Edward Meyer – VP of Archives and Exhibits – Colombia Travel Diary!

Edward Meyer, VP Exhibits & Archives recently traveled to South America!

He was on the hunt for unusual items worthy of being part of the world-famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not! collection.


Our trip has been featured in various news outlets. Here are some of the highlights:

April 22, 2016

Rope trick!

On our last night of the trip, we saw something really unbelievable, a variant of the Hindu rope trick! He performs on a dark street in an old town near Plaza San Domingo.



Famous Botero Sculpture

This national treasure worth millions is in Plaza San Domingo.

botero sculpture

Mummy of San Pedro

Bone relics including skull at the foot of the an altar from the mid 1600s.




San Domingo

San Domingo


Young Fan!

We met this beautiful young fan, Naschell Blanquicett de Avila. She is 9 years old and the daughter of our host, Zenith de Avila.

Naschell Blanquicett de Avila

People of Colombia

These talented ladies can peel, eat, and sell mangoes at the same time: look ma no hands!



April 22, 2016

New Acquisitions!

The artist is Sandra Milo a Diaz. She works for the plaza we were set up in. She saw our signs and came in. I bought 12 of her paintings, mainly birds all painted on paper towels.

Sandra Milo a Diaz

Sandra Milo a Diaz-1

The People of Colombia

The people of Colombia are its greatest treasure; worth much more than emeralds and gold and even the sea.


Mateo tore it up tonight with guitarists in the Plaza San Domingo! This plaza is THE spot for pre-dinner drinks. It is packed with tourists, lovers, and cultural dancers. I swear there was a trio of players at almost every table. There was probably 100 guitar players in an area smaller than a basketball court!


Family Mateo Cartagena Home

We got to visit Blanco Historical House in Cartagena. The home is stunning!







April 21, 2016

Ancient irrigation system

Map of the Zenu Indian irrigation system built between 900 B.C. and 1100 A.D. I had never heard of this and was totally amazed! The Indians today still exist mainly through farming and still use these canals created 2000-3000 years ago.


Zenu Indians

Today I got to learn the incredible history of the Zenu Indians.

Burial Traditions

Zenu Indians have been practicing green burials for three thousand years.


Believe It or Not, there are bodies are buried in these urns! urns

Zeno Indian Gold

Almost pure gold circa 900 B.C.These earrings are housed inside glass case inside a vault.


These are gold nose decorations, similar to ones in our collection that are made of bird bones.


This is a solid gold penis sheath. Obviously a wealthy, important chief! Don’t worry ladies, you weren’t left out. There are some gold breast covers for you.


Stump the champ!

I didn’t know what this was and being in the Museo of the Inquisition, I assumed it was some kind of jail. It is actually a 16th-century personal ship captain’s safe for shipping gold and emeralds.


These are early 17th century paintings of Cartagena’s Fort from the 17oos in the Museum of the Inquisition.

This is a small museum outlining voodoo and witchcraft and the conversion of the Indians by the Spanish. This used to be a major museum, but it was pillaged of many of its treasures during the drug cartel period of the 80-90s.


Cartagena Plaza de San Felipe

The books are looking good, now we just need some customers!


Met a woman dressed in traditional costume of Cartagena


Possible Exhibits?

On the mountain road out of Medellin going to the airport, we found a roadside shop with this awesome parrot made from car tires. Now if only we can find a FedEx….


I stumbled upon these woven baskets that are woven so tight, they actually hold water! The colors and patterns are beautiful.


Fort San Felipe

I just had to share the beautiful view from our salon.


San Felipe by day

San Felipe at night

San Felipe at night


We found a train relic monument of the first train in Colombia!




April 20, 2016

Midnight in Old Town

This is the front of the house of Mateo’s great grandmother within the walls of the old city. It is a historic landmark!


The Truth Behind Panama Hats

Believe It or Not! Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador and Colombia! This hat, much like one Ripley wore in South America, will be very necessary to avoid sunburn! It was over 80° when I went to bed and already 90° by 9 am.


circa 1946: American cartoonist and purveyor of oddities Robert Ripley smiles while posing next to an airplane propellor at the New York Municipal Airport, New York City. (Photo by William T. Hoff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Starting off the day with TV interviews!

We had such a fun time on Nuevo Dia – Teleantioquia channel.





We got to meet the guest that was on the show just before us. She currently works in the Mayor’s Office, but is the front-running candidate for Governor of the State, Believe It or Not!


Love Meeting Our Fans

Hotel staff member Lina fondly remembered our television show. Lina recalled many of the TV episodes as featured in our second annual — Planet Eccentric and spoke with us in the Hotel Dan Carleton in Medellin several times each day we were here.


More TV! The Press Never Sleeps!

We were featured on Telemedellin and Cosmovision.




April 19, 2016

Colombian poet Olga Elena Mattei

Today I got to meet Colombian poet Olga Elena Mattei. She is recognized as being one of the most important living poets.

