s also the delightful fish and coconut rice, as well as guinea pig… In fact, there’s so much wonderful food that we run out of time - so part 2 will be here later this year!
April 2, 2015
It was just a few short weeks ago when an earthquake of 6.6 on the richter scale struck much of Colombia, including the capital Bogota. Fortunately there were no deaths, but it was still very scary! Today Paola tells us what exactly happened on that crazy day. We also look back at the history of earthquakes in the region.
March 26, 2015
Do all men in Latin America look like footballer James Rodriguez? What is el amor latino? Is machismo still a key feature of Latin American society? Today we take an interesting look at all of these questions and discuss the role of men – particularly younger men - in modern Latin America. This is a fascinating episode so we hope you enjoy it!
March 19, 2015
This Spanish audio podcast looks at how to speak to people in Latin America. We discuss differences in how open people are in different Latin countries, and share 5 questions that many people may ask you – according to Cristian’s guide book! We also tell you in which countries you will probably be able to practice more Spanish (as people are really friendly), as well as other interesting topics of conversation… In short, this podcast explains why we decided to focus our audio podcasts on a certain part of the Spanish-speaking world!
March 13, 2015
In a recent survey, Colombia was among the happiest countries in the world. Many other Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica and Peru, also feature among the happiest! So in today’s podcast we look at some of the reasons why Colombia is among the happiest countries – from the strange to the not so strange! And some of them reasons might not be what you think…
March 5, 2015
In some Western countries, beauty queens and beauty pageants seem rather old-fashioned. But in various Latin American countries they remain very popular. In this episode we discuss how you win a beauty pageant, other types of reinado, and some recent controversies from beauty pageants. Oh and how one Latin American country recently won Miss Universe…
February 26, 2015
The Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is formed of a group of Colombian islands far removed from the Colombian mainland. They are idyllic tropical islands, many of which are close to Nicaragua. In this episode we talk about what you can do in this vacation destination, as well as tales of pirates and how English is an official language there!
February 19, 2015
Many people in Latin America work six days a week, which means that people’s days without work are even more precious. In this episode, we discuss the variety of events that happen on domingo – from family outings and cultural events to church and food! And Cristian also wonders whether people are particularly ‘relaxed’ on a Sunday… Paola is not impressed!
February 12, 2015
Many of us have heard of the Rio carnival, but far fewer the second biggest carnival. This takes place in the sultry city of Barranquilla, on the northern Colombian coast. Today we look at the carnival’s history, some of the fascinating characters who join the parades (such as Rey Momo!), as well as the intriguing fantasy parade. We also discuss the fun that people have for 4 days in the heat – or some 40 days if you include the pre-carnaval!
February 6, 2015
Cristian shares a fascinating article he recently read about how short-sightedness in children has increased in China due in large part to the amount of time that children study. This leads on to a variety of topics – including how much people read in Colombia and why not many people seem to wear glasses there… Plus so much more!
January 30, 2015
The Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez was possibly the most important Latin American writer of the twentieth century. His magical realist writing produced such classics as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. Here, we discuss his fascinating life, books, and how learners of Spanish can benefit from reading his books! Oh and how he knew Fidel Castro...
January 22, 2015
Many people sell products on the street in Latin America. In this episode we look at this serious issue in a different way… We focus on the people who sell products on public transport. From the charismatic man who spent 30 minutes selling health products on a bus to the popularity of English books, and bus rappers to the very unique way that Coca-Cola is sold, this audio podcast will provide an insight into the innovative ways that people sell!
January 15, 2015
Coca is a herb that has a long and mystical history in many parts of South America; whereas cocaine does not. There is much confusion around coca as it is a (very very small) part of the cocaine production process. Partly for this reason, coca is illegal in many countries. In this episode, we explain coca’s fascinating history and important cultural elements.
January 7, 2015
We look at the little-visited Pacific coast of Colombia in this episode. With it being difficult to reach, much of the region is largely unknown to foreigners. So in this episode we tell you how to get there and some of Cristian’s adventures in the region – including the little plane, the deserted beach, the incredible heat, and a search for whales…
December 30, 2014
In the episode we learn about how important New Year is to many people in Latin America. In fact, it is just as important as Christmas for many. We also find out about some very quirky and unusual new year traditions that Paola has been involved in!
December 16, 2014
In the second episode of the audio podcast that will greatly help your Spanish, we look at vacaciones! After all, summer is with us in much of Latin America!
December 7, 2014
The first ever episode of the Learning Spanish Fast podcast series has arrived. It is about Christmas – Navidad! In this episode Paola tells us what happens during Christmas in South America, in particular in Colombia. And Cristian shares his experiences of Christmas in another Latin American country.
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