The country of Columbia is located at the northwestern portion of South America. Columbia borders Panama to the northwest and Venezuela to the east. Like many South American countries, Colombia was colonized by Spain. As a result, Colombia speaks predominantly Spanish. In the early 1800’s, many of these colonies began gaining independence from Spain. Colombia was no different. After gaining independence from Spain, Colombia was part of the Republic of New Granada, which was made up of modern day Panama and Colombia. In the late 1800’s the Republic of Colombia was formed which was followed by Panama seceding.
Columbia has a diverse population of just under 50 million with four cities having a population over 1 million. Bogota is the largest city and is the capital. Colombia has many different climates throughout the country. The climate can change dramatically within a few miles due to changes in elevation. Coastal cities like Cartagena have very tropical weather, while mountain cities like Bogota, nearly 9,000 ft in altitude, can be somewhat chilly.
In recent year Columbia has been trying to recreate itself. Colombia has had a long standing reputation of being a major drug producing country and was home to one of the worlds most successful drug lords, Pablo Escobar. In the past, the bulk of the worlds cocaine supply was thought to have been produced in the country. In the 1980’s, the city of Medellin endured a notorious war on the city brought on by drug cartels and a faltering government. Since the 80’s, the country has had two major waves of recovery. The first wave started after the death of Pablo Escobar. This event resulted in an influx of violence but eventually allowed for the second wave of recovery, the rehabilitated of the Colombian government. Under new leadership, the government has been able to restore safety, spurring a lot of economic growth. This growth is evident and the rest of the world has begun to notice. In 2013, Medellin won the prestigious title of “Most Innovative City of the World.”