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Comuna 13 – Urban Renewal In Medellin

Medellin is a proud city. The Antioquia region (where Medellin is located) has 300+ years of amazing history, including gold mining, coffee production, and so much more. But people don’t think of that when they think of Medellin. Instead, they remember the past 40 years when the city became plagued with drug cartels and crime, earning its name as the most dangerous city in the world.

Since 2003 through, the city has been undergoing a massive transformation. One of the many great examples of the urban renewal effort can be found at Comuna 13. The city neighborhood located on the steep mountainside used to be the most dangerous neighborhood in the most dangerous city in the world. But through a committed effort from the government, community projects and the people of Comuna 13, the neighborhood is now a safe and beautiful place to live and visit.

To understand the transformation in full, I’ll point you to this Guardian article which goes into much more detail than I ever could from my half day tour.

We took the Graffiti Tour with Toucan Cafe & Tours and had an amazing afternoon. I was amazed by the quality of the work and the stories that they tell. What’s great about this tour is that it is lead by artists from Casa Kolacho, which is a school that teaches local Comuna 13 youth about graffiti, hip hop, DJing and breakdancing. By teaching kids these skills, they show them that there is so much more that they can do with their lives than the set career paths that used to define the area. The money from the tour directly benefits this group.

I hope you enjoy taking a peek into this beautiful neighborhood and are be inspired to see Medellin in a different light.

Planning a Trip to Medellin?

That’s awesome and we’re jealous! Our Medellin travel guide has everything you need to plan your trip and is a great place to start. We’ve got you covered on everything from our perfect 1-4 day Medellin Itinerary to our Medellin Coffee Guide for all things coffee. Be sure to check out our favorite things to eat, drink and do in Medellin plus a video of our Top 10 Medellin experiences. Wondering how much all this will cost? We’ve got you covered with our Medellin travel costs infographic.