For some time now, a proud Canadian.
Colombia my land my soil, my anthem of faith and harmony!!
PICTURES AT THE BOTTOM
Colombia gained independence from Spain in 1819. Simon Bolivar (read about him further down) played a key role in Latin America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.
COLOMBIA has experienced civil conflict for more than 50 years; the Government of Colombia solely covers attempts of not only end the drug and terrorism, but to combat the drug production trafficking and to stop the fight with the Revolutionary Arm Forces FARC of Colombia a terrorist group. Colombian military is making progress in adapting to the ever changing guerrilla tactics while fitting drugs.
The United Estates U.S.A has economic interest in the petroleum industry of Colombia. Even though most Colombians welcome foreign assistance and involvement, there is also caution. Foreign assistance will only make a difference if it comes in the proper form. The U.S. Government along with its Colombian counterpart has set goals which include reducing the production and distribution of illegal drugs and dis- enabling terrorist’s organizations. This plan will also entail the strengthening of military apparatuses and presence in the remote areas of Colombia, and to promote economic development to establish a peace plan based on the Middle East peace process, but the main plan is to enhance the performance of the economy within the country.
“Francis Fukuyama” best known for his book “The End of History and the last Man” argues that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and the free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity’s sociocultural evolution.
Colombia has it all; welcoming friendly people, beautiful mountains, cities, villages, exotic flora and fauna, Caribbean islands surrounded by crystal blue oceans, sparkling sand, and moderate climates. Colombian geographic location at the northwest corner of South America has both Atlantic and Pacific coast line, and tree Andean mountains as well as diverse ecosystems. Colombia has 47 municipalities.
Bogotá D.F. (Districto Federal) is the capital of Colombia located at an elevation of about 2,650 m. / 8,660 ft. on a mountain rimmed plateau high in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains. This elevation gives to Bogotá a constant spring like weather, it lies only 4°36' north of the equator. Bogotá was founded on the 6th of August 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada. In 1918 it became the independent nation of Great Colombia.
The city grew slowly because Bogotanos called (cachacos) wished to preserve their old culture cherishing their churches, and colonial style convents.
Bogotanos pride themselves on speaking the purest Spanish; therefore Bogotá is called “The Athens of South America.”
Bogotá is now Colombia's largest financial, political, and cultural center. The National University of Colombia and many other universities located in Bogotá make the city the nation's chief educational center. Bogotá is a picturesque city, it is known for its colonial architecture, colonial buildings and collection of pre-Colombian gold art, bookshops and splendid colonial churches, is also a city of futuristic architecture, modern high rise buildings and brilliant museums that offer residents and visitors everything that a modem city can give including a vibrant and diverse cultural and intellectual life. It is also a city of Dickensian waifs, beggars, shantytowns and traffic jams.
The coat of arms of Colombia contains; a shield with numerous symbols. Perched on top of the shield is an Andean Condor holding an olive garland that symbolizes freedom. The motto is Libertad y Order (Liberty and Order) The condor is depicted facing front with his wings extended and looking to the right. The National Flag is draped on each side of the shield. The shield is broken into three portions. In the lowermost portion is a depiction of ships, pointing to the maritime history of Colombia and the two oceans that border the country (Atlantic and Pacific). In the center the horns of plenty, they represent the agricultural wealth of Colombian soil.
Colombia Exports-Imports: The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force on May 15, 2012. Over 80% of U.S. industrial goods exports to Colombia became duty-free including agricultural and construction equipment, building products, aircraft and parts, fertilizers, information technology equipment, medical and scientific equipment.
More than half of U.S. import of agricultural commodities from Colombia became duty-free, including wheat, barley, soybeans, high-quality beef, bacon, and almost all fruit, vegetable, and flowers.
Interesting sites in Bogota and Colombia
PALACIO DE NARINO- is the official home and principal workplace of the President of Colombia, it houses the main office of the executive branch.
Plaza de Bolívar- Surrounded by government buildings representing several styles and eras.
