Meeting again with Colombia, my hometown

by Alberto
(New York, USA)

Teleferico at Cerro de Monserrate

Teleferico at Cerro de Monserrate

My parents came to the United States in the mid 60's. I was born and raised here in New York. I went to Colombia when I was 4 years old and I don’t really remember much about that trip.

At the age of 37 I went back. The main reason was to meet my grandparents and aunts and uncles. I’m glad I went 3 years ago. Since I came back from that trip in 2005 I have lost 6 of those family members but I have zero regrets. It was an extreme pleasure to meet them.

On the flight out there I have to be honest I was worried. I did not know what to expect. The media movies, news, in the USA does a great job of putting negative images of Colombia in peoples heads. I was one of those people with the negative image in my head. My trip was for 18 days and on the plane going over there I had decided if I saw anything like I see on TV I was going to make the quickest u turn known to man.

To my surprise I spent the full 18 days there and I cried so hard when I left. My 18 days was spent in Bogota where my family is from. I was on the streets just walking and waling looking at the architecture riding Transmilenio, going to Monserrate etc. I fell in love with the city. Pretty much like New York if not better.

In 13 hour walks daily in the streets, I happen to see a lot of construction of real estate. I decided I wanted to buy something. So I came back to the USA to became a Colombian citizen with the help of my dad. Now here I’m typing to you May 11 2008 with possible plans of going at the end of this month with the intention of buying some property.

What I would like from you is to confirm what I’m about to tell you or give me some information related with what I’m about to type. I would like to transfer some funds from my bank here in new York to a bank in Bogota to have ready to purchase property. I've been told I would have to speak to my bank here in new York and let them know when I’m going. Then when I get to Bogota I have to open an account there. Then call my bank here in new York and tell them to transfer the money to that new account in bogota. Is this correct ?

Is there a better more efficient way ? I would really like your input on this.
Again thanks so much for your Website. I learned a lot and I appreciate your time.

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May 20, 2008
by: Mauricio

Alberto, Thank you so much for your story. There are a lot of people like you, not only Colombians living abroad since long time ago but also foreigners, who have the same feeling and would identify with you. I'm sure it will encourage other visitors like you to share their experiences.
Regarding your question, the other way to pay for your property is wiring the money to the sellers account directly. This can be stated in a purchase agreement.
Some Colombian banks don't allow non-residents to open a bank account, unless you have been living in Colombia for at least six months. It's kind of strange, but that's the way it is. Other banks allow to open bank accounts only with your colombian ID (Cedula de Ciudadania).

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