Bogotá Stereotype No5: Gomelo Students

As you wander along Bogotá’s San Francisco River (otherwise known as the Eje Ambiental) perhaps admiring the bathing facilities designed by Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona for the city’s superabundance of street-dwelling indigents, or you’re enjoying a stroll through the Plaza de los Esmeralderos or perhaps crossing the Carrera Septima at the tunnel in front of the Javeriana University…you will no doubt be swamped in a dizzying array of Gomelo University Students.

Could Rogelio Salmona have imagined this? (source)

Could Rogelio Salmona have imagined this? (source)

Gomelo University Students abound in Bogotá and so here’s a guide on how to identify them and/ or avoid them. Let me also grant you the concession that I study at the Javeriana University but you’ll not find me deep in a Gomelo conversation such as the following which I had the great misfortune to overhear.

“Pero marica, no seas huevon.” “Huevon no somos maricas.” “Huevon!” “Marica!” “Me voy huevones.” “Nos vemos marica.”

And yet, that’s a summary of what was actually said. It was painful to hear. The Gomelo to Gomelo vocabulary is something to behold. Before I continue, I should probably explain the actual meaning of the word Gomelo.

“Someone who is or wants to be high class, boasts about material things and looks down upon other social classes.” (source)

Of course, the Gomelo is not unique to the Javeriana, but they do seem to congregate en masse on the steps in front of the University. The University of Los Andes and el Rosario, the Santo Tomas, La Sabana and beyond all clearly have their fair share of Gomelos.

Students at the Javeriana in Bogotá

Students at the Javeriana in Bogotá

Where are the Gomelos to be found? Clearly not in class, talking about the past weekend and their future plans with their combo of Mafe, Pili, Cami, Juanca, Juanda, Mavi to head out to some finca or another in Subachoque, Choachi or the timeshare in Anapoima. Expect them to wax lyrical about the pizzas at Julia‘s, “deli marica“.

On campus, they’re wherever is the place to be seen, slouching on a lawn “huevon” or blocking people exiting the elevator as they perform verbal backflips of salutation and bravado upon seeing a friend for the first time since last term.

How can you locate a Gomelo? Not riding public transport. Persistently stuck to WhatsApp trying to crash a ride to home in Cedritos and possibly smoking a blunt in the Parque Nacional or in some student dive in the Candelaria depending on the alma mater in question. Not listening to Candela Estereo or Tropicana and ridiculing “the help” (la muchacha) for doing so.

the undisputed king of the Gomelo culture in Bogotá

the undisputed king of the Gomelo culture in Bogotá

Holidays? Wherever their parents take them. Expect them to have enjoyed summer courses overseas and long weekend jaunts to San Andres – the Decameron San Luis of course.

Basically, the Gomelo has never had to force themselves or face challenges to procure anything in life. Everything has been provided for and I suppose that in an English university a Gomelo would be referred to as a “Sloane“. They may not know about the conflict in the Colombian countryside, but Daddy’s interests are under threat from the Santos Farc Chavismo threatening to take over the country, but there’s a discount at the Diesel store in El Retiro shopping mall so huevon, what are you waiting for?

Military service? What’s that? Marica?

Further Reading

Read about the other Bogotá Stereotypes No1 the Oficinista,  No2 the BiciNazi, No3 the Carro Escolta, No4 the Hijo Bon Bril.

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5 thoughts on “Bogotá Stereotype No5: Gomelo Students

  • This is SPOT on! I laughed throughout the entire post because it is so accurate. I could hear the voices jumping off the page. Well done.

  • Words like “Gomelo” exist in all cultures.
    In the US or UK, it could be comparable to “born with a silver spoon in your mouth”.
    Basically it’s a “reverse classism” word, that the victims of classism invented…..which is all fine and well..

    But in Colombia, does it seems like a cop-out to label anyone that attends those universities you mention as “Gomelo”?

    Also, not sure why Peñalosa would be the poster boy for “Gomelo”, when someone who on their own accord runs for and gets elected for the un-enviable job
    of Bogota Mayor to serve the people and make Bogota better, is the antonym of “Gomelo”.

    Then again, it’s the leftists that have labelled him “Gomelo”.

  • I don't think it is comparable to the 'silver spoon' as that is reserved for those that are from a higher class or from money. Not for those that aspire to be in that class, which is covered by gomelo

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