Paso Nuevo, Colombia

A few weeks ago I was on the northern coast of Colombia. I visited Monteria, MoƱitos and Isla Fuerte. I will be on the road a lot over these next few days so I will take this opportunity to publish photos from this trip.

Here are some photos from a tiny, tiny town called Paso Nuevo. There were no boats to Isla Fuerte on the day I wanted to visit so I had to travel to this Paso Nuevo to find one instead. It is clearly the poorest town I have visited in Colombia. Many of the roads - which are all made of dirt - have huge piles of soil piled up in the middle of them in unfinished "road" works.

[Below] I don't remember seeing many cars there. Donkeys and motorbikes are the way to get around... and walking of course. It would only take a few minutes to cross the entire village on foot.

[Below] This "pool hall" was the fanciest thing in the village.

[Below] This man saw me walk by with my camera in my hand and silently urged me to take his picture. I soon found out he can't speak. His communication was a combination of hand signals and grunts. My impression was that his lack of verbal communication was due to a lack of education rather than any physical inability.

[Below] I chatted to quite a number of people in the village, including a couple of young guys who were lucky to have jobs. However they told me that the majority of people in Paso Nuevo are jobless and consequently have nothing to do. As a result, many of the people just sit around and watch the days pass; with doing nothing. These men were playing dominoes all day. They were playing dominoes when I arrived in town around 8am and they were still playing dominoes when I passed through on my return at around 5pm.

I had a little trouble learning the rules of the game. The only thing I learned for sure is that one has to slam the dominoes as hard as possible on the wooden table in attempt to rupture the ear-drums of the other players. I believe it's the psychological element of the competition.

Paso Nuevo was a lovely town and I was really happy to be led through there on my voyage to Isla Fuerte. It is really small and extremely poor, but the people are very friendly, open and easy to talk to. And the only consequence of my visit was a night of diarrhea after eating a soggy, mystery-stick of cheese pastry.

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