Learn Spanish in Colombia while visiting spectacular landmarks. Here you will find four of the most interesting library designs in Colombia. Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

Virgilio Barco Library in Bogotá

Virgilio Barco Library. Bogota, Colombia
Photo Attribution: By Matt Lemmon (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mplemmon/1487457129/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Virgilio Barco Library building, being one of the four largest libraries of the BIBLORED network in Bogotá, it’s a cultural and recreational staple of the country that has become a reference of contemporary public spaces.

The building, designed by Rogelio Salmona (1929-2007), considered the most important Colombian architect of the 20th century, stands out due to its creative design, a maze of colors featuring red brick walls and and exterior space that makes it, according to its creator, a kind of “ceremonial center”

The inside is as especial and calm as the outside, depicting a colorful labyrinth of books in an area of nearly 7.000 m2

Villanueva Public Library in Casanare

Designed by four young Colombian architects, the Villanueva Public Library in Casanare it’s a 3000 square meters building.

The library is notable for its simple and amazing architecture and for the use of locally sourced materials, including timber and stones from rivers and the help of the locals.

For more information and photos, please visit: De Zeen Magazine

Parque Biblioteca España, in Medellín

Biblioteca España Park Medellín

Photo Attribution: By SajoR (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Designed by architect Giancarlo Mazzanti, the Parque Biblioteca España is noted for its striking modernist design.

Three buildings that resemble black stones, contrast to the homes in the neighborhood. The library is located at the top of one of the peaks of Medellín and it’s an ideal sightseeing point of the city.

EPM Library, Medellin

EPM Library Medellín

Photo Attribution: By Jorge Gómez (Foto tomada por mí) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Designed like an upside-down pyramid, the EPM Library in Medellin is an iconic building not only for its walls of glass and natural stones and its 107,000 square foot beautiful interior, but for the forest of white columns located just outside: “La plaza de Cisneros”.

Each column of the Plaza has seven reflectors illuminated by 170 floor lamps. The lighting system simulates phases of the moon.

Plaza Cisneros, Medellín
Photo Attribution: By http://www.flickr.com/people/jlascar/ Jorge Láscar (Own work, I took the picture) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

We all know that music is an excellent way to learn Spanish. One of the things you can do to both enjoy yourself and learn at the same time, specially the Spanish language, is to listen to music.

First, find music you really enjoy, try listening the songs as much as you can and finally try to understand the lyrics, this will help you to learn grammar, vocabulary and accent.

A lyric video is a video which features words on screen while a song plays. It is not a new concept, but what makes it appealing and interesting is its creativity.

Here is a list of good videos we have for you.

1. Fonseca – Desde Que No Estás

2. Andrés Cepeda – Un Ratito

3.We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Spanish Version) – Cover by Kevin Karla & LaBanda

4. Algo Me Gusta De Ti (Lyric Video) – Wisin & Yandel

Photo Attribution: By Andrew Bertram (World66) [CC-BY-SA-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) showcases the work of art of Colombia’s first inhabitants, who believed gold was the materialization of the Sun as life-giving energy god.

Its collection also includes objects like pottery, stone and wood and more than 33,000 items of gold and emeralds and other precious materials crafted in pre-Hispanic times.

One of the most important pieces in the gallery is the he Muisca Raft “Balsa Muisca”, cast in one sole piece using the lost wax technique in a clay mold, made of extremely pure gold (over 80%) with native silver and copper alloy. It has been interpreted as the representation of El dorado Ceremony.

You can preview the exhibition in 26 panoramic and interactive images here
http://www.banrepcultural.org/gold-museum/tour-of-the-gold-museum-in-360

The Gold Museum is also part of theGoogle Art project [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Our students love their Spanish courses in Colombia and we all love Valentine’s Day.

Together we chose these 3 songs for this Valentine’s Day 2013

1 Cabas, Bonita.

2. Siam, No existe

3. Mojito Lite, Amnesia

Hope you have a very Spanish Valentine’s Day!!

