The Cartagena clock tower, where Juan Valdez®
serves coffee and highlights art in a
way no other brand can.
“I had to take a step back. Just to be able to
appreciate the entire mural and all of its
beauty reflected in the dwindling evening sun. Once I was able to take it all in, I couldn’t
shake the feeling that somehow I had just
been born again.”
These were the words of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez recounting the first time he ever visited Cartagena. Cartagena, also known as “The Heroic City,” has served as an inspiration for a diversity of writers, musicians, and artists. Taking note of the views, flavors, colors, and customs of this great city, individuals have chosen to represent and honor it through a variety of books, songs, paintings, and photographs. Leaving no doubt as to why it’s commonly referred to as the “The Jewel of the Caribbean.”
Cartagena is a city rich in history, influenced by centuries of colonization and travel. As one of the most important ports in Latin America, Cartagena has been home to European colonizers, pirates, slaves, and of course its indigenous people. All of whom have come together over time, mixing their cultures to create the diverse city we know and love today.
Beyond the obvious art that catches your eye there exist a variety of ways the city continuously tells the story of its history and people. A combination of the dance, food, architecture, and artistic heritage create the complex culture we know and love.
The mural was painted along one of the walls of the cities clock tower, the setting of the famous novel “Love in the Time of Cholera.” It is meant to honor the Caribbean people, a community known for the hardships it has endured over the years while simultaneously maintaining a sense of unbridled optimism.
When visiting Cartagena it’s important to remember the most important thing you can pack: an open mind. Because when you’re walking through the streets of Cartagena you’re not just basking in the beautiful Caribbean sun. You’re walking through centuries of history and culture that have all come together to create the city we know today.
Don’t forget to stop by one of our various Juan Valdez shops, whether in the clock tower, Getsemani, Boca Grande, or any other, to enjoy our wonderful coffee and murals that pay homage to this incredible city.