Meet the Locals: Nicolas Laverde in Bogotá, Colombia

Meet the Locals: Nicolas Laverde in Bogotá, Colombia

Nicolas Laverde is from Bogotá, Colombia. He divides his time between there and Toronto, Canada, while frequently traveling to the United States. Bogotá is where most of his family lives, as well as his closest friends and 145-pound Newfoundland dog, Roger.

Along with his dad, Nicolas manages the Laverdieri Club, a sports club (tennis and soccer), an events space, spa, and boutique hotel. “The Club has been around since 1988, and I’ve been working here since 2003,” says Laverde. Since he started, the club has seen much growth, going from seven employees to 60 at one point. Laverdieri Club also offers tennis, football (aka soccer), and basketball lessons. “The nature of the small business has taught me to be involved in each department,” he explains. “From human resources, legal department, to customer service, you name it. I have to be all over the place.”

Nicolas Laverde and RogerOwning a business does mean he’s constantly thinking about it, of course. “Maybe it’s just too much passion or too many things to do,” he says. “My head won’t stop processing and creating things.” But for Laverde, customer appreciation and helping employees in their career paths make it all worth it. Running your business, especially one oriented toward customer service, is a lot of work. “Be prepared to ‘serve’ people, your employees, and your customers,” says Laverde. “Be ready to work long hours and learn to lead, manage and motivate your team. Be calm and patient.”

Before joining the Laverdieri Club, Laverde took hundreds of trips worldwide to compete in tennis. “I represented my city, Bogotá, in national tournaments, then my country, Colombia, on tours in the U.S., Central, and South America,” he says. 

He also represented South America on European tours and received a sports scholarship to study international business at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. “All the skills that I developed, not only for tennis but in life in general, have shaped who I am today as an entrepreneur and as a person.” Laverde even played tennis against the great Roger Federer — and yes, that is who his dog is named after.

For people visiting Bogotá, Laverde recommends a trek up Monserrate, the mountain that rises 3,152 meters (10,341 feet) above sea level in the city’s center. (For reference, Bogotá lies 2,640 meters/8,660 feet above sea level.) The church at the top is visible from most of the city below. Before Catholicism was established in the area, Indigenous people such as the Muisca also used the mountain for religious purposes, calling it quijicha caca, meaning “grandmother’s foot.”

You’re bound to be hungry after venturing to such heights. “We have tons of restaurants to choose from,” says Laverde. Typical Colombian food is always a good choice, like ajiaco (chicken and potato soup), frijoles (beans), morcilla (blood sausage), mazorca (corn on the cob), arepas with ají (stuffed maize dough with a spicy sauce), and bandeja paisa, a whole platter of various, hearty foods. “Some local aguardiente cannot be missed,” adds Laverde, referring to the distilled spirit flavored with anise, “alongside some Latin music like merengue, salsa, vallenato, or some reggaeton here and there.”

Colombia is not as dangerous as the news makes it seem, adds Laverde. “And when friends come, they love our city, culture, nightlife, and restaurants.”

To learn more about Nicolas Laverde the business professional, check out his entrepreneurial website. Stay tuned for more installments of Dreams Abroad’s ongoing Meet the Locals series, where you’ll get to know the work and lives of global professionals like the two designers behind the On Aura Tout Vu brand, who continually spark our passion for travel.

23 thoughts on “Meet the Locals: Nicolas Laverde in Bogotá, Colombia

  1. Colombia has never been on my places to visit, but that being said, I never say never any more. Nicolas seems like a very hard working individual, and I certainly appreciate him showing off Roger!

  2. Interesting. some of my best friends are in Columbia. Never met them face-to-face – just social media and Zoom friends. Very nice people.

  3. I love that he talked about the stigma of danger in his country. Many times as Americans we only see the bad news and form these opinions based on the little we know.

  4. I love hearing little snippets of other people’s lives around the world. It sounds like Nicolas has a really busy life and I’ll definitely take his recommendations into account if I ever visit Colombia (or go to a Colombian restaurant!)

  5. This makes me wanna visit Colombia. I admit, the news scares us, thinking this place is a bit dangerous. But thank you for this!

  6. I want to go and meet Roger I have always wanted a Newfoundland. Nicolas certainly leaves a busy life

  7. I’ve never been to Colombia and would love to go there soon, such a beautiful country. Nicolas Laverde is awesome, thank you for the interview.

  8. I had someone from there tell me the same thing. They said our news makes it sound more dangerous than it is in real life. My MIL has also visited and loved the culture of Colombia.

  9. I’ve never been to Colombia. But, because I’m reading your article Colombia is on my bucket list now.

  10. Ooohhhh…this is a good and relaxing read about Colombia! I look forward to trying out the indigenous dishes here!

  11. Nicolas’ story is a testament to how hard work, passion, and dedication can lead to remarkable growth and success. I’m truly impressed by his accomplishments and wish him continued success in managing the Laverdieri Club and all his future endeavors! 🎉✨

  12. What a busy life he must lead running some of those businesses. It must have been really fun to travel so much with tennis as well x

  13. Colombia and Canada are such different places! I imagine he has quite a range of experiences in his lifetime.

  14. I have heard about South American countries so many times but have never got a chance to visit. Nicolas Laverde seems like a proud Colombian and an accomplished one too given that he has played against the great Roger Federer. Putting this on my travel bucket list.

  15. Thanks for sharing this story here, I always enjoyed reading & learning experiences from other people’s lives around the world. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

  16. Sounds like such a great club. I love tennis and it’s fun mixing sports like that! Sounds like a nice place to visit and a great highlight too!

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