The Colombian people who are happy about the increases in the dollar

The Colombian people who are happy about the increases in the dollar

A group of almost 20 people wait their turn at an international wire transfer center in Finland, a Colombian town located in the department of Quindío.

Those who make the queue advance anxiously to withdraw remittances sent from the United States. That money they receive seems like a small fortune and all for the strong devaluation of the peso against the dollar.

(See: Urgent message from the tax office, request from the Government to Congress).

It is difficult to find a single home in this municipality of 13,000 inhabitants, who does not have a migrant family member.

But while a part of the country suffers from inflation, which already reached 10.21% in July, in its year-on-year data, in Finland only smiles are seen.

Dollar in Colombia.

private file

Leobardo Flores, 55, saw nine of his brothers leave. They “they marked the ship and they are the locomotive“which allowed him to educate his four children and maintain his business for 28 years, he told the agency AFP this man, who works as a baker.

Not only did they give the net to fish, but (…) they gave the fish“, he added.

(See: Petro’s ambitious reforms and limits imposed by the economy).

The exodus of natives from Filandia began in the 1970s and it worsened a decade later with the decline of the coffee boom, when the international price of the grain collapsed.

Since then, hundreds of Finnish people have migrated to USA, many through traffickers, that for some 18,000 dollars (almost 80 million pesos at current exchange rates) they are left to fend for themselves on the other side of the border with Mexico, according to the testimonies of the residents.

Most travel to New Jersey, where the first migrants arrived who help the new ones with housing and to get often strenuous jobs as laborers or waiters.

For this reason, when the dollar was around 4,500 pesos and now that it remains close to 4,400, remittances are a party in this tourist town.

(See: Colombia’s GDP for the second quarter of 2022 was 12.6%).

I get a lot of money in Colombia“, an undocumented migrant from Filandia who spoke with the AFP. He even added that he thought of borrowing dollars to multiply them into pesos.

It is worth remembering that the price of the dollar (a currency that is traditionally a refuge value) rose around the world, driven by the increase in interest rates in the United States.

And in the last week (from August 16 to 19), although it was below 4,200 pesos, the dollar in Colombia strengthened again and was less than 2 pesos from 4,400 pesos.


Filandia, town in Quindío.


The dollar fever leaves progress, but also broken families, frustrated lives and deaths. Last year, a native of Filandia drowned in the Rio Grande during his journey to the United States.

And only in May They were almost arrested twenty.000 Colombians trying to enter US soil irregularly, according to authorities.

(See: What was discussed in the ‘Border Agreement’ between Colombia and Venezuela).

Filandia is a town of “orphaned children with living parents“, maintains Mayor Jaime Franco. However, the efforts of migrants have allowed many young people to be the first in their families to go to university.

The crises have mainly expelled men. The women in the town are silent so as not to report those who migrated without papers, or for fear of the mafias that are behind irregular migration.

The ambivalence around the greenback is summed up by the baker Leobardo Flores: “There is the good dollar that makes people smile, that makes people happy, and that other dollar that they kill themselves for, with which they buy weapons, drugs and consciences“.


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