Colombia for Lovers of History

By Myrdith Leon-McCormack
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Colombia
According to The Wedding Report.com, spending patterns in wedding planning among the Latin community is broken down by concrete facts. Some Hispanic market facts:

1. Hispanics typically spend less on their wedding overall than non-Hispanics
2. Hispanics are more likely to buy a designer dress at a deal price
3. Hispanics are more likely to have the ceremony in a church and the reception at a banquet hall or country club
4. Hispanics are more likely to spend money on gifts for their parents, on invitations and event accessories
5. Hispanics are more likely to have a wedding that is romantic, formal and/or themed
6. Hispanics represent 15% of U.S. weddings, there are about 325,000 of them each year
7. Hispanics spend on average $21.4k total on the wedding

 

With this last fact, it means that this market is spending $6.9 billion per year. These are some powerful numbers. But what does that mean to those in the wedding business and its experts? Well, as a wedding professional, if your goal is to capture that market, it is so important to know and understand the culture you intend to serve. More importantly, respect of their culture and tradition is necessary, as it quickly translates into gearing their spending power in your direction.

The Latin community is a very family-oriented culture and is very much supportive of their native homeland. Trips back home for those who have left or for the generation that is born outside of their native homeland, will return to connect with their heritage. They do this because it is very important for them to stay connected to their history. It is for these reasons that we at WBM want to share with you through our pages. Our journey explores so many of the beautiful places that are designed to cater to your wedding planning needs, whether you are of Latin descent or not. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or your honeymoon, you will want to follow us as we bring you some of Latin America’s most precious jewels.

 

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We begin with Colombia:

Colombia is one of Latin America’s territories we feel the public knows very little about, other than the couple of movies that Hollywood has shot there or movies where Colombia is mentioned, with very little explanation of its rich cultural history. We know very little of its history, culture, people, food and how it acquired its mysterious culture.

It is only through research that we learn that Cartagena was a major trading port, especially for precious metals. It is time for the masses to understand Colombia and all that it offers.
The stage is now set. This island, off the coast of the Caribbean Coast Region, with its beaches, mountainous terrain and swampy jungles, is a vision to behold. We will begin our history lesson with Cartagena and work our way up and down the roads. The city began with 200 people in 1533. During the remainder of the 16th century, there was rapid growth. A major factor was the gold in the tombs of the Sinú culture. Its people is 70% of African descendants. This is extraordinary. These people were part of the slave trade in the early 18th century. They were mixed with the indigenous people that already occupied the land. Its conquerors included the European–Spaniards and then the French and English, influenced greatly by the church. They received “orders,” which translated into laws that were governed and influenced by the church. These oppressive “orders” shaped the country. They controlled every aspect of the people from their spiritual life, their social dealings and even their business transactions. It is that influence that dominates the laws, the wealth and poverty that molded the culture into what it is today. The history alone is worth the flight. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the island. The architecture, the buildings, the colors, the details of each structure tell a story.  It’s a story of beauty and pain involved in building an empire during the age of innocence.
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The Food:

It’s a combination of a vegetarian’s heaven and a carnivore’s paradise. The exquisite design of presentation of each plated entree may have come directly from the food Gods. With each savoring bite you can taste heaven, and the ecstasy that fills your palates. The local seafood and tropical fruits serve as the core staples for the cuisine, and the unique blend of cultural influences–Spanish, African, and indigenous– gives it an exquisite edge. From delicious juices to hearty fish dishes, this coastal city has earned its spot on the culinary map.

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The People:

As much as you want to segregate people, history has shown that human desire will always trump any circumstances and laws that are designed to keep people apart. For you romantics out there, love governed with passion will take first “order.”

Mix all of that with beauty, lust, desire and sometimes unfavorable circumstances, and you will give “birth” to  some of the most exotic people human eyes have yet to fantasize about. African and indigenous people already possess the most outstanding features I’ve ever seen. So mix those into a pot with Isis, Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra, men and women, and you really have something. Shakira and Sofia Vergara are just two of these goddesses the world is currently aware of. The Spaniard, French and English may have contributed to the attributes but there is no need to play with perfection.

 

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The Music:

There is not much to say about the power of music of both the African people and the indigenous people here.

The soul of Africa and the spirits of the indigenous people have carved out a brand of music that historically has given birth to so many other music genres today. Blues, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Merengue, Calypso, Reggae and Rap. All are influenced by these two cultures, which due to colonization, slavery and endless invasions and wars, have spread this music around the world. The diversity in musical expressions found in Colombia can be seen as the result of a mixture of African, native indigenous, and European (especially Spanish) influences, as well as more modern AmericanCaribbeanCuban, and Jamaican musical forms.

So whether you’re planning a couple’s vacation, family trip or a destination wedding, honeymoon or a good old-fashioned party retreat, you will not be disappointed in Colombia. Besides being swept away by the tantalizing view of the island and its beautiful sunrise and sunset is just part of the journey here. You also have plenty to learn in respect to history and soaking it up every day. So, we’ll see you in Colombia.
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Myrdith Leon-McCormack

Over the past several years, Myrdith Leon-McCormack has evolved from one of the nation’s most successful Celebrity Manicurist, represented by Factory Downtown, to one of the most sought after branding experts with her firm MLM Represents and as a Huffington Post blogger.

Leon-McCormack, founder of MLM Represents, oversees all practice areas and is involved in providing strategic direction to select clients. Her particular area of expertise is advising clients on how to best leverage their brand as an asset to serve as a powerful leadership tool and drive business performance.

Leon-McCormack’s innovative strategies to connect consumers more effectively by associating them with the world’s most influential celebrities, musicians, arts, film and personalities has been part of her incredible success to collaborating with some of the industry’s most influential people in the world of the arts, music, and film. MLM Represents client list includes: Isaiah Washington, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lois Samuels–the Vessel, and Justin Davis. Her new business has afforded her the opportunity to travel the world to great countries such as Egypt, Qatar, Dubai, London, France, Ireland, to name a few.

Leon-McCormack’s creative vision and strong knowledge of the entertainment and arts has created yet another venture with the weekly radio show, Keep It Moving w/Marsha Jews on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station, as Executive Entertainment Producer.

As the Editorial Director of World Bride Magazine, she drives the magazine into the 21st century where visions of people of color are seen in a more positive and progressive direction.

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