Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections

Connecting Classes in Medellín: The Gondola and the Escalator

Published May 14, 2020


The city of Medellin, Colombia is infamously known for the reign of Pablo Escobar. While he is globally known as a drug lord, in the Medellin neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and Comuna Trece, he was revered for the ways he benefited their often under-served communities. After his death, the neighborhoods very quickly fell into shambles, taken over by differing gangs with little interference from the city government. In 1995, with the ideas of new mayor Sergio Fajardo, the city began to establish programs focused on the redevelopment of the mountainous outskirts of Medellin. With that came the development of the escalators and the gondolas in these two neighborhoods. This paper analyzes the ways in which these new systems of transportation have benefited the communities where they are located, and how they have established a sense of pride in the citizens.