We were fortunate to travel to her private home. We went because she has a few fabulous collections. She has antique Spanish religious statuary, an amazing collection of Colombian ceramics, many pre-Columbian, over 600 years old! She is a Believe It or Not! in her own right. She was once declared dead, but came back to life!

Olga Elena Mattei-3 Olga Elena Mattei-1

Olga has slept in this bed for many years, as did her mother before her. It was gifted to the family by Simon Bolivar, the most important South American in history! Amazing!



Met some traveling Ripley fans

This family traveled to Medellin from Guadalajara! They have been to our museums in Guadalajara and Mexico City.


Best Deal of the Day

I traded a Ripley shirt and a business card for an authentic 2010 Olympic Canadian hockey team sweater!




Botero is the most revered living artist in Colombia. Today is his 84th birthday so we were invited to see his museum today for free. His work features sculptures and paintings of fat people or animals.


His most famous painting. Portrait of his son "little Pedro" who died young

His most famous painting. Portrait of his son “little Pedro” who died young

Musuem visitors leave notes.

Museum visitors leave notes.

In the children's section of the museum, you can dress up as the famous painting "Little Pedro"

In the children’s section of the museum, you can dress up as the famous painting “Little Pedro”

Litza & Joaquin

Meet Litza and Joaquin!

Litza is my publicist fantastico! Joaquin is an artist who is going to make kinetic sculptures for us. He is also chauffeur while in Medellin, translator, mummy expert, and all around wonderful guy!


The family the beads together…

We met this incredible family. Both husband and wife make traditional Indian patterns out of beads. Their workmanship is fabulous. They live many miles away, and it is rare that they are in town. They travel many miles to get to town, usually on foot or by bus, with three small children.


Note sleeping child … Mateo’s grandfather gave them fresh guavas from his plantation in exchange for permission to photograph.


Krispy Kreme!

The newest American franchise just arrived in Medellin, and it is taking the town by storm! Now Mateo does not have to go into Krispy Kreme withdrawals.


April 18, 2016

Today we traveled to the Recepcion Museo, home of the mummified Siamese Twins. This is one of the creepiest things I have ever seen!

We have to thank local artist, Joaquin Restrepo, for taking us to this local college’s truly bizarre collection.

Mummified Siamese twins


Extra extra read all about it!

On day six, crazy American tourist businessman from America goes berserk and demands American food! He is taken to the only hot dog stand in town, and an automated ice cream vending machine. Believe It or Not! he reports hot dog is just like at an America ball park, and the ice cream was just fine!

We also got to explore the bizarre oddities of Recepcion Museo.

Newspaper in Medellin

We were interviews by Periodico el Munolo today! I brought along our mummy expert and artist  Joaquin Restrepo to sit in on the interview.




April 17, 2016

We were introduced to an incredible woman today by her grandson, Santiago Valencia. Santiago is a well known personal trainer, fitness, and health expert in Colombia, as well as his grandmother.

She has 17 children, 40 grandchildren, and no one has died in four generations!

Name : Celia Rosa Argaez de Yepez
Age: 84 years old
Born in : Urrao, Antioquia, Colombia
64 years married with her husband Lisandro Yepes
Children: 17
Grandchildren: 40
Great-grandchildren: 39
Great great grandchildren: 1
Oldest son : 63 years old
Youngest son : 40 years old

Celia Rosa Argaez de Yepez-2

Celia Rosa Argaez de Yepez

April 16, 2016

Two most unbelievable things seen in Bogota

A guinea pig racing on the main walking street, near the Mayor’s Palace. I bet on a black and white pig that ran the wrong direction! The second photo shows the pig who won.



A delicious Pio Pio type roast chicken restaurant inside a church!


Media Events

Mateo and I have been honored to be featured on so many Colombian radio and television programs. Here is a rundown of our favorites so far!

RCN Radio

RCN Radio-3

RCN Radio

RCN Radio-1

Red + Noticias – Claro Televisión

Red + Noticias - Claro Televisión-2

Red + Noticias - Claro Televisión

El Crew – Canal 13

We did a nighttime TV show for teenagers in Bogota, and they played all three of our YouTube Unboxing videos! Mateo did a long interview and even sang. All the videos were big hits!

El Crew - Canal 13

En Las Mañanas con Uno – canal Uno

En Las Mañanas con Uno - canal Uno

April 14, 2016

Loved being on Red Más Noticias today! Watch the clip!

Zuly Sanguino

Today we purchased three oil paintings by an armless and legless artist who paints with her mouth! Her name is Zuly Sanguino and she is AMAZING! She is very famous here in Bogota.

The woman in these photos is her sister Maria Angelica Gonzalez.. We will be showing them on TV tonight.

Zuly Sanguine

Zuly Sanguine-1

Zuly Sanguine-2

Zuly Sanguine-3

Guinea Pig Supper

I said on the radio I would give a life time pass to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to the first person to bring me a plate of traditional guinea pig supper–lechona.

This region of Columbia is famous for lechona, and a very kind woman brought me a plate and won the Odditorium pass prize!

FYI taste just like pulled pork but no sauce and some tiny bones… Mission número uno accomplished on day 2 – Believe It or Not!



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