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Santiago de Cali

Santiago de Cali, simply referred to as Cali, is a city in western Colombia and the capital of the Valle del Cauca Department. With a population of 2.5 million, Cali is the third largest city in the country. The principal urban, cultural, and economic site in southwestern Colombia, Cali has one of the fastest growing economies in the country due to its geographic location. The city was founded on 25 July 1536 by the Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar. It is the main sports center of Colombia, being the only Colombian city to have hosted the Pan American Games (in 1971) and will host the ninth edition of the World Games in 2013, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014, and the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015. Cali contains a well-preserved Historical center, the most important zone is La plaza de Caycedo, considered the center of the city, which is a square surrounded by many historical and modern buildings like El edificio Otero, La Catedral and El Palacio de Justicia. There are a variety of nightclubs and restaurants. In the city you can find whole districts dedicated to tourism, for example Granada, one of the most traditional districts in Cali, full of gourmet restaurants, fashion stores and boutiques. Another spot to visit is along "La sexta" or the 6th street. Many types of nightclubs are there, as are restaurants and hotels. This area is usually called the "zonarosa" or pink zone, and is located in the north very close to Chipichape mall.

Free University -Santiago de Cali Sectional-

Universidad Libre is a university in Colombia initially founded under the name of Universidad Republicana in Bogota during the 19th Century. Since the original intention of this program was to offer the space for unbiased learning during a radical political period in the country, the proper translation would be Freedom University because it promotes the liberty of expression and political thoughts.

In 1910, Universidad Republicana went through terrible economic mishaps. A group of investors determined to save the institution led by Don Eugenio Lopez, proceeded to try to amass the necessary funds to keep the institution alive. On April 13, 1912 Universidad Republicana S.A. was constituted as a society but its commercial name was Universidad libre. In 1913 after many legal battles Universidad Libre became an independent entity from Unversidad Republicana.

Now constituted as a separate entity Universidad Libre was facing again economic issues, with many of the contributors withdrawing their funds. Cesar J. Rodriguez was in charged of the dawning task of yet again raising capital for the institution. Mr. Rodriguez himself hired the seasoned and charismatic leader Benjamin Herrera as head of the project. Mr Herrera was in charged of Universidad Libre until 1921 when he ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign against Pedronel Ospina. The defeated Mr Herrera finally in 1922 raised the desired amount of capital and Julio Cesar Rodriguez announced on March 29, 1922 the beginning of activities.

It was not until February 13, 1923 that Universidad Libre actually started classes, in the first faculty dedicated to Law and science.

School Website:[1]

About the Local Commitee: ACEMLI

ACEMLI is the Scientific Association of Medical Students of Universidad Libre Sectional Cali.
Its main objective is promoting high standard research among medical students from their first steps in pre graduate studies.

Year by year it members represent their university by presenting their research results and protocols not only in national but international scientific conferences, supported by the Medical Faculty and their mentors.
In addition, community service is reinforced among its members by involving them, according to their preferences, in activities regarding medical education, public health, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and research and professional exchanges.

Information for Exchange Students


People from Cali –usually called caleños- are very kind and warm –just like their regular weather-. Exchange students stay with a Colombian family during their whole stay in Cali. This allows them not only to experience contact with regular people, but also to exchange their cultural background in a more intimate way.


2 meals per day are given to Exchange students by their host family.

The Hospital

The clinic where we do most of our practices, is the Comfenalco Valle- Unilibre corporation, which was recognized as the clinic before Rafael Uribe Uribe or social insurance.

Patients of the corporation are very helpful, and we have great emphasis on a medical anteción line guided humanistic and comprehensive care, taking into account each person with its various components.

Working Environment

Universidad Libre is currently available only for outging students.

Dress Code

Until 3rd year of medicine and surgery students wear a dark blue scrub, 4th year wear a grey one and 6th year wear a light blue one. Residents wear a white one. None of the above are required wearing a white coat but if they wish to, they can wear it.

Formal dressing code with a white coat is required for Professors

Getting There: From the Airport to the City

By plane, through the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport. Cali has one of the main airports in Colombia, the Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO), located in the municipality of Palmira, a fifteen minute drive north of the city. CLO is the second busiest airport in number of passengers and the fourth in freight traffic in Colombia.

Taxis: the Airport offers a 24 hours taxi service. They are located in the first floor, right outside the international and national arrival doors. Before you get on the taxi, you will be given a ticket with the information of the vehicle, address, cost and contact information. Bus: right outside the international and national arrival doors you can find buses that take you to the Terminales de Transporte of Cali and Palmira.

Getting Around: Transportation inside the city

Taxis You can either get them on the avenues or call for a Taxi service which arrives to your home and picks you up. You can call the following numbers: 4444444, 5555555 or 6606060.

MIO It is the most popular transportation service among caleños. For further information about the routes it offers, go to [2]


Cali’s weather is Tropical savanna. The average temperature is 23.6 ° C (74.4 ° F) with an average minimum of 18.7 ° C (66 ° F) and an average maximum of 30 ° C (86 ° F) with an absolute maximum of 38 ° C, min absolute of 15 ° C. Dry seasons are from December to February and July to August and the rainy season from March to May and September to November.

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