Articles / Limes, Hummingbirds, and 50 Cousins

Limes, Hummingbirds, and 50 Cousins

Published October 12, 2023

Discovering family, part one: The way it was

This is the first of a five-part series from Mike Diago about a trip he took with his family to his ancestral home in the city of Honda, on the Magdalena River in Colombia. As he says, “I knew if I didn’t take them there soon, they’d never get to know the family or taste the local foods—the fruit, the breads, the stews—in their proper context.” The journey starts here (and of course, there are recipes).

This summer, I pried myself from my relaxing backyard routine of birdwatching with my son and chatting with my neighbors about electric lawn mowers to take a two-week trip to Colombia. I wasn’t interested in the carnivals of Barranquilla or the beaches of Cartagena. What got me on that plane was a desire to bring my wife Zoraida and our sons Marcel (8) and Naeem (2) to a place 900 miles south of there, following the Magdalena River down to Honda, an inhospitably hot city at the river’s last navigable point. Honda, nicknamed Ciudad de las Puentes (City of Bridges), is my father’s home town and the ancestral home for us Diagos.