My Research on Columbia

I’ve been doing some research on Columbia because two of my friends, an American and a Canadian, recommend it. They both spent time in Medellin — one for three months, the other for 10 days — and they both love it.

Medellin at sunset

So here’s what I’ve found:

About 30 years ago, Columbia was a much more tranquil country. Nowadays, rebel groups and drug production have actually transformed that tranquility into turbulence.

Summary of Columbia for Travelers

In 1525, the Spanish colonized Columbia. The country claimed complete self-reliance in 1813. In 1819, Greater Columbia was formed which included modern day countries Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama. This combination fell apart relatively quickly.

In 1978, political disagreements and corruption led to rebel groups pursuing violent insurrection attempts. The primary groups were the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Democratic Alliance (M-19). These 2 entities have actually subsequently pursued a civil war against the federal government, frequently managing parts of the nation. Since 2000, though, the rebel groups have actually lost much of their effectiveness and ability and no major attacks have happened since.

Beginning in the late 1970s, the drug industry exploded in Columbia. You’ve seen it on Netflix: cartels formed to control cocaine production and they prospered until the late ’80s. Efforts by the federal government to manage the cartels caused open violence and massive corruption. In the late 1990s, the huge cartels were lastly broken up. Cocaine production hasn’t actually been effected; it is now just controlled by smaller sized, more discreet cartels.

The official name of the country is Republic of Columbia. Columbia covers a location of about 440,000 square miles and is the fourth biggest nation in South America. The capital is Bogotá with a population of just over 7 million people. Other significant population locations consist of the cities of Medellin, Cali and Cartagena. The surface in Columbia varies from rugged mountains to shoreline on the Pacific Ocean to flat grasslands. Temperature levels are typically warm and humid with the exception of cooler climates in the greater mountain areas.

The people of Columbia are known as Colombians. The overall population is 46 million with a development rate just under 2 percent each year. Roman Catholic is the dominant religious faith and Spanish is the language. Literacy rates are 93 percent in urban areas and 67 percent in more rural places. Life expectancy for a Columbian male is 69 years and 75 for a Columbian lady. Ethnic break down is mostly Mestizo at 58 percent of the population followed by white at 20 percent, mulatto at 14 percent and black at four percent.

So those are the facts. Watch the videos and see what you think. For my part, I’m gonna keep doing my research, because I hear it’s wonderful but not sure I want to visit yet.…