Getsemani used to be a high crime and drug activity neighborhood. Now the old crack houses are modern high-end hotels and restaurants.
The locals have adapted and with forced gentrification turned their homes into hostels.
It is also the hotspots for the nightlife. In particular, one club, Cafe Havana that has a live band playing salsa every night starring at 11:30 pm.
But, you can’t just go for the clubs, you have to take the graffiti tour.
The tour tells you a story of the neighborhood. You see the walls of protest. The pictures of community activists, past and present. You see the story of gentrification.
Furthermore, we went down one street where there was a mural of a man named Gabriel who used to be a successful fisherman.
Long story short, the government took his home and a community artist painted his face on the wall of his old home. He now lives across the street from his photo.
But, he.is.homeless!!!! He literally is living on the street. Our tour guide had to repeat himself several times when he said: “and this is Gabriel”. He and others are the faces of gentrification.
Side note: He seems to be well loved in his community and no one bothers him. Oh, and behind him is the Colombian Betty Boop. 😍
They say you haven’t truly visited Getsemani if you haven’t visited the murals.
There is a story behind every picture. I won’t give away all of the stories. You will have to come and see for yourself. However, I can share some of the artwork.
The day was so heavy but insightful. The stories behind the murals were so deep and thought-provoking.
We then walked up on a picture of Spider-Man and we were like…”What’s the significance of the Spider-Man?” And in his thick Colombian accent, our tour guide was like “Nothing, ees juss eh eSpider Man.” Lolololol 😂😂😂😂😂 We needed that laugh!
Lastly, if you Google Getsemani, it says:
“Hip Getsemani centers on Holy Trinity Square, where laid-back groups gather to drink beer, listen to street musicians and snack on grilled arepas from nearby stalls. Lively pizzerias and casual bistros serving Colombian staples line the surrounding streets, which are also known for their vivid murals.
However, it is so much more. Take the cultural tour and learn about the people and neighborhood.