by ingrid WEaver

Basic Facts

Colombia came to be a country after the fall of Gran Colombia in 1830; the other two countries formed out of the fall of Gran Colombia were Ecuador and Venezuela. The countries surrounding Colombia are Panama in the northwest, from the east are Venezuela and Brazil, and in the southwest are Peru and Ecuador. Today their form of government is a Republic. The population of Colombia, as of 2013, is 48.32 million people, and the currency they use in Colombia is the Colombian peso. Colombia is a Spanish speaking country, so the majority of people living there speak the Spanish language. The capital city of Colombia is Bogotá, and the population (as of 2005) is 6.763 million. Colombia's religious aspects consist of Roman Catholics, who make up 90% of the population, and the extra 10% is made up of Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, and Muslim religions.

A Map of Colombia

A political map of Colombia and some of its surrounding countries.

Famous Places

The capital city of Bogotá at nighttime.

Three of the most popular destinations in Colombia to visit are Bogotá at number one, Cartagena ranking at number two, and Santa Marta ranked as number three. Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Bogotá is a popular place to visit because of all the things there are to do. It has 60 museums and galleries to visit, such as Neebex, a popular contemporary art museum in Bogotá that was founded by Thierry Harribey. Another reasons for its large amount of visitors is that the city hosts the most famous rock festival on the continent, called Rock Al Parque. In 2004, 400,000 people attended the festival, as it is considered one of the most important rock festivals in Latin America. They also have the most important theater festival in the world. It is called The Ibero-American Festival of Bogotá and it goes on for 16 days, featuring theater performances from places all over the world.

The next most popular place to visit, Cartagena, is famous because it was the first colony on the South American continent and also contained one of the first sanctuaries of freed slaves in the Americas. Some of the many travel destinations in Cartagena are the historic old town, the coral stone forts that are 500 years old, The Castillo de San Fillipe, the La Popa hill, The Palacio de la Inquisición, and many more popular travel areas.

Lastly, Santa Marta is a great place for people to visit because it contains places like Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, El Rodadero, Pozos Colorados, Bello Horizonte, Taganga, Bahía Concha, Playa Muerto, Playa Blanca, Playa Cristal, Playa Grande, Neguanje, and lots more.

Local Expressions

Colombians celebrating their Independence day.

A few of the local expressions they use in Colombia are quite different from the things we say in the U.S. For example, in Colombia it wouldn't be a rarity for you to find that a married couple will call each other "mijo" or "mija". "Mijo" translates to English as "my son", and "mija" means "my daughter". Just as these expressions are quite backwards, so are a few others. It also isn't uncommon to find that parents will call their children "papito" and "mamita" which mean "daddy" and "mommy" in English. Another strange expression is "¿y eso quien pidió pollo?". It means "And who asked for chicken?", and is used as a Colombian pick up line. There are also expressions that are similar or even the same as the ones we say in the United States, just like we might someone is arrogant, they use the expression "darselas de perro" which means that you think you are better than everyone else.

Food and Drink

Chicha, a Colombian drink

This funny looking Colombian drink is called Chicha. It is made from fermented corn and actually does have a small amount of alcohol in it. You can find this drink in all parts of Colombia, and although you can order just a cup, it is traditionally served in a big coconut shell with a straw. Chicha is basically the same thing as beer, just made out of corn instead of wheat. During the Inca Empire in Peru, chicha was offered to the gods and was considered a drink for those of high status.

A traditional Colombian soup called changua.

This soup is called changua, and although it may look like a normal soup, it definitely isn't. Changua is normally eaten for breakfast, and is  very common in the Andean Mountains. This strange soup is made from milk, water, scallions, and eggs that are added in without breaking the yolks. It is traditionally served with cilantro on top and a piece of bread, most likely stale.

Climate and Geography

An old building located in San Andres, Colombia.

Colombia is located at the top of South America, in between Panama and Venezuela. It is about twice the size of Texas and is made up of flat coastal lowlands, tall Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains, and central highlands. Colombia has a tropical climate along the coast and eastern plains, but it is much cooler in the highlands. The temperature throughout the year does not change much, so there are only two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. The best time of year to visit Colombia is during the dry season because of the nice weather and events that are held.

The Wayúu culture festival

This festival is considered the most important festival of the year in La Guajira, which is located in the northern part of Colombia. It is a chance for the Wayúu to show the word their culture through the use of traditional music, rituals, customs, handicrafts, forums, expeditions, and games which represent their ancestors customs. The festival was started after the election of the first Wayúu woman in 1984, when she decided to share her culture with the rest of the world. The first festival was held in 1985. In my opinion, I think this festival looks like a lot of fun. It is very different from the type of festivals we have in the U.S. and I think I would enjoy getting to learn more about the culture of the Wayúu.

Works cited

Comment Stream

3 years ago

Really good job. Loved the facts.

3 years ago

Lots of interesting facts

3 years ago

Good, I loved the information!