17 interesting facts about Colombia: Did you know…

  • that the country is spelled Colombia and not Columbia? Mind your pronunciation since Colombian people have a fine ear for details.
  • that Colombian people love sweet stuff? Everything is super sweet – including alcohol.
  • that the national alcohol is called Aguardiente?
  • that Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world? Only Brazil which is 10 times its size offers more biodiversity. Colombia is one of only 17 „megadiverse“ countries in the world. (source: World Resources Institute, 2013)

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  • that Colombia’s „second city“ Medellin was the murder capital of the world with 17 murders every day in 1991? Since it has undergone a renaissance and is now one of the country’s main cultural hubs. (source: The Guardian, 2014)
  • that many of the traffic bumps you find in different neighborhoods were built in the era of Pablo Escobar? So it was easier for the government to chase hitmen.
  • that Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama were part of Gran Colombia back in 1819-1831? With the exception of Panama (which achieved independence a few decades later), the countries that were created have similar flags, reminiscent of the flag of Gran Colombia.
  • that the national flag of Colombia consists of three colors: yellow, blue, and red. Yellow represents the gold that was found on the territory. Blue represents the water in the country and red stands for the spilled blood fighting for the territory.
  • that Bogota is a mecca for street artists? The government encourages and sponsors street art.

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  • that notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar reportedly offered to pay Colombia’s national debt of $10 billion to improve his reputation and escape the crosshairs of justice? (source: Killing Pablo, Mark Bowden, 2001)
  • that the local government imposes a so-called „Dry-Law“ during major events such as World Cup matches and elections, prohibiting alcohol consumption in order to stem public violence?
  • that Colombia is the happiest country in the wold according to the 2013 and the 2014 Barometer of Happiness and Hope.

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  • that Colombia, with 18 national holidays, came second in the „countries with the most national holidays“ list? In case you are wondering who tops that: it’s India.
  • that porn is almost an art in Colombia? You can find porn movies in many places, even right next to churches.
  • that the people love to dance? The golden rule of Colombia: if you hear music, start moving.
  • that Colombia lies above the Pacific Ring of Fire? Here, volcanoes and earthquakes are as natural as birds and bees.
  • that the national sport is Tejo? Beer is almost a rule in this game. It consists of trying to throw a metal disk at a sack filled with gunpowder while getting drunk.

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