The Gold Museum- It is a magic treasure, and testimony of the native Indian culture of Bogotá; simply entering the Museum is enough to notice its magical character, and part of legacy of mysterious cultures of which we only have fragmentary visions in plain sight for the visitors. The museum is a treasure many pirates would have dreamt about. Hundreds of millions of pieces that survived the fog of many days and the rust of time lead us to think that these people; our ancestors should have been named “People of Gold” The Gold Museum contains close to 34,000 gold pieces, 20,000 bone, stone, ceramic, and textile articles belonging to 13 pre-Hispanic societies.
Biblioteca Nacional- One of the best endowed libraries in Latin America. There are three reading rooms, research rooms, art galleries and a splendid concert hall which is one of the most beautiful in South America.
Capitolio Nacional- (The Congress building) it was built with the help of several architects and Engineers beginning in 1846 until it was eventually finished in 1926. Its distinctive façade was designed by the Danish architect Thomas Reed with 18 iconic columns at the center of the building.
Casa Del Florero- a colonial building that displays the famous flower vase. It was here on July 20, 1810 that the Creole rebellion again Spanish rule broke out all because the owner of that vase a Spaniard Jose Gonzales Llorente refused to lend the vase for the decoration of the main table at an event in honor of Antonio Villavicencio. This incident was used as a pretext by the Creoles to rebel against the Spaniards.
Teatro Colon- Colon Theater - situated in the traditional colonial area called "La Candelaria" in downtown, its construction date from 1980 the beautiful interior is designed in the republican style, is the home of the Symphonic Orchestra of Colombia that offers seasonal opera concerts during the year.
Planetario Museum- located In the Presidential Palace (Palacio de Nariño) a historic observatory built in 1802-03, it is the first astronomical observatory constructed in the Americas.
Libraries- The Leon de Greiff Hall at the Universidad Nacional (National University) is the oldest library with over 1 million books, it is not just about books it is a lively center of culture and arts for the community with a gorgeous concert hall, music rehearsal rooms, games room, computers, and many places to meet, read, talk, or just reflect. If you want to get a sense of Bogota's modern culture and its civic, come and visit this library-museum.
La Candelaria- A historic neighborhood in downtown Bogotá, it is the equivalent to the Old City in other cities with Spanish Colonial and Baroque style architecture of old houses, churches. It houses several universities, and museums.
Transmilenio- Transportation- An advanced state of the art traffic system alternative to daily traffic, it runs throughout the city’s exclusive paths.
Health Care system- in Colombia is great due in large part to its excellent medical universities and long stating research relationships with major universities in the United States. Colombia is a pioneer in transplant medicine, cancer research, and tropical medicine.
Salt Catedral de Zipaquira
It is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a halite mountain near Bogota, it is a very popular tourist destination, visited by 3,000 people on Sundays.
Monserrate- is a mountain that dominates the city center of Bogotá. It rises to 3,152 meters (10,341 ft) above the sea level. The temple was built in the 17th century) with a shrine, devoted to (Fallen Crist). The mountain is a pilgrim destination, as well as a tourist attraction, there are restaurants, cafeterias, and souvenir shops. Monserrate can be accessed by areal funicular (cable car) or by climbing which is the preferred way of pilgrims.
Plaza de Toros de Santamaria- (If you like bull fighting.) Bullfights have continue in Bogota since Colombia gained independence from Spain in 1819. The fervent fans attend the plaza especially on Sunday during January/February season
Nemesio Camacho (Football Stadium)
Commonly known as "El Campin" is the main soccer stadium in Bogota. It was inaugurated August 1938 and has a current capacity for 36,343 spectators. Colombians are very knowledgeable on soccer. Every city in Colombia has its own team. The team Colombia will be participating in the next world soccer championship.
Santuario de la Virgen de las Lagas- (Lajas Shrine-Temple)
The Shrine of Our Lady of Las Lajas is a Catholic temple and basilica located in the Southern Colombia is also tourism and pilgrimage destination. The current church was built between 1916 and 1949, with donations from local churchgoers. It rises 100 meters (330 ft) high from the bottom of the canyon and is connected with a 50 (160 ft) tall bridge to the opposite side of the canyon.
DISTINGUISHED-NOTORIOUS PEOPLE OF COLOMBIA
PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA- ( actual President) Juan Manuel Santos Calderón born in 1951, an economist by profession and journalist by trade, is a member of the wealthy and influential Santos family.
Simón Bolívar 1783–1830) President of Gran Colombia during 1819-1830, Bolivar a military and political leader that played a key role in Latin America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.
