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Happy Colombian Independence Day!

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30 Facts About Colombia:

  • Today, July 20, 2011, the South American nation of Colombia is 201 years old.
  • The first President of Colombia was Simon Bolivar.
  • Colombia has the second largest population of South America.
  • Colombian Spanish is considered by many around the world as the purest in Latin America.
  • Most Colombians have both a maternal and paternal surname and will use both.
  • Colombia historically has been the world’s leading producer of emeralds. 95% of the world’s emeralds come from Colombia.
  • Colombia has five major industrial centers–Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, and Bucaramanga.
  • Hormigas Culonas are a delicacy in Santander, a Department of Colombia. They are roasted and then salted. And yes, hormigas culonas translates to “large-bottomed ants.” ANTS. As in insects.
  • Colombia has 32 departments.
  • Colombia has 443 different protected areas which include nature reserves, wilderness areas, natural monuments, and national parks.
  • Colombia’s literacy rate is 92.5% — That’s right. We read.
  • Colombia’s major exports are petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, cut flowers, and bananas.
  • Colombia is the world’s third-leading producer of women’s lingerie.
  • Colombia is also known world-wide for its amazing coffee, which is considered to have a flavor unlike any other. We grow 12% of the world’s coffee!
  • Colombia has 15 major volcanoes. We are also part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and get a whole bunch of earthquakes. We’re so screwed.
  • Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by Panama and the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by Ecuador and the Pacific Ocean.
  • Between 80%-90% of Colombians are Roman Catholic. I think that 10% deviation symbolizes the percentage of lazy Catholics like me…
  • The total area of Colombia is around 440,831 square miles. Almost twice the size of Texas or approximately to the areas of Portugal, France and Spain put altogether.
  • What do the colors of the Colombian flag mean? The yellow band represents Colombian gold. The blue represents the two oceans that border North and West Colombia. The band of red represents the blood of soldiers that fought and won independence.
  • Colombia is the only South American country with coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Ten percent of all animal species live in Colombia.
  • The most poisonous frog in the world, the Golden Dart Frog, is found on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. Touch it and you die. Literally.
  • The five largest cities in Colombia are: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena.
  • Colombia can be divided into 5 main regions: the Andean Highlands, the Caribbean Lowlands, the Pacific Lowlands, the Amazonian region and the Eastern Plains.
  • Some famous Colombians include: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Juanes, Juan Pablo Montoya, Catalina Sandino Moreno and Carlos Vives.
  • Colombia’s cuisine is not widely known but some popular foods you should try someday include: Bandeja Paisa, Ajiaco, Arepas, Sancocho and Arequipe.
  • Colombia’s national alcoholic beverage is Aguardiente (fire water). It’s clear like vodka but it’s made from sugarcane and tastes like anise or licorice. Some say like rose petals, but I think they must be drunk by that point.
  • Colombia doesn’t have seasons, instead it has a dry period and a rainy period with temperatures relatively stable throughout most of the year.
  • I was born in Santa Fe de Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. Bogotá is the third highest major city in the world. As in altitude. It is recommended that those who have high blood pressure live somewhere else.
  • It’s spelled C-O-L-O-M-B-I-A, not C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A. There isn’t an english spelling. You don’t call the countries of El Salvador or Costa Rica, “The Savior” or “Rich Coast” do you?
Mucho love and laughter,

City Girl to Country Girl 
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