Mr. Goudas Events and News

Dec 21, 2013

EXPERIENCING COLOMBIA by Spyros Peter Goudas the best book about Colombia


Where Business and Pleasure Shake Hands with Passion!

By Spyros Peter Goudas

 
PHOTOS OF SPYROS PETER GOUDAS COLOMBIA
 
 
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF SPYROS PETER GOUDAS MADE A BOOK FOR COLOMBIA,
AN EVENING OF HAPPINESS 
 

Note from the recording secretary: 
The events in this book were dictated to me by Mr. Goudas upon his return to Canada from a trade convention in Columbia "the country of passion".

At first it was a simple 4-page compilation of events at the Convention, then it turned into a book of wonderfully recorded memories and pictures.

It has been dedicated to "Columbia: Where Business and Pleasure Shake Hands With Passion!" 
Mr. Goudas further elaborates that:

 

Colombia EX in MIAMI with names by Spyros Peter Goudas


Colombia - A World of Opportunity. by SPYROS PETER GOUDAS

 
 
 

COLUMBIA EXPERIENCING CANADA
Senorita Paula Puccini Lizarazo

COLUMBIA EXPERIENCING CANADA Senorita Paula Puccini Lizarazo

Colombia - Un mundo de oportunidad


On behalf of my fellow country people, thank you for your motivating words. (JAIRO GOMEZ)
Article translated in Spanich by JAIRO GOMEZ, Colombia
30 de septiembre de 2004  Por: SPYROS PETER GOUDAS

Y ahora estoy aquí, solo en este pasillo enorme y vacío, con una sonrisa nostálgica mientras recuerdo aquellos hermosos días. Todos los hombres y mujeres de negocios maravillosos y animados, todos se han ido de nuevo a sus hogares respectivos, pero ahora me siento aquí esperando por mi turno para hacer lo mismo.Una oportunidad que esta soledad proporciona es un momento para reflejar y levantar nuevas relaciones de negocios y comercio de un país y su gente, entendidos mal por el resto del mundo

 

 

SPYROS-PETER-GOUDAS  to inform and educate those who are unfamiliar with Colombia, and to allow Colombians to experience a third party’s impression of their country, as well as to feed the curiosity of those who wonder about its characteristics.

SPYROS PETER GOUDAS

This article was written to inform and educate those who are unfamiliar with Colombia, and to allow Colombians to experience a third party’s impression of their country, as well as to feed the curiosity of those who wonder about its characteristics.

J wanted to express my thoughts on this beautiful country, sharing everything I learned about the people, the food and the culture.

The pictures included were taken personally by me, and displayed in this article to show the readers a very realistic view of Colombia.

The following document is a trip to a South American country, Colombia, where half its coast faces the Atlantic Ocean, and the other half the Pacific. This country achieved independence in 1819.

Its total land area is 1,142,000 sq. kilometers, and its estimated population in 2005 was 42,954,280 people. Its main language is Spanish and 96% of the population is Roman Catholic.

The voyage began at Pearson International Airport (Toronto) via Miami, Florida, to Cartagena, Colombia.

Upon arrival at Cartagena, the temperature of 25-30 degrees Celsius immediately changed everyone’s mood. The smiling faces of the Colombians greeted the delegates who were an international group from as far away as China, Japan, Europe, and many other parts of the world.

Well-known International Trade Specialists for Proexport Colombia, Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata, Mr. Rafael Vargas International Trade Specialist center, Mr. Rodolfo Moseres, Trade Commissioner of the Colombian Government, prearranged the Canadian delegation.

 Mr. Luis Guillermo PlataMr. Rafael Vargas International Trade Specialist Mr. Rodolfo Moseres, Trade Commissioner

Emphasis was made of the fact that “Colombians do everything with passion!

The word “passion” became a trademark throughout the whole event.

As seen in the picture, the symbol of passion.
A flaming heart, was displayed on the t-shirts of the attendants.

I find that taking photographs is by far, the best way to interpret my visit to Colombia and it's culture.

Take the time to look at the photographs below, and get the feel of what it is like to be in such a glorious, welcoming, and wonderful country that Colombia is.

And so I begin to take you on a visual ride of what I have experienced.

Colombia Airports Smoking Area

It should be noted that there was a special smoking area at the airports.
Was quite welcoming to me and to the delegates who smoked.

Colombia Airports Smoking Area  It should be noted that there was a special smoking area at the airports. Was quite welcoming to the delegates who smoked. Peter Spyros Goudas in Colombia

It was a well-ventilated, spotless environment with relaxing chairs and a cafeteria.

I was surprised to see an area that was dedicated to people wanting to pray before boarding an airplane or after they have landed.

In many of my writings, frequently shows my belief in a superior being, the Creator, God. 
You may not see me often in a Church . However!!!!!!

