Tiempos en Medellín- A Poem By Our Scholarship Winner

Darkness that falls from the skies

You immerse me in your shadows,

Like a blanket on a chilly night


Light that shines upon my path

I ask: Did you make a deal with grupo niche

As they sing “Tiempos de ayer”

Because the neighbors across the street


Have another bottle of aguardiente on the table

While their fingers wrap around their partners hands

As they dance the night away for the 5th time this week


I am an American with Mexican blood

But in Medellín I am,

A man whose feet burn the dance floor

At the sound of Jairo Varelas voice

I am American with a Mexican accent


The taxi drivers make sure I wont forget this


Darkness that falls from the skies

What does it feel like to sit on a city

That is full of vegetation and mountains

and distinct flowers that kick start

The celebration of eternal spring


What does it feel like to share the skies

With a sun that gives itself to Medellín

Only to let us see and provide warmth without ever burning us


With a sun that takes care of us and provides light

For the biodiversity of Medellín


With a climate that

Refreshes by day and invites

To go out by night



Refers to those from Medellin

Paisa is to ask if everything is alright upon entering a room

Paisa is to help the foreigner get home to their apartment safely

Paisa is to create a plate of food and name it by putting the word

Paisa at the front


Paisa is to work by night

On Saturdays and Sundays

cleaning the streets Of Parque Lleras and the 70

While the others party it up.


Paisa is an innovative business person upon having the opportunity.

Paisa is to have fresh juice at any corner you find food


Paisa is a way of life


Light that shines upon my path


Every step I take

Makes it more difficult to hear the sounds of

“Tiempos de Ayer”


With fire on my feet

And smoke emitting from the soles

Of my shoe

I sing along:


Bellos paisajes

que te hacían de soñar

ya pocos motivos

con los dedos de… contar…

the intern group

Oscuridad que caís por los cielos

me envuelves en tu sombra

Como un cobija en noche de frio


Luz que alumbra mi camino

Pregunto: Tal vez le diste la mano a Grupo Niche

Mientras cantan “Tiempos de ayer”

Por que los parseros a cruzar la calle


Están con el Guaro en la mesa

Y los dedos agarrados de su pareja bailando

Por la quinta vez esta semana


Soy Estado Unidense con raíces Mexicanas

Pero en Medellín soy,

hombre con píes que queman la pista

del baile

al escuchar la voz de Jairo Varela


Soy Estado Unidense con acento Mexicano


Los taxistas, JAMAS, me dejan olvidarlo


Oscuridad que caís por los cielos

Que se siente envolver una ciudad

Llena de vegetación, y montañas

Llena de flores distintas que encienden

La celebración de la eterna primavera


Que se siente compartir el cielo

Con un sol que se presta

Solo para dar vista Y abrazar sin quemar


Con un sol que nos cuida y le da luz

a la biodiversidad de Medellin


Con un clima que

Refresca por el día y invita

A salir por la noche



se refiere a los de Medellín

Paisa es preguntar todo bien al entrar un cuarto

Paisa es ayudar al extranjero llegar a su hogar sin problema

Paisa es crear un plato de comida y ponerle

bandeja por en frente del nombre


Paisa es trabajar por la noche

en los Sábados y Domingos limpiando las calles

De parque Lleras y la 70

mientras los demás rumbean


Paisa es ser emprendedor y innovador a tener la oportunidad

Paisa es tener jugo fresco

en cualquier esquina que encuentres comida


Paisa es un estilo de vida


Luz que alumbra mi camino,


cada pisada que tomo

hace mas difícil para escuchar

“Tiempos de Ayer”


con fogata en los pies

y humo saliendo

por la suela de mi zapatos

le canto


Bellos paisajes

que te hacían de soñar

ya pocos motivos

con los dedos de… contar…

Photo 1. based on Medellin , by Kevin Dooley, CC BY 2.0

Photo 2. based on MEDELLÍN , by Iván Erre Jota, CC BY -SA 2.0


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Jose Pardo

Jose is a rising senior at Arizona State University. He is currently pursuing a degree in Urban Planning with a minor Chicano/a, Latino/a Transborder Studies. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where conversations about homelessness and immigration have always made a large majority of the population feel uncomfortable. Nonetheless, these two topics have always interested Jose and have played a significant role in the molding his my identity. With his degrees, Jose intends to make safer and better planned cities that will help alleviate the pain many feel from inadequately planned cities and poor-living conditions.
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