Colombia – GDP Growth Could Surpass United States and Europe
Colombia was one of the three countries that emerged after the collapse of Spanish-ruled Gran Colombia in 1830. The other two were Venezuela and Ecuador. Overall the country is almost twice the size of Texas and ranks 30th in terms of world population. Median or midpoint age range is approximately 28 years old with 75% of the population living in urban areas. Colombia is the third largest exporter of oil to the United States. Currently it ranks 88th in the world in terms of GDP growth; its growth rate was estimated at 4.3 % in 2010. Compared to the United States and Europe, it looks like Colombia is expanding faster. And with government emphasis being currently placed on interconnectivity between urban areas, expansion will continue (provided it is able to handle the damage to the current infrastructure created by recent heavy rains). Major exports are oil, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds and textiles, with currency getting stronger over the last five years compared to the dollar.
Notes on the Colombian Culture
Culture in Colombia has Spanish roots. The layout of towns around a central plaza, the churches, the use of language, and omnipresence of Roman Catholicism harkens back to Spain.
The geography of Colombia contains five main natural regions that present their own unique characteristics:
- The Andes mountain range region shared with Ecuador and Venezuela
- The Pacific Ocean coastal region shared with Panama and Ecuador
- The Caribbean Sea coastal region shared with Venezuela and Panama
- The Llanos (plains) shared with Venezuela
- The Amazon Rainforest region shared with Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.
Colombia is the only South American country which borders both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The terrain of the country has contributed to different pockets of unique cultures springing up with their distinctive culinary delights, music, art and crafts. Along the Pacific and Caribbean coast there is widespread African influence while the influence inland reflects more of Spain’s culture.
One of the hallmarks of Colombia has been the spectacular population growth in many of its cities, particularly in Medellin. The culture is technologically advanced, yet maintains its native sense of manners and strong family traditions.
Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico. It is only natural that it counts several outstanding world-renowned artists as its own:
Fernando Botero: Perhaps the most well-known painter in Latin America, Botero’s trademark rotund figures have graced many of the world’s most famous museums. His sculptures, which he started creating in the 70s, can be found in many cities and are immediately recognizable. He was born in Medellín, Colombia and educated in Spain. FernandoBotero.com
Gabriel García Márquez: He won the Nobel Prize in Literature and his unique style of “magical realism” is a common thread throughout his writings. Many of Marquez’s works, including “Love in the Time of Cholera”, are mandatory reading in educational curricula and have been made into films. TheModernWord.com/gabo
Juanes: Also a Medellín native, he is a world-renowned singer/songwriter with several Latin American Grammy Awards to his credit. Juanes has toured the world with his music while simultaneously spreading messages of peace and the power of Latin American culture. Juanes’ dedication to social activism has also won him many international awards. Juanes.net
Shakira: One of the most successful and world-renowned songwriters and singers of the last ten years, Shakira has won many international awards for her Latin and Middle Eastern-infused rock and roll vocal performances. Shakira.com
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