We are very proud of our very own Juanes. He recently won his first Anglo Grammy at the 55th annual Grammy Awards.

Juanes brought home the Best Latin Pop Album for his MTV Unplugged Juanes Album , which also won a Latin Grammy for Album of the Year in 2012.

Juanes performed his own version of Elton John’s Your Song in English and Spanish, during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

Here are the lyrics, including the Spanish version.

It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live

…Y tú puedes decirle a todos
que esta es tu canción
y aunque suene un poco simple
lo que te digo hoy…
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

Congrats Juanes!!!

Also check Juanes Acoustic performance at On Air with Ryan Seacrest

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]1[/fusion_dropcap]First, our one and fabulous Colombian singer Juanes showing us how to say “manos, cabeza y pies”. Muévete with Juanes, Elmo and Rosita

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]2[/fusion_dropcap]Spanish G Word Song with Rosita. Rosita, Sesame Street Spanish speaking character, sings about the letter “G”. On this video we can hear words like “Grillo”, “Gracias” and “Gallo. With a catchy rhythm, this song helps us to learn this sound.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]3[/fusion_dropcap]We chose this song because it teaches us an important aspect of the Spanish language: The letter “H” which is a silent letter with no pronunciation. So practice with Grover’s ode to the “Zanahoria”

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]4[/fusion_dropcap]On this video Colombian actress Sophia Vergara and Elmo show us what “Baile” means.

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_dropcap]5[/fusion_dropcap]And Finally, here is a list of videos (lots of them) from Sesame Street Website “Fun with Spanish”
We certainly can enhance our vocabulary in a fun way http://www.sesamestreet.org/playlists#media/playlist_198

Hope you enjoy our selection. Live us a comment if you liked it.
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This week in one of our Spanish classes we talked about what makes us happy and found a very clever Colombian saying.

“Barriga llena, Corazón contento” which translates as: full tummy, happy heart.

But what does that mean? Is it just about food? We certainly don’t think that way. We think “Barriga llena, Corazón contento” means everything looks different when you have fulfilled all your basic needs, like food, shelter, health and you feel O.K. about life and any problems you may have.

What do you think? Knowing you have food for you and you family makes you feel good about life? Please leave us your comments.

Check the pronunciation here:

We always try dynamic content in our Spanish classes and this week we talked about music. One of our students recalled listening, when he was young, a song performed by an English speaking artist, in Spanish. So we talked more about this and found amazing Spanish versions of once English top hits.

Here are 5 videos you will find very interesting

First Michael Jackson whit his version of “I can’t stop loving you”. The adaptation is amazing as well as the accent.

Bon Jovi has two songs in Spanish, “Bed of Roses” and “This Ain’t A Love Song”. We like better the second one.

Who can forget Harry Nilsson and his amazing voice singing “Without You”? Well, the Spanish version is as good as the English version.

Sting, in 1988 sings his hit “Fragile” in Spanish, a very good version!

And last but not least, Roxxete with “It Must Have Been Love”

We can’t forget ABBA, one of the best-selling music artists of all time and the first pop group to come from a non-English-speaking country (Sweden). ABBA also recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish. Here is “Chiquitita”

What do you think? Did these artists do it just for fun or tried to penetrate just a niche market?

“Dar papaya” literally “to give papaya”, is a Colombian saying meaning “don’t put yourself in a position where people can easily take advantage of you”.

You will think that because we passed December 31th the party is over. No way! We still have a lot to celebrate.

In January and February we have three major festivals we love!

First, from December 28 to January 7, the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival “Carnaval de Negros y Blancos” in Pasto, proclaimed by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Then, from January 4 to 11, The Manizales Fair, renowned nationally and internationally for its bullfighting season.

And last, but not least, from February 9 to 12, The Barranquilla’s Carnival, one of the biggest carnivals in the world that paralyzes an entire city.

As you can see, the party has just started. Take a look at our posts about these festivals and keep the party going!

Blacks and Whites’ Carnival “Carnaval de Negros y Blancos”

The Manizales Fair

The Barranquilla’s Carnival