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The Colorful Character of Las Casas de Cartegena, Columbia

March 13, 2016

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

In so many areas of the USA we suffer color phobia. Every home is finished with some dull shade of tan, perhaps a bit of brick, red or whitewashed, with the occasional dark green trim and gray accents.

Sometimes a front door gets a splash of red or in rare cases blue. Yellow seems forbidden in most neighborhoods.

I recall a fellow citizen of my town, Lincoln, Nebraska that shingled his roof blue. And it would seem he dropped a paint bomb on the homeowner’s association, judging by the outrage—and eventual lawsuit that forced him to change his sapphire shingles to weathered wood—about the only color ever used, anywhere, other than gray and black.

I think we miss out.

Colors, especially bold and tasteful—and even occasionally outlandish—add to the joy of living and the clear sense of place.

Our brethren Columbians have no fear of color, and these shots of old town Cartagena show a wonderful degree of color courage I wish more United Statesians would dare to attempt.

We are, after all, the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Fernando Pagés Ruiz is ProTradeCraft's Latin America Editor. He is currently building a business in Ecuador and a house in Mexico. Formerly, he was a builder in the Great Plains and mountain states. He is author of Building an Affordable House and Affordable Remodel (Taunton Press).

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