José Asuncion Silva- 1865-1896 Romantic Poet born to a wealthy and educated family, he was just 10 years old when he wrote his first poems. Travelling through out Europe helped him to write in French, and other Latin Languages. Silva committed suicide after the dead of his beloved sister.
Gabriel (Gabo) Garcia Marquez- born in 1927 a Screenwriter, journalist, and book writer considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, awarded in 1972 with the International Prize for Literature, and in 1982 with The Nobel price in Literature.
Rufino José Cuervo- 1844-1911 main part of his work was dedicated to the study of the "dialectal" variations of Spanish. Cuervo wrote a book about language Bogotáno (Bogota’s Spanish) which still an important reference in the study of the Latin American Spanish Language.
Fernando Botero Angulo- born 1932 is a figurative artist and sculptor, his signature style, also known as "Boterismo", depicts people and figures in large, and exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, he is considered the most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America, his art can be found in highly visible places around the world such as Park Avenue in New York, and The Champs Elysees in Paris.
Luz Marina Zuluaga (born October 31, 1938) is a Colombian beauty Miss Universe 1958. She is the only Colombian in history to hold this title.
Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez- born August 9, 1972, better known as JUANES, a Colombia musician previously a member of the heavy metal band Ekhymosis now a solo artist. Juanes won the Latin Grammy in 2000. Accordingly to his record label he has sold 15 million albums worldwide.
Isabel Mebarak Ripoll born 1977 known professionally as SHAKIRA is a Colombian singer song-writer, dancer record producer, choreographer and model. Shakira rose to prominence in Latin America with her major-label debut in 1996.
Andrés Méndez - 19 year-old Colombian car racer who has been competing in both karts and open-wheel cars for the past four years in Colombia, Europe and the United States. His credentials include major championship events in Colombia, Italy and Mexico, as well as the Florida Winter Tour, Rotax Max Challenge, the Pan-American Rotax, and the Super Kart SKUSA championships in the North America
José René Higuita Zapata born in1966 is a Colombian football goalkeeper formerly knows as HIGUITA he is well known for his 'sweeper' playing style taking risk in leaving his post empty to clear balls, unique and 'crazy' he is in football history one of the greatest and most remarkable goal keepers of all time.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gavíria (Pablo Escobar 1949 – 1993) was a notorious and wealthy drug lord who also had a short-lived career in politics.
Food- In Colombia varies depending of the region, most recipes contain ingredients grown in each region.
“Puchero Bogotano” (Soup) 3-4 people
The products can be found in most stores in Toronto such as No-frills, Metro, Loblaws
3-4 pounds of red potatoes
1 big size suit potato (if you like)
½ pound of flank stake, sirloin stake, or chicken, (or all of them) amount depends of how many people.
1 can of chick peas
1 small cabbage
4 small cassava(yuca plant) pieces (fresh or frozen)
1 green plantain
1 yellow plantain
2 small corns on the cob
Pinch of alt, pepper,
1 medium size Spanish onions
3 Spoons of Oil (for sauce)
2-3 small tomatoes (for sauce)
1 medium size spanish onion (for sauce)
Garlic (for sauce)
Clean and cut chicken and other meats in small chunks
Peel and dice potatoes in 4. Peel and cut plantain en 4 pieces. Cut casaba (yucca plant) and corn in small chunks, cut cabbage in small pieces (put aside).
In medium-large pot add 2 ½ litres of water cook meats until tender, add all the ingredients above pluss a pinch of salt. Let it cook until vegetables until tender. (put aside, make sure that broth is sufficient)
Chop onion, tomatoes, garlic in very small pieces.
In a frying pan put 3-4 spoons of oil, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and chopped garlic let it stirring till all is cooked but not mushy, add salt and pepper (add some chili if you wish)
“The Puchero” should be served in soup plates, the sauce should be added at the end on top of the soup, before serving it.
MAP OF COLOMBIA
Coat of Arms/Flag
Juan Manuel Santos-President of Colombia
CASA DE NARINO- House of the Presidential, and Executive Branch
Casa Del Florero
MONSERRAT CHURCH UP ON THE HILLS OF BOGOTA
SOCCER STADIUM- (Estadio El Campin)
LA CANDELARIA- