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Introduction to Colombia
- Capital: Bogotá
- Official Language: Spanish
- Currency: Colombian peso (COP)
- Pre-Colonial Period: Indigenous civilizations like the Muisca and Tairona thrived in the region.
- Spanish Colonization: Colombia was colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century.
- Independence: Colombia, along with other South American countries, declared independence from Spain in 1810.
- Gran Colombia: Colombia was part of Gran Colombia, led by Simón Bolívar, before becoming a separate nation in 1831.
Culture & Traditions
- Music: Cumbia, vallenato, and salsa are prominent musical genres in Colombia.
- Cuisine: Colombian dishes include arepas, bandeja paisa, and empanadas. Coffee is a significant export and cultural icon.
- Festivals: The Carnival of Barranquilla and the Flower Festival of Medellín are famous celebrations in Colombia.
Geography & Environment
- Andes Mountains: Colombia is home to a significant portion of the Andes, offering stunning landscapes.
- Amazon Rainforest: The southern part of Colombia shares the Amazon rainforest, teeming with biodiversity.
- Caribbean and Pacific Coasts: Colombia's coastline offers beautiful beaches and vibrant coastal culture.
- Gabriel García Márquez: Nobel laureate and author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude."
- Shakira: Internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter.
- Fernando Botero: Renowned artist known for his distinctive figurative style.
- Economic Overview: Colombia has a diverse economy, including agriculture (coffee, flowers), mining, and manufacturing.
- Tourism: Colombia has emerged as a top tourist destination, with attractions like Cartagena, Bogotá, and the coffee region.
- Sports: Football (soccer) is a beloved sport, with Colombia's national team achieving international success.
Recommended Readings & Film
- "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez
- "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel García Márquez
- "Outlaws of the Marsh" by Alberto Salcedo Ramos
- "Embrace of the Serpent" (2015)
- "The Wind Journeys" (2009)
- "Monos" (2019)