Colombia, Columbia, Kohl-om-bee-uh

It’s with two ‘o’s. Though the spelling of some countries may vary from language to language, such as Kolumbien in German, Colombia remains Colombia in English. Thus, reading articles and published materials that disregard this small difference is a deep deep stab to my heart.

Sopó, Colombia

Sopó, Colombia

Minute details aside, as I begin to pack and prepare for the move, I’m posed questions about Colombia often based on statements that group Latin America as a region into one. It’s hard to comprise the essence of this place in one post and I’m left with geography as a start and a few lines to brag about my first home.

The previous link shows the location of the country, nestled between two bodies of water and with neighboring Panamá to the north, Venezuela to the Northeast, and Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador on the South. I’ll be flying into and spending most of my time in Bogotá, the capital, and a city sitting 8,612 ft. closer to the stars (as Colombians like to say). That means that in spite of its proximity to the Equator, the temperatures in Bogotá range from the upper fifties to the lower seventies. Too cold? No problem. Drive out of the city a few hours and you’re in the tropics. Same goes in case you want to cool down.

We can thank Colombia for a quality caffeine high from its Arabica beans and the bling from good emeralds, but check the tag on the flowers you buy and they’ll most likely say Colombia. Per square foot, it’s the most biodiverse country in the world, with the largest variety of bird species, and over 150 different fruits. Colombians even know how to throw a good party – something  Hillary Clinton can attest to. This website states it well: 10 Reasons for Colombia

Yet, through my sheer love for Colombia, I am not blind to the conflict that has permeated all areas of society for more than fifty years. I think this speaks a lot to the character of the average Colombian, who demonstrates unfaltering hospitality and happiness despite the struggles that have chained our country for so long. The complexity of the conflict in Colombia will become the subject of subsequent posts, and I aim  not only to  dispel the stereotypes that are connected to this region, but also to spark an interest in what’s offered in this country. I hope you continue reading.

Your suggestions are always welcome.

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