We had the precious opportunity to visit the beautiful Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, South America, thanks to my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They generously decided to treat all their children and grandchildren to this very unique and picturesque touristic site.
In 1984, Cartagena’s colonial walled city and fortress were declared a historical and cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO, or a World Heritage Site. It is truly a magnificent place rich in history, cultural heritage, and friendly locals eager to serve and please tourists who happen to be the lifeline of its economy.
So, yes, this was a family trip, but as good homeschoolers, we treated it as a learning and enriching trip too. We visited many historical sites beginning with the scenic Walled Colonial City, the History Museum inside the Palace of the Inquisition, and the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.
“The history of Cartagena started on June 1st, 1533, when Spaniard conqueror Pedro de Heredia founded the city. From that moment on, the land in this mystical metropolis bathed by the Caribbean Sea, has welcomed millions of men and women, has experienced war times and resisted the passing time, but, above anything else, it has been a meeting point. Cartagena de Indias, the entrance door to Colombia, has been a port of galleons and pirates in times gone by, and a place where the American presidents have come together, the city of world congresses, of the oldest film festival in the continent, and a meeting place for artists from all over the world.” –Your Guide to Cartagena
Since we’ve been doing American History lately, and went over the Era of Exploration in fairly good detail, learning about explorers and conquistadors, this trip to Cartagena delivered a perfect opportunity to connect all that history together. Cartagena being so strategically situated, became the stopping place for Spaniards on their way to South America and back to Spain. It was the target of pirate attacks too, thus the wall and fortress that are the pillars of Cartagena’s tourism nowadays. Tragically, part of the wall was torn down in the early 1900’s by a mayor with a lack of vision. Fortunately, much of it still remains, and now that Cartagena’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the history and culture that the wall and fortress represent will surely continue to delight visitors and history buffs for years to come.
This is why we love homeschooling so much! The world is truly our classroom!