Insider’s Guide

Best of International Houston: Colombia

Colombian ballet, colorful fashion and, of course, cumbia

By Marianella Orlando September 1, 2015 Published in the September 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Image: Hawk Krall

Population in Houston: 21,000 (the 4th largest Colombian population in the country)

“[At] Mi Pueblito, you hear the music from Colombia; you can remember home.” —Luz Santos, teacher at UH Children’s Learning Centers 

Carruseles Discoteca

4055 Highway 6 N., Ste. 102, 832-668-9104,

This Latin nightclub next to Bear Creek Park is packed with special events and performers on weekends, a popular spot to let loose after a long week. Friday nights feature traditional Colombian music like vallenato, boogaloo, cumbia and salsa.   

Colombian Clothes a la Moda LC

9405 Richmond Ave., 281-968-9985,

Who said the Kardashians have a lock on the small-waist-round-rump look? At this Woodlake-area boutique, you can purchase a girdle or body shaper to perfect that classically Colombian hourglass shape, along with form-fitting jeans, stylish blouses and beaded wedges. 

The Colombian Folkloric Ballet Academy

Not only can you perfect the traditional plié and chassé at this dance academy, you can also spice up your salsa, tango and belly dancing skills. Classes are offered to children and adults of all levels of experience during the fall and spring, with summer intensive courses also available. 

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A colorful handbag from La Mochi

Image: Audra Oden

La Mochi

Houstonian Sarrah Zadeh’s online boutique sells bright and bold handbags straight from northern Colombia. The mochilas, designed and crafted by an indigenous artisan group, the Wayuu, in the Guajira Peninsula, take at least a month to make. Choose between cotton-woven bucket bags or clutches.   

Mi Pueblito

Multiple locations, 

Satisfy your taste buds with a long list of authentic (yes, truly authentic) Colombian pastries and dishes such as bandeja paisa, tamales, sancocho and chuletas. For an added bonus, this restaurant has live music every weekend and on holidays, and its TVs are regularly tuned to the national team’s soccer games. 

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