Outline I. Geography and Climate a) Location b) Terrain c) Weather II. The People
a) Statics b) Languages c) Food III. Military and War a) Branches b) Wars c) United States involvement IV. Civil Considerations a) Economy b) Politics c) Secular Celebrations d) Architecture
01 May 2011
Colombia is one of the three countries that arose from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830. The other two countries are Ecuador and Venezuela. Since declaring independence on 20 July 1810 and achieving it nineteen years later in 1819, Colombia has changed its name seven times. Regional cultural traditions are diverse, with a broad range of distinct groups that have unique customs, accents, social patterns, and cultural adaptations. These groups are classified into three cultures: those in the interior, the countryside, and the coastal regions. Only during elections, sporting events, and beauty pageants do the regional cultures unite for a common goal. The national culture is not very different from the cultural influence of colonial Spain.
Geography and Climate
Colombia is surrounded by Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Panama. Both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed by Colombians. The western half of the country has three Andean ranges that run north and south. The eastern half is a low, jungle-covered plain, drained by spurs of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, occupied mostly by isolated tropical-forest Indian tribes. The fertile plateau and valley of the eastern range are the most heavily populated parts of the country. Colombia is unique in that it is the only country in South America which borders both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Colombia’s climate is tropical and isothermal as a result of its geographical location near the Equator. It presents differences, within five natural regions and depending on the altitude, temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall. The country may be divided vertically into four regions. The hot country, or tierra caliente, is the tropical zone, where the mean annual temperature is 75–81° F. In the temperate zone, or tierra templada, the average year-round temperature is about 64° F. Cold country, or tierra fría, has temperatures averaging a little over 55° F. Above 10,000 ft the temperature varies from 55° F to 1° F, depending on the altitude. The annual mean temperature in Bogotá, the capitol of Colombia is 57° F. Rainfall is heaviest on the west coast and in the Andean area. Here winter and summer, generally alternate in three-month cycles. In the capitol Bogotá, it constantly rains during the periods of April to June and October to December. Areas in the north have one long rainy season, from May through October. The annual average rainfall is 42 in.
In 2006 Colombia’s population was approximately 43.6 million. It is the third-most populated country in Latin America, after Mexico and Brazil. Meztizos make up about sixty percent of the population, one fifth are of European descent. The indigenous people, who account for only about one percent of today's population, live on the edge of some of the major cities and in remote areas. About fifteen percent of the people are of mixed African and European descent. Less than five percent of the black population is located along the coasts and in the Magdalena and Cauca Valleys. The greater part of Colombia’s population is Roman Catholic. Movement from rural to urban areas was very heavy in the mid-twentieth century, but has since tapered off. More than two-thirds of all Colombians live in urban areas – a figure significantly higher than the world average. The literacy in Colombia is also well above the world average, and the rate of population growth is slightly higher than the world average. A large proportion of Colombians are young, due to the recent