Glowing under the sun in the middle of a mountain ecosystem, Jericó, Colombia has everything it needs to have sustained the village for the last 150+ years and many more to come. Clean river water bisects the town’s lush landscapes, allowing for sparkling clean and tasty tap water. Fruits and flowers are abundant, colors are on every corner, literally, and there is hardly a reason to complain here when the Earth is taking care of the community perfectly.
The culture reflects their happiness. Jericó has traditions that have been working for them for centuries. It all began when the founding family chose which other families could come to live in the town. Through the generations, the pueblo (Spanish word for town) has sustained its good nature, both in the land and its people.
Everyone is so friendly, like they know they are meant to be here. I made friends easily just walking through the main square every so often, seeing many of the same friendly faces. It’s not uncommon to see people belting out old Spanish love songs in the park, or to see young kids popping bike wheelies on the streets in the middle of the night. It’s safe and secure, even though many people do little to protect their homes and belongings. I can’t help but think trust has something to do with it.
Even the dogs are friendly. Usually I try not to pet dogs I don’t know while traveling (duh) but when multiple come up to you just looking for some love, it’s hard to say no. Many make friends with shop owners, and have names and food waiting for them.
People are proud of their pueblo and of what they’ve achieved for themselves here. I make it a point everywhere I travel to ask people I meet if they like their city. Usually people will tell me yes, but it’s the body language I look for when I’m processing the answer. I get a lot of yeses, but a lot of hesitancy, like there are many things that could be improved. In Jericó, I get an “of course” or an “I LOVE my home”, said with gusto. It’s easy to be happy when you are provided with all that you need, and then some.
The houses are re-painted regularly; it’s something they enjoy to let others enjoy. Flowers drape over detailed balconies, easily tended to by the town’s even rain-sun exchange in the climate. The land flourishes easily and there are endless hidden gems sprinkled around the small village.
In Jericó life is easy and carefree. Sure, people still have their problems like every other living being on the planet, but they have remembered something many big cities seem to lose: life is supposed to be enjoyed.
Jericó, Colombia has got to be the happiest town I’ve ever visited. What about you? Where have you discovered Heaven on Earth?