April 19, 2019

Interesting Facts about Colombia

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A country rich in tradition and a mecca of many different ethnicities, Colombia has many traditions and customs that are known around the world.

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Keep reading to learn more about this interesting country.

Basic Facts About Colombia

What is the population of Colombia?
Colombia has a population of 49.1 million people. It is the 30th most populated country in the world.

What is Colombia famous for?
Colombia is famous for its beautiful emeralds and delicious coffee. Colombia is the top provider of emeralds and the third largest provider of coffee, falling just behind Brazil and Vietnam.

What is unique about Colombia?
Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. In Colombia, you can find the second highest number of plant and amphibian species, as well as more than 300 different types of ecosystems.

Sports in Colombia

What is the most popular sport in Colombia?
As with many South American countries, football (soccer, as we know it) is the most popular sport in Colombia.

Has Colombia ever won a World Cup?
Colombia hasn't won the World Cup yet, but they have made it to the finals six times, with their most recent appearance in 2018.

What other sports are famous in Colombia?
While football (soccer) reigns supreme in Colombia, they also have a passion for many other sports, including baseball, roller skating, cycling, boxing, weightlifting, and motor sports. In fact, Colombia is often known as the hub of roller skaters, and they have won the Roller Skating Speed Championships more than nine times.

Colombian Culture

How do Colombians greet one another?
Typically, Colombians greet one another with a handshake. If it's a greeting between a man and a woman, the man waits for the woman to put her hand out first. If two women are greeting one another, they may grab one another's forearms rather than hands. Once two people get to know one another, the greetings may become a little more personal with a hug or kiss on the right cheek (between women only).

What food is Colombia known for?
Colombia has a very diverse culture, which means each region has its own "special food." However, one dish that most people think of when talking about Colombia is Bandeja Paisa. It consists of ground meat, rice, and red beans. It's topped with fried plantain, chorizo, and avocado.

What do they eat in Colombia?
Each region of Colombia has different cuisine preferences, but one thing they all have in common is their love for meat. Their meals typically consist of chicken or pork, and are accompanied by potatoes, rice, and corn.

Breakfast is usually one of the most important meals in Colombia; it consists of eggs, bread, juice, and fruit. Lunch is the "main" meal of the day and usually includes a soup, a main entrée, and a dessert. Colombians eat lunch between 12 PM and 4 PM. Their dinner is more like a "snack" and is eaten around 8 PM.

What is the main religion in Colombia?
Almost 80% of Colombians are Roman Catholic, and 14% of the remaining Colombians are Protestant. Those who don't fall under either religion don't identify with a specific religion.

Does Colombia have freedom of religion?
Since 1991, Colombians have had religious freedom thanks to the constitutional reform. Today, Colombians are free to choose their religion and have freedom of worship throughout the country.

What nationality are people from Colombia?
Colombia is a rather diverse country, with as many as 85 ethnicities running through it. A majority of Colombians are either Mestizo (Amerindian) or white (84%). The remainder are Afro-Colombian, which could be of 80 different ethnicities including Mulatto, Palennquero, and Raizal.

What language do they speak in Colombia?
The "official" language of Colombia is Spanish. In fact, more than 99% of Colombians speak Spanish. The other languages spoken in Colombia include Amerindian (there are 65 different languages in this category) and Creole.

What type of Spanish do they speak in Colombia?
Colombians speak Colombian Spanish. This is different than the Spanish you would hear in Spain, and is more of a Spanish slang.

What is the most popular music in Colombia?
Colombians listen to both modern and traditional music. The favorites vary by region and ethnicity. You'll find a variety of African, American, and Spanish music played throughout the country. Much like in the US, Colombians like everything from classic music to pop and rock and roll.

What is the most popular dance in Colombia?
Cumbia is the most popular dance in Colombia. This dance dates back to the days of slavery and is similar to folk dancing. The dancers dance to music played on drums, flutes, and drum-type instruments.

What holidays are celebrated in Colombia?
Colombia has some of the most public holidays in the world, with a mind blowing 18 holidays each year; 12 of those holidays are religious-based. A few of the holidays celebrated include Epiphany, Saint Joseph's Day, Good Friday, Easter, Labor Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, All Saints Day, and Christmas.

What is the biggest holiday in Colombia?
Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in Colombia. In Colombia they call it Santa Sementa, which they celebrate the entire Holy Week (the week of Easter). They celebrate with parades and festivals, all of which depict scenes and celebrations from the Bible.

How do they celebrate Christmas in Colombia?
Christmas celebrations start on December 7, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Colombians decorate their houses and streets with lanterns and lights. They let off fireworks, dance in the streets, and eat popular Colombian foods. The celebrations start again on December 16, with novenas taking place each night. At novenas, people come together to pray, eat, and sing Christmas carols.

The Colombians decorate their home with Christmas trees and lights. They eat their Christmas feast, which includes pork, ham, turkey, rice, peas, and corn, on Christmas Eve and follow it up with midnight mass. Christmas Day itself is a relaxing day in Colombia.

Miscellaneous Facts About Colombia

Can you drive in Colombia with a US license?
If you are visiting Colombia on a tourist visa, you can drive in the country using your US license. If you move to Colombia from the US, you cannot use your US driver's license. You will need to apply for a Colombian license and pass the required exams to do so.

Who is the most famous person from Colombia?
Colombia has given us many famous actors and professional sport players for us to enjoy, including Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Radamel Falcao.

What is the voting age in Colombia?
The legal voting age in Colombia is 18 years old.

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