Barranquilla’s AgroExpo Caribe is a success!

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Bull Judging Photo: Mike Chartrand

There’s a sweet scent of fresh manure in the air, an announcer on the loudspeakers, touting the details of this bull and that, and here and there, the loud protest of a cow. Off to the side, a chain-saw is roaring, buzzing its way through a log. To my left and right, rough men in jeans and cowboy hats. You might have guessed it; we’re at the 1st annual AgroEXPO Caribe, on now at the new Puerta de Oro Convention Center until Sunday, Oct 9th.

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Cowboys at #AgroExpo Caribe 2016 – Photo: Mike Chartrand

Touting 250 horses, 1200 head of cattle, and 90 exhibits, the fair is poised to become the largest such fair on the Caribbean coast. Onsite yesterday to kick things off were both Alex Char, the mayor of Barranquilla, and Eduardo Verano, governor of Atlantico. Both stressed the importance of the fair to the economy of the region, benefiting not only farmers but equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, and service operators.

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Bull review at #AgroExpo Caribe 2016 – Photo: Mike Chartrand

We spoke with several vendors, curious about their experience so far. Overall, people are very happy to finally have something of this nature and size in Barranquilla. Many vendors noted that they regularly attend the annual fair in Bogota and that they expect that this one will likely overtake it within a few years. The single challenge many had was the lack of options for food.

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Lunchtime at #AgroExpo Caribe 2016 – Photo: Mike Chartrand

“My partner and I go to these things all the time. We just arrived from Houston, and so far we love it. Unfortunately, here at the fair, there’s almost nothing to eat.. and the prices for what they do have are very high. It’s too bad there’s no place to get a hamburger. Maybe that’s out of respect for the cows..”  Bill Hanson (Houston, Texas)

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In a former life, Mike was a corporate project manager in Canadian telecom. For the last 6 years, he has been traveling around Latin America, teaching English and writing. Mike now lives with his partner in beautiful Barranquilla.

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