Tim Buendía

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Tim Buendía
Tim Buendia
Born Tim Aan't Goor
Elburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Education HanzeHogeSchool

Tim Buendía is a Dutch artist, poet and entrepreneur who lives in Aracataca, Colombia. He works promoting the international acknowledgement of the cultural, educational and touristic values of Aracataca. He is also the owner of the hostel The Gypsy Residence.[1]


Tim Buendía was born in The Netherlands under the name of Tim aan't Goor. He started traveling when he was 18 and lived and worked in Australia, Thailand, Spain and Peru before he arrived in Colombia. He first arrived in South America in December 2006, his original plan being to travel from Patagonia to Alaska. Upon arriving in Peru, he settled down to live in Iquitos, a city located in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. 10 months later he moved to the Colombian coastal city of Santa Marta, with aspirations of finding an abandoned beach and living of fishing. He lived in Santa Marta for one year, starting an English-teaching business named Dream English Educations. After visiting a friend in the town of Aracataca 90 minutes south of Santa Marta, he moved there in October 2008. Tim spent several months selling his poems before starting another business, this time opening up the first and only hostel in Aracataca. The Gypsy Residence was established in December 2010.[2]

outside the hostel

The Gypsy Residence[edit]

The Gypsy Residence is a hostel in Aracataca, Colombia, owned and operated by Tim Buendía. Tim started this business in December 2010. It is both a hostel and an homage to Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian Nobel Prize winning author who was born and raised in Aracataca. [1]


Aracataca is the birthplace of Gabriel García Márquez (affectionately known as Gabo), and is the inspiration for the fictional town of Macondo. The town first appears in García Márquez's short story "Leaf Storm". It is the central location for the subsequent novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. He has since used Macondo as a setting for several other stories. Tim Buendía was first exposed to García Márquez when he read One Hundred Years of Solitude and Chronicle of a Death Foretold while living in Iquitos. Years later when he moved to Aracataca, he was amazed to find that there was no touristic structure in town to properly honor the author and make the history of the Nobel Laureate more accessible to the public. He went to the library every week to read everything written by Gabo, and later he decided to make his love for García Márquez and Macondo the theme for his hostel.[3]


Tim Buendia doing a tour in Aracataca

The Gypsy Residence offers one day tours and two hour tours of Aracataca. "La Ruta Macondo" introduces guests to the traditional Colombian Caribbean life and culture, where they can experience the real Colombia in the heart of Aracataca and discover the world famous landmarks in town: the train station, the statue of Remedios the Beauty (the girl from One Hundred Years of Solitude that was so beautiful and innocent that she ascended into heaven), the river, the house where García Márquez was born, the house where his father used to work, the school he attended and learnt his fine writing skills, the House of the Telegraph, the church where he was baptized, the Melquiades Tombstone and the Forest of the Magic Realism.[4][5]

Magic realism[edit]

Magic realism is the prevading style of the works of Gabriel García Márquez, in which magical elements blend with the real world. Gabo had stated that it was time for new characters in Macondo, and Tim felt obliged to carry on the tradition of Magic Realism, so he started referring to himself as Tim Buendía after he moved to Aracataca. Tim is considered by journalists to be the last Buendía, a direct descendant of Colonel Aureliano Buendía, from the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. The premise is that when a guest stays at The Gypsy Residence in Aracataca/Macondo, they get to be a character in a Nobel Prize winning novel.[4][6]

New characters in Macondo[edit]

When nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez was asked when he was going to write again about the famous characters from his masterpiece; 100 years of solitude, Gabo said that he wasn't going to and that it was time for new characters in Macondo. Tim Buendia saw this as in invitation to take part in blurring the lines between magic and reality.[7]

Community contributions[edit]

  • Ambassador of Poetas del Mundo in Macondo - a worldwide movement of thousands of poets, promoting peace and justice.[8]
    Launch of a literary bridge. Offering the mayor of Aracataca a Steinbeck-book, in name of the mayor of Salinas
  • Co-Founder of El Macondo que Soñamos - a foundation that promotes the cultural identity of the Caribbean as written by Gabriel García Márquez; one of their key events is the annual Theater Festival in Aracataca.[9]
  • Host of a weekly radio show at Macondo Stereo in Aracataca called "Mister Tim Buendía" [4]
  • Designer and constructor of the Melquíades tomb - a new monument in Aracataca built to inspire the people of the town to participate in the development of tourism, an industry Tim feels is the key to many new jobs in Aracataca. Melquíades is a character in One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of a band of gypsies who visit Macondo every year, displaying amazing items from around the world.[10]
  • Organized together with the Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, the launch of a literary bridge between two 'Nobel Lands' in May 2011 in Aracataca.


  1. ^ a b Raub, Power, Egerton, Kevin, Mike, Alex (2012). Lonely Planet, Colombia 2012. Colombia: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. p. 344. ISBN 9781741797985. 
  2. ^ Natalia Gnecco. "El Tiempo". Eltiempo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  3. ^ Blankvoort, Inge. "Veluwse invloed op Aracataca". Destentor.nl. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  4. ^ a b c Rueda Gomez, Juan Carlos. "El Euromacondiano". Elheraldo.co. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  5. ^ Gnecco, Natalia. "El Ultimo Buendia Que Resucito a Macondo". Eltiempo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  6. ^ Sainz, Jonas. "Viaje a Macondo". Abc.es. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  7. ^ Gnecco, Natalia. "Tim, the last Buendia who took over Macondo". Abanico.ca. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  8. ^ Movimiento Poetas del Mundo. "Poetas del Mundo". Poetasdelmundo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  9. ^ Briggiler, Ingrid. "Aracataca, el lugar que buscaba". 90diasxelcaribe.com.ar. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  10. ^ Benjumea, Paola. "Melquiades, el gitano tiene su tumba". Eltiempo.com. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 

External links[edit]