Medellin job market. Entrepreneurs or wage slaves?

Medellin: A tight job market and long hours.

The Medellin job market is characterised by labor exploitation, few worker’s rights and low wages ($250/month).

This leaves many with little choice but to get their hustle on!

The low wage economy in Medellín contributes to poverty.

Indeed, some even use this to justify crime rates.

However, the flip side to crime, is the resilience of the human spirit on display, in Medellin.

Actually the local Paisa’s are famed for their self-reliance and entrepreneurial culture.

If they can not find a job they will invent one.

Medellin job market: street vendor selling Mazamorra in Medellín
Medellin Job Market: Start a micro business or starve!

If the labor market dictates 70 hour weeks for the minimum wage, with zero job security, then best get creative and work for yourself.

Street vendor Medellin
Popular Mazamorra vendors.

This is exactly what they do!

Fruit, patacón (banana fritter), arepa (flat cornbread), tamal (rice and meat steamed in banana leaf) and juice sellers are everywhere.

Variously pushing carts or hauling them behind on foot.

Like India, Medellin’s street sellers use rickshaw cycles or platforms built onto motorbikes.

Some of the luckier ones have cars stuffed to the gunnels.

See this old French banger below, weighed down with fruit, tannoy blaring out!

“come by my avocados my mangos etc….”.

Medellin job market full of fruit sellers
The fruity motherload!  Always hollering out to hawk their wares, in a nasal sing-song voice. Some almost busting their lungs, cupping hands and yelling.  Others (more annoyingly), belt out jingles, on cheap tannoy systems!

This is all part of the colorful local vibe and job scene here in Medellín.

Medellin Jobs: fruit seller.
Insert: Fruit seller pushes cart alongside a mural.

Less appreciated outside your window early on Sunday morning!

But taking the rough with the smooth, I can’t beat them, I ain’t gonna join them, so I brew a coffee and head for the hammock.

Nothing like easing into a new day in Medellín, the city of La Primavera Eterna.

Medellin job market - man in hammock.
Medellin job hunter: working on the tan!

Word kit:

Paisa – slang name for Antioquia locals

patacón – banana fritters

arepa – flat corn or maize breads

tamal – rice & meat steamed in banana skin wraps

Primavera Eterna – eternal spring

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