In Bogotá's Barrio Egipto, ex-gang members lead you on a vibrant graffiti tour, sharing their past while revealing a present blossoming with hope. Walk colorful streets, decipher mural stories, and see tourism empower residents through art and community projects like a new football field for the next generation. Witness transformation in every step, from gritty struggles to a future painted with vibrant dreams.
Check out this amazing video report from Travel Life Experiences about the Breaking Borders Project.
Learn about the impressive history of a group of locals from the Egipto neighborhood in Bogotá. Deciding to leave their criminal past behind they have started the initiative Breaking Borders, showing tourists around their streets filled with artwork that tells the neighborhood’s history. In this way, tourism has formed a real alternative for their personal and professional development and opened the doors for a brighter future.
You will meet your English-speaking guide in Chorro Quevedo, the founding place of Bogotá, There you will learn about the project while drinking a coffee or agua panela before heading to Nuestra Señora de Egipto, the church located at the entrance of Barrio Egipto. This is also the scene for the festivities on the 6th of January, a three-day religious carnival that is deeply rooted in the traditions of the people from Barrio Egipto.
The Calle Real or Royal Street, once the people’s only connection to the city, will lead you deeper into the neighborhood. Your guide will then stop with you at El Cuadrado, a central point in the history of gang fights of the area. While in the past this place was a strategic point for control over the territory for the gangs, today it is painted with pictures that tell you about the history and new values of the people.
Walking uphill through the colorful streets of the neighborhood, you will notice first-hand how much the area has changed and transformed into a place of hope, peace, and culture. All along the way, you will be able to see the history of the people illustrated in impressive graffiti art. Your guide will let you in on the meanings and stories behind these murals.
You will then reach the hills where the modest houses of the local guides and their families are bedded into the steep hills. You will note that the community is still underdeveloped and struggles with access to basic utilities. In spite of these conditions, this place is full of life thanks to the people’s warmth, joy, and desire of their children to fight for their dreams.
In this area, you will also see one of the biggest changes in the neighborhood. Thanks to the project; a football field has been constructed for the children of the district. Hear why this field in and essential part of the ongoing transformation.
How this tour creates an impact
The leaders of the Breaking Borders project want to change the neighborhood's narrative of violence and give a positive example to the youth in the area by creating an urban tourism project that tells their own stories using the art of graffiti and rap. On an extended version of the tour, you’ll visit the wood and weaving workshops of the NGO Buena Semilla. Breaking Borders and Buena Semilla contribute the community processes from the support of children, youth and women.
This tour is part of our HEART experiences.
This experience can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Great experience with great people! A unique occasion to discover the difficulties faced and this initiative to exit gang life. Congrats on them for breaking borders
The highlight of my time in Bogotá. The tour is unique, meeting the gang members and understanding their motivation for changing their lifestyles was indescribable.
We had the most amazing tour planned by Juliana with Raoul Posse as our guide in Bogota and Anna Christina in Medellín. The focus was on Weaving Peace had multiple profound experiences, where we witnessed and interacted with people that are working towards and making progress in healing their communities and their country from their painful, violent history. In addition, we went to a coffee farm and had a great bike ride with Marco and Ana Maria outside of Medellín. It was a perfect trip. The guides went the extra mile for us, taking photos, recommending music and attending concerts with us (which was not part of the program). We loved Colombia and plan to return. Impulse Agency was a find and would use them again in a heartbeat.
When we decided to visit Colombia I searched for a local agency that was aligned with our interests in culture, history, both old and contemporary and importantly, social justice. Impulse took care if all of it!! We spent ten days in Bogota and Medellín and surrounds [...] But what really stood out were the incredible guides we had. Raul in Bogota and Marcos, Ana Maria and Ana Cristina in Medellin. Mature, hip, knowledgeable and fun!! We learned so much. I have only one complaint: we needed more time to explore more of this amazing country. We will be back. And will definitely be using Impulse again!
Amazing experience!! Provides a deep understanding of the lifestyle of a community that has been heavily impacted by violence and exclusion
Breaking Borders is a fascinating walk through Egipto, a neighborhood that has a history and past of violence and gangs that is now at peace with its past and the citizens are creating a better tomorrow for the youth. You'll hear some interesting stories about events that have happened here, told by the members of the gangs that experienced them. They are sincerely hoping to make a better future for their neighbors and their younger residents. Impulse Travel is easy to work with and arranges everything. You'll be paired with a guide/translator and a local guide/resident of Egipto to accompany you along the streets of the neighborhood. Every corner, wall and street has a story!
It was a true experience to be with impulse travel and meeting breaking borders. We had a pleasure knowing about the history of the area and of course, history of egipto. This is A MUST to do - also to really get a look into some political issues and how breaking borders really wants to change and unite all. Thank you so much for that beautiful experience and seeing all the mural art!
Breaking borders teens open their barrio egypto to counter illegality and drug trafficking, tell its story through graffiti, cultivation projects, sports and music that create social aggregation. The accompaniment of the impulse travel guide was a great help in contextualizing the relationship between the city and the barrio before arriving
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