March 8th, 2011
Colombians are many things: friendly, fun loving, passionate. But above all, one characteristic that nearly every Colombian shares (especially in the Medellin area) is that they are entrepreneurs. You may encounter it at as you back your car out of a parking space and a man stops traffic so you can back out safely in exchange for a few pesos. Or on a city bus where an aspiring rapper takes advantage of his captive audience and walks down the aisle collecting coins as he raps. Or at a traffic light where a man in a robot costume “domo arigatos” it up for cash.
We see Colombia’s entrepreneurial spirit every day but perhaps the best and most entertaining example is guinea pig gambling. It can best be described as guinea pig roulette where there are 15 overturned bowls forming a semi-circle, each with a guinea pig-sized entrance cut out for the guinea pig to enter. The bowls are numbered 1 through 15 and the spectators place money on their bowl of choice. Once there are bets on every bowl, the guinea pig wrangler takes one of his trained pets and places it a few yards from the bowls where it sits patiently. When the wrangler gives the guinea pig a little tap on the head, the ball of fur cautiously makes its way to the bowls, keeping the crowd in suspense until it enters the winning bowl. The coins are then collected from the losing bowls and the winning-bowl-better gets their money back, and then some.
One of our guests, Matt, was lucky enough to win on his first try, turning 100 pesos into a whopping 500! (25 cents) He immediately bet his winnings on the next round but Lady Luck found someone new and Matt lost everything.
So we tip our hat to you, Mr. Guinea Pig Wrangler, who looked at some guinea pigs and bowls and saw not a meal, but a business opportunity. Thanks for keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive, and for keeping us entertained!
Filed under Blog