Things That I Have Learned In Colombia

Things That  I Have Learned In Colombia

“Once a year, go someplace that you haven’t been before.”  Dalai Lama

If you don’t come back from Colombia with your suitcase smelling from coffee, something is wrong.

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Coffee plants in Colombia are not native to Colombia. Many of the plants come from Africa. IMG_4242

Juan Valdez is the Starbucks of Colombia not the man picking coffee beans for Folgers. (only people my age know what that meant) IMG_3804

Colombia is not Disneyland but it isn’t downtown Beirut either. IMG_3787

There is always music. (Play and continue reading . It will sound like Colombia  – Gracias Kevin)

Colombia has the second highest number of public holidays in the world. Argentina has the first.

Colombians love Juanes as a humanitarian even if they don’t like his music.

Because of its location Colombia is “the door of the Americas”.

In Colombia you dunk cheese in your hot chocolate (my two favorite things together).

There is always fruit.

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Colombia is the world’s second largest exporter of cut flowers after the Netherlands. About 1 billion worth of flowers are exported every year, mostly to the United States. People from the United States buy 300 million Colombian roses on Valentines Day. IMG_4149

Colombia does not have seasons; because it is near the equator, it has sunlight throughout the year. Colombia is the only country in South America to have two different coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. IMG_4812

They still uses coca leaves in the rural villages and for the tourists. But it is not as easy to find as in Peru and Argentina.

Colombia has the biggest theater festival, biggest salsa festival, biggest flower parade, biggest outdoor horse parade and second biggest carnival in the world.

You’re less likely to be kidnapped in Colombia than you are to be eaten by a shark in Australia.

12% of the world’s supply of coffee comes from Colombia which provides 20% of the government’s revenue. Only Brazil and Vietnam export more coffee. IMG_4224

According to someone from Ecuador at the airport, Colombians are the nicest South Americans. I would have to agree.

Colombia produces 60% of the world’s most expensive Emeralds.

In 1975, Colombian women were given the right to vote.

Colombians speak the clearest Spanish with the lightest accents, especially in Bogotá.

There are more fruits in Colombia than days in the year. Guanabana is my new favorite fruit. (Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche and Guanabana)

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Shakira is from Colombia. The women are often voted the most beautiful in the world.

There is always juice.

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The FARC was founded in 1964. Adopting an anti-U.S. and Marxist ideology. The group attracts the overwhelming majority of its members from the rural poor. Its aim is to overthrow the government. However, the government and the group have been making moves towards peace in recent years.

The decline and fall of the Colombian drug gangs has led to an increase in tourism. Medellin is still the capital of the cocaine trade but with Mexico taking over the American market, they are focusing on Europe and Latin America. Colombians are still often arrested in these countries for drug trafficking. Pablo Escobar never sold drugs to Colombians for consumption but today groups are targeting the outskirts of Colombia as well.

Colombian food is rich, diverse and delicious with a heavy focus on deep-frying. IMG_4841

Colombians do a lot of praying and a lot of crossing themselves. IMG_3754

Colombia is the worlds third largest manufacturer of women’s lingerie.

The Colombian drink aguardiente means fire water and is 60 per cent alcohol. A party is not a party in Colombia without aguardiente.

The name Colombia is derived from the name Christopher Columbus.

Avoid sopa de madongo unless you like intestines , tripe and cow udders, Luckily I have already gone through which organs to avoid in Argentina. FYI they also make soup out of eyeballs.

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Colombia has 84 different Indigenous tribes spread out across the country.

It is actually illegal to walk the streets in Colombia without I.D., but a photocopy will suffice in 99% of situations.

Colombia is my most misspelled country. In the past, I always spell it like Columbia the Ivy League University that I did not attend. I won’t be making this mistake again.

Colombia is one of my favorite countries in South America. I am already planning my return trip in my head.

Viaje con cuidado,

JAZ

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