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My country is a beautiful place. We have all types of weather and therefore vegeation and animal life is extremely diverse. People are hard-working and strong. Unfortunately Colombia has been suffering the process of a civil war that has lasted 40 years already, and nothing seems to get better. Did you know that there is a war going on right now in Colombia? People are actually getting killed and kidnapped all the time even if you do not hear anything about it through your local media. I wont say further, but I encourage you to look for extra information about Colombia by yourself. There is a lot more going on in Colombia than soccer, Shakira and (as you may have thought already), cocaine.
Take a look at some facts about my country; it's an interesting place. If you are Colombian, read my note at the bottom....



Official name: Republic of Colombia

Capital: Bogota, population 6 million (1997 estimate)

Founded: July 20, 1810

Official language: Spanish

Monetary unit: Colombian peso;
valuation (July 4, 2000): 1 U.S. dollar = 1,996 Colombian pesos

Area: 440,000 square miles (1,144,000 square kilometers),
twice the size of France

Land use (1993)
-- arable land: 4 percent
-- crops: 1 percent
-- pastures: 39 percent
-- forests: 48 percent
-- other: 8 percent

Natural resources: oil, natural gas, iron, nickel, coal, copper, gold, silver, platinum, emeralds.

Government Type: Multiparty republic with three branches, executive, legislative, judicial. Chief of state and head of government: President

Legislature: Bicameral Congress -- Senate (102 members) and House of Representatives(161)

Judiciary: Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Council of State

Political parties: Liberal Party currently controls Congress by a roughly 2-1 majority over the Conservatives. There are several smaller parties, most of which ally with one of the two major parties.

Suffrage: Universal at age 18

Administrative divisions: 32 departments, plus Bogota capital district


Population (2000 estimate): 40 million (third most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico)

Density: 91 people per square mile (5 per square Kilometer); density in eastern half of county is only 2 per square mile (less than 1 per square kilometer)

Other major cities: Cali 1.7 million; Medellin 1.6 million; Barranquilla 1.2 million; Cartagena 746,000

Urban-rural ratio: 73 percent urban; 27 percent rural

Ethnic groups: mestizo 58 percent; white 20 percent; mulatto 14 percent; black 4 percent; mixed black-Indian 3 percent; Amerindian 1 percent

Religions: Roman Catholic 92 percent; other 8 percent

Birth rate per 1,000 people (1996): 25.9 (world average 25)

Death rate per 1,000 people (1996): 5.9 (world average 9.3)


Gross domestic product (1998): U.S.$111.2 billion(U.S.$2,780 per capita)

Annual growth rate (1998): 3.5 percent

Labor force (1997): 16.8 million
-- services: 46 percent
-- industrial: 24 percent -- agriculture: 30 percent
-- unemployment rate: 20.3 percent (2000 estimate)

Industries: textiles, food processing, petroleum, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cement, gold, coal, copper, iron, nickel, emeralds, lumber, paper products, cut flowers.

Chief crops: coffee, rice, bananas, soybeans, sorghum, potatoes, corn, cotton, sugar, tobacco.


Literacy (1995): 91.3 percent of people over age 15 can read and write

Compulsory education: 5 years, for ages between 6 to 12

Infant mortality (1999): 24.3 deaths per 1,000 live births (world average 80)
Life expectancy (1999):
-- 66.5 years for males
-- 74.5 years for females


Newspapers: 37

Newspaper circulation (1999): 55 per 1,000 people

TV stations: 1 state-owned, 2 independent

Radio stations: 31 state-owned, 558 independents


Railroads (1995): 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers)

Roads (1997): 71,700 miles (115,600 kilometers); 12 percent paved

Navigable waterways: 8,900 miles (14,300 kilometers)

Passenger cars (1995): 1.2 million

Trucks (1995): 550,000

Airports: 89 with paved runways (1998); 1,031 with unpaved runways


Active duty personnel (1997): 146,300 (army 82.7 percent, navy 12.3 percent, air force 5 percent)

Military expenditures (1998): U.S.$4 billion

Military expenditures per capita (1998): U.S.$103

Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2000 World Almanac, Information Please Almanac,U.S. State Department, CIA World Factbook, World Desk Reference, Reuters news service, CNN.

Si eres Colombiano por favor considera donar un poco de tu tiempo a tu pais. Ayuda a solucionar el problema que nos afecta a todos.... piensa en comunidad. Haz click en esta "link" para que descubras una organizacion que si funciona.... visita el Banco de Tiempo

Sometimes my head gets so crowded with thoughts about Colombia, that I have to vomit them somewhere. Usually, they end up in lecturing friends for hours about the situation of my country...poor them. Lately I have decided to actually try to write them. The fact that I recently got braces on, encourages me to speak less and write more, so this link will take you to a concerned, opinionated and confused Colombian Melisa






Click on the above picture to go to the official San Andres island website






Click on the picture above to go to the official website of the touristic city of Santa Marta.