“I am Julián Medina, this is my blog ! I am 33 years old, Colombian, and won the worldwide Havana Club Gap Year competition which has given me the chance to travel abroad to 12 different countries for 12 months, experiencing each country the way it should be done… with the locals.
What has been planned for me is a great trip with many exciting experiences and many great people yet to meet. I am sharing this great chance with you in a few articles, photographs and videos… Enjoy!”
Do you have this in your country? – Month in Buenos Aires – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
Globalization has changed the world; some old traditions are now lost, or changing quickly. One job that has changed a lot is this one “The Shoemaker”, we now go to a shop where we find endless amounts of shoes, styles and anything we imagine.
But in the past, people would go to a shoemaker like this one, and ordered a pair of shoes, ‘custom made’ and they had to wait a few weeks before the shoemaker with his own hands made them.
And if the shoes were broken after using them for a while, people would take them back to get them fixed.
I guess nowadays is less and less common to get shoes fixed, in my case if they broke I’d throw them away.
Well, along with foto-ruta.com we found a place to get your shoes repaired, this is my photo essay of this amazing place, full of memories.
Learning to take pictures with you smartphone – Month in Buenos Aires – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
Today, most of us carry powerful cameras in our pockets; we also use them to make calls… Smartphone’s cameras have changed photography, they have changed the way we take pictures and also the way we show them to the world.
These powerful cameras also come with powerful labs for processing pictures, most known as apps. Filters, shapes, styles, colors, shadows, reflections, stars, sizes, etc. We can do anything we want to our pictures, we can create pictures with awesome and almost professional looking images.
That’s why my awesome mentors in Buenos Aires, invented a tour and a workshop; for teaching people how to take pictures on smartphones and also on how to use the best apps available for adding filters and effects to our pictures.
The tour begins with a short presentation, giving us ideas and advise on how to use our phone’s features; also, they give you tips on creativity, street photography and some of the most important rules for taking great pictures.
Then the journey around the best places in Buenos Aires Begin; taking pictures, going to awesome places, trying to see the city from another perspective and most importantly, learning all about smartphone photography.
This is one cool way of visiting a city; learning something different, and at the same time walking up and down the best touristic spots of the city. www.foto-ruta.com
The portrait of a city - Month in Buenos Aires - HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
Photography, a really difficult topic to talk about;
What’s a good photo?
Who’s a great photographer?
Is it possible to learn photography?
Do great cameras or great people take great photos?
Is it difficult to be a great photographer?
When I was in Havana competing for my Havana Club Gap Year the jury asked me: What country and experience are you looking forward the most?
My answer was: Buenos Aires and the photography lessons. [I have a different experience every month; in Buenos Aires is photography]
Well, here I am; in the beautiful and photogenic Buenos Aires, a friendly city if you are a street photographer or want to become one.
People in Buenos Aires are really easy to approach and ask for pictures, most of the time people will let you take their pictures with a huge smile. And the beauty of the city makes the perfect background for these pictures.
My mentors in Buenos Aires are two awesome girls that have a company that does street photography tours around Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, London; called foto-ruta.com
I will be doing each one of their workshops; I will also try learn as much as I can from them and their great team of photographers.
This time we focused on portraits around the city, trying to capture people, people on their own environment; trying to show the city through the face of real people.
I often try not to bother people, I try to take ‘candid’ photos, but this has been the perfect opportunity to find out what I’m capable of, to explore deeper into photography, and who knows, maybe I become a photographer one day.
On the next posts from Buenos Aires I’ll be trying to answer some of the questions at the top.
Also, if you like to ask anything about equipment, techniques or about the city, please feel free to do so, I’d love to help.
I spent a month in Chile, a country that impressed me, a country where I met the most awesome people, and a month where I saw the most beautiful landscapes, sceneries, and nature.
Every single thing in Chile surprised me; 15 days in Valparaiso were not enough to enjoy this city’s vibe, a few more days in the amazing Santiago de Chile, and 7 days in San Pedro de Atacama.
Chile is a must visit place if you are coming to South America; safe, organized and beautiful destination.
My next stop… where Tango was born, where football is in every day conversation, they have the best football player in the world, a pope and also is a paradise for food.
I will be in Buenos Aires experiencing street photography with a company called http://foto-ruta.com they will be taking me on amazing journeys around the city and showing me the real spirit of Buenos Aires, all thanks to Havana Club and the Havana Club Gap Year experience.
One beautiful place in a magical country – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
San Pedro de Atacama is the center of the whole Andes experience in Chile, a small town that has everything, from the best and fine restaurants to the chilled and cheap local dining places.
With loads of hostels, hotels and travel agencies, San Pedro is definitely a place that will keep you busy for many days.
If you are going to San Pedro and you are wondering how much time to spend there, I would recommend no less that 7 days, if you like cycling and exploring everything with time. Or if you only want to take the tours and follow a schedule 5 days is perfect for that purpose.
These are some of the recommended tours in San Pedro de Atacama:
This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life – Flamingo National PARK, Chile – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
I wish I could write beautiful words to describe this place, but I guess it would be almost impossible.
I’m only going to explain some of the things you are seeing; white color is salt, yellow color is sulfur, flamingoes looking for food in almost frozen water, and a beautiful clear blue sky. What else can I say about this?
Salar de Atacama – Month in Chile – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
Salt, salt and more salt, it is impressive how much salt you see around this area. You have to have in mind that this was covered in water thousands of years ago, and when it dried up the salt stayed on the bottom.
It is amazing to be able to walk on salt, and it is obviously something we are not really used to see. Land completely covered in white salt, another wonder in San Pedro to be visited.
Salar de Tara/Monjes de la Packana – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
More impressive and beautiful places that made me think about the world; there is so much beauty around us, there are places that really convince you that the world was perfectly created, and we are so lucky to be enjoying it now.
Contrast of colors, perfect skies, and free animals enjoying a very well protected habitat, you are just a witness of a perfect environment.
When I’m taking a picture, I really try to capture some of the beauty, but I really think that it can’t be stored in a camera, my eyes saw something that made me breath and smile.
If you are going to stay in San Pedro de Atacama for 7 days, try to do every single tour, I did, and I enjoy every single one.
It’s not a ghost town, but only 7 people live here – Machuca, Chile – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR
This is a small town, when I say small, it is really small; only seven people live there, as it’s just a town for tourists now. Most of the people that lived there left, looking for better opportunities and better income.
Although it’s almost empty it has something that makes it special, been there I wish I could have stayed for a few days, living on that peaceful place, just to feel loneliness and maybe feel what indigenous tribes that inhabited these places felt.
Locals here sell some handcrafts and also food; you can try charbroiled llama’s heart, one of the place’s delicacies. I didn’t try it as I’m vegetarian, but some people did and they liked it.
This tour was also with www.turismogrado10.com great agency, but as I’ve said before, there are plenty of options in San Pedro.