Ms. Niki Stamatakos and Spyros Peter Goudas at Colombian airport.

Niki Stamatakos and Spyros Peter Goudas at Colombian airport.

The following is pictures of the scenery from the airport to the hotel Charleston Cartagena.

A view of the interior of the hotel.

Cartegena Meetings

Arrival at the Convention Centre.

There was evidence of top security.

Due to the fact that over 2,000 high-profile business people were in attendance.

The army personnel, was not located at the front gate of the convention centre, however, it was noticed that they are present around the building.

As a consequence, the atmosphere was stress free.

 

 

 

 

Each purchasing group had its own desk at the convention center, to welcome the potential suppliers, as well as to view and discuss products.

In some instances, translators were required and provided.

In the pictures you can view some suppliers along with their products.

Niki Stamatakos, concentrating to arrange meetings with companies, their names, addresses, logistic efficiency, product variation and other details.

Niki Stamatakos, concentrating to arrange meetings with companies, their names, addresses, logistic efficiency, product variation and other details.

Niki Stamatakos came to Colombia to see the flowers since
she have the best garden in the world in Toronto Canada

Paola Puccini Lizarazo is not just another pretty face.
She is actually the export manager of a factory, one of the largest in South America.
She invited me to view the facilities over the next few days.

Paola Puccini Lizarazo is not just another pretty face.  She is actually the export manager of a factory, one of the largest in South America.

Close to the end of the day, from the far end of the hall, a group of people started singing in English "Happy Birthday to You", in the presence of over 2,000 people.

Everyone ended up at my table, and to my surprise, the cake and birthday song was for me.

I was so preoccupied that I had forgotten it was 29 Mar my birthday!

 Spyros Peter Goudas in Colombian Close to the end of the day, from the far end of the hall, a group of people started singing in English "Happy Birthday to You", in the presence of over 2,000 people.  Everyone ended up at my table, and to my surprise, the cake and birthday song was for me.  I was so preoccupied that I had forgotten it was 29 Mar my birthday!

They were moving forward with a birthday cake in hand and encouraging the delegates to follow them, while continually singing "Happy Birthday to You ".

What a pleasant surprise and a happy moment for me!

in Photo Jairo Gomez left, Mr. Rodolfo Moseres and Peter Spyros Goudas 

in Photo Jairo Gomez left, Mr. Rodolfo Moseres and Peter Spyros Goudas

Mr. Rodolfo Moseres, presenting my birthday cake.

Mr. Rodolfo Moseres and Spyros Peter Goudas I was so preoccupied that I had forgotten it was my birthday!

View the wonderful products that Colombia Produces:

I thought for a moment that it would be a good idea to take pictures of various products from different companies while at the meetings.

The range of products exhibited was so varied.
It seemed like everything imaginable under the sun, is produced in Colombia.

Colombian Flowers

Since I am in the food business, maybe I am shortsighted.

However, I have noticed among other things, an abundance of flowers within the conference hall.

It was then that I realized that, Colombia is the flower capital of the world.

We do not have enough space to portray all of them.

However, I have included this selection for your pleasure.

Exotic Fruits and Vegetables of Colombia

Pitahaya Fruit

Maracuya Fruit

Guava Fruit

The guava is a very delicious fruit grown typically in a tropical climate.     The origin is unknown, but cultivation has spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and the East Indies.

Lulu Fruit

Dried Sweetened Uchava Leaves

Avocado Recipe BY  Jannet Benigno The Face Mask for Celebrities

Let's now go into the conference hall in preparation of Proexport President Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata Paez's announcement.

They had some small hors d'oeuvres and snacks prior to the announcement.

 

 The head organizer of the event, Proexport President Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata Paez, gave a speech outlining the purpose of the gathering, the tremendous opportunities, and the statistics reflecting the dramatic decrease in the crime rate, as well as the enormous decline in the unemployment rate.

The head organizer of the event, Proexport President Mr. Luis Guillermo Plata Paez, gave a speech outlining the purpose of the gathering, the tremendous opportunities, and the statistics reflecting the dramatic decrease in the crime rate, as well as the enormous decline in the unemployment rate.

 

When the meeting was completed, each group joined a sightseeing tour inside the "walls of the Cartagena wall city Castle".

This gentleman in the photo is taking a snooze at the gate.

We are unsure as to whether he is part of the security!

This gentleman in the photo is taking a snooze at the gate.  We are unsure as to whether he is part of the security!

Upon entering the gate we were pleasantly surprised to see the interior.

An evening to reflect on food and songs.

We enjoyed "typical" Colombian foods such as: cassava, fried plantains, eggplant, and baby potatoes. This was accompanied by "typical" Colombian dips.

The word "typical" is used very often by Colombians to describe anything Colombian.

 

The next day Shortening Factory Visit

In the picture below is Maria Elena Collazos and Paola Puccini Lizarazo.

The next day Shortening Factory Visit  In the picture below is Maria Elena Collazos and Paola Puccini Lizarazo.

Maria Elena Collazos, chief executive of the company who worked for many years in the organization, provided us with a guided tour of the facility.

Factory Visit

The closing ceremony in Cartagena was held opposite the Convention Centre with a view of the Castle and the Cathedral. The dinner itself was exquisite.

There was everything one could desire: mouth-watering appetizers, exotic fruits of all kinds (expertly carved and decorated), various fresh fruit juices, tenderly barbequed meats, and a delicious assortment of pastries and desserts.

Festivities in Colombia closing ceremony

Watermelon photo by Spyros Peter Goudas in Colombia, lovers know that a delicious slice is a very refreshing thing on a hot, long, humid day in the summer.

Later on over the years, i wrote a book about the famous potato soup, by the name of "Ajiaco".

As you can see, i selected two young beautiful ladies to place on the book cover.

These two ladies were the welcoming personnel at the buffet table of the closing ceremonies.

The recipe for Potato Soup Ajiaco was revealed to me by Maria Vargas some time later, and is portrayed in Mr. Goudas Recipes section.

If you would like to learn something new, and to entertain yourself at the same time, this recipe is tailor-made for you.

Of course, I spent some time in researching the information before I presented it.

And since I do not cut and paste, or steal recipes from here and there; I communicated the following information:

Needless to say, this soup is a favourite of Colombians on a cool night.

We Canadians cannot understand what they mean when they say “on a cool night”, when the average temperature there is over 30 degrees year round, and we mean Celsius not Fahrenheit.

However, in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, where the elevation is quite high, the temperature is quite chilly some nights of the year.

And just imagine, only 100 kilometers from Bogota one could experience a heat wave.

That is why Colombians, in Bogota, enjoy this dish more than anything else in this world.

I selected those two girls, which according to me, represent Colombia's beauty for my book cover.

Let's continue on with the Festivities:

Dinner was followed up with performances of "typical" Colombian culture.

This included dancers who demonstrated different dimensions in the art of dancing.

When I wrote the book about experiencing Colombia, and after viewing, cropping, and enhancing over 1000 pictures, I found that, this picture is the most appropriate image to portray Colombia to the rest of the world.

When I wrote the book about experiencing Colombia, and after viewing, cropping, and enhancing over 1000 pictures, I found that, this picture is the most appropriate image to portray Colombia to the rest of the world.

 

It was an enjoyable evening

Nevertheless, enough with the entertainment, let us do some work.

The next day on the Agenda was a visit to a Tuna Factory.

The fishing boats are very big and there are helicopters on their top level, used to locate the school of tuna.

We were very impressed with the hygiene, machinery, organization and the quality of the products.

Those who think that tuna is a small fish because it is sold in small cans, are truly mistaken.

Tunas are actually very big fish, ranging from 40-200 cm.

It was truly a state-of-the-art factory.

Bustamante Steer junior

It was quite surprising that the owner of the tuna factory, Mr. Alvaro Bustamante Steer, had absolutely no pictures, paintings, or decorations in his office.

As seen in the picture, he only had a single crucifix hanging up on his wall.

It was quite surprising that the owner of the tuna factory, Mr. Alvaro Bustamante Steer, had absolutely no pictures, paintings, or decorations in his office.  As seen in the picture, he only had a single crucifix hanging up on his wall.

on the way back Fish Market

Street Vendors

Cassava Girl

On a clear day from this vantage point, it seems like one can see forever.

On the journey to each city to view a different factory, street vendors were encountered providing the group with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Needless to say, enjoying a glass of fresh squeezed papaya, guava, mango, lulo, mora, guanabana, or in general any exotic fruit cocktail that is considered exclusive in most countries, was very affordable everywhere in Colombia, being that these fruits grow naturally there.

Coffee Bean Cultivation

I also had the opportunity to view a coffee plantation, where
the intense greenery was amazing.

I was surprised to see the coffee plants and their crop.

The seeds were not brown as expected; they were actually white.
I were later told that they turn brown after they have dried.

Here is a “Juan Valdez” look-alike who happened to pass by for a

photo opportunity.

The next picture reflects a short detour in the trip which allowed Jairo Gomez to visit his old neighbourhood and friends whom he had not seen for many, many years.

As you can see from the picture, they were happy to see each other.

Peter's Personal Favorite Pictures

Bamboo is used everywhere, even for building bridges.

He even took a short visit to the site of his high school.

Arriving at the next stop, the city of Bogota, one could notice immediately that the weather was leaning more towards the chilly side.
Short sleeves were no longer favourable as the temperature fluctuated because of the high-altitude of the city.

On first sight one notices quickly that it was very clean (considering the population exceeds the 7 million inhabitants), and built in modern architecture.
Green houses everywhere to protect the flower petals from the rain storms.

Every weekend, some of the roads are closed to vehicles, and people enjoy relaxing walks, biking, shopping, and generally browsing the city

The Streets of Colombia and Various People

On first sight one notices quickly that it was very clean (considering the population exceeds the 7 million inhabitants), and built in modern architecture.

Every weekend, some of the roads are closed to vehicles, and people enjoy relaxing walks, biking, shopping, and generally browsing the city streets

During a dinner conversation, a lady that knows the area very well, stated that, it is a good opportunity to make a comment about Cali.

She mentioned that Cali is known for its distinguished eye doctors, who perform laser eye surgeries, which only last several minutes and have the highest success rate.
Using the latest technological procedures, we witnessed an unbelievably fast recovery of two of our colleagues, who continued the tour a couple of prescription glasses short.
What was even more pleasant is that the whole procedure cost less than $700 US!

As a result of the above conversation, both Niki Stamatakos and Mr. Rafael Vargas booked an appointment to get the laser surgery performed.
Both operations were a complete success.

A small parenthesis is made here to share an unbelievable experience in a different restaurant.

Among the waitresses, the youngest expert in sandwich preparation had the willingness to prepare a delicious starter for a couple Canadians, who could not believe such mouth-watering taste came from the hands of a chef who was less than 6 years old!

Rice Cooking, Colombian Style.

One evening, dinner was prepared by an unexpected chef. The sweetest man in Colombia, the king of sugar, Mr. Juan Pablo Cabal, dressed down to his casual self and impressed everybody with his cooking skills.

His delicious risotto dish was enjoyed tremendously, especially by me (since I am the largest importer in Canada of most varieties of rice from all over the world, I am referred to as the king of rice in various circles) and I even asked for a second serving!

Choosing to cook rice was a risky decision, being that this particular guest (myself) knows everything there is to know about it.
Nevertheless, I was truly impressed with this new recipe, which is definitely an honourable achievement for the chef.
Apparently, Mr. Juan Pablo Cabal went through many trials to be able to demonstrate his cooking skills.

Dinner was served overlooking the view of the Cali mountain, featuring three giant illuminated crosses on its top, a trademark symbol of the city.

Colombian Sugar Factories

The next day we visited a sugar cane plantation.
On the way there, the cane fields spread for miles and miles.

For people who had never seen this plant, the fields looked exactly like corn fields.
At this point, we decided to stop and take pictures of the sugar cane, to display how the plant looks prior to processing.

The trucks transporting the sugar cane to the mill for processing were so constantly visible, they seemed like a multi-train convoys.

The sugar cane is gathered in one area where it is crushed through the mill by humongous machines which separate the skin from the pulp.

There are various stages of processing before crystallization into the actual product found on the supermarket shelf. 

The whole process was explained by Mabel Ferreira, the chief engineer of the factory.

It was quite refreshing to witness how many well-educated females hold supervisory and engineering positions at Colombian factories.

It was also amazing to see how much work is needed to transform the sugar cane into crystallized sugar.

The process is very complicated and it was an eye-opening experience for those who take sugar for granted.

The company also produces the most delicious mocha which we all enjoyed with ice-cream. A group photo experience with executives of the plant.

In the picture directly above and below, I am explaining the powerful suction system used by my organization in Canada, to convey grains from one silo to another.

It is so powerful, I called it the Monika Loewinski system.

In typical Colombian tradition, one is officially pronounced Colombian by having a bracelet with the Colombian national colours of gold, blue, and red placed on one’s wrist.

In typical Colombian tradition, Spyros Peter Goudas officially pronounced Colombian by having a bracelet with the Colombian national colours of gold, blue, and red placed on his wrist.

A Typical Colombian Restaurant

Maria Elena Collazos, chief executive at Viejo Molino restaurante with Spyros Peter Goudas and Rodolfo Moseres, Trade Commissioner of the Colombian Government

Bogota

Arriving at the next stop, the city of Bogota, one could notice immediately that the weather was leaning more towards the chilly side. Short sleeves were no longer favourable as the temperature fluctuated because of the high-altitude of the city.

Niki Stamatakos, concentrating to arrange meetings with companies, their names, addresses, logistic efficiency, product variation and other details. Photo in Bogota Colombia

Green houses everywhere to protect the flower petals from the rain storms.

A Trip to the Gold Museum

Due to limited free time, the Canadian group of delegates chose to visit one of the most famous attractions in Bogota: the Gold Museum.

This was really a golden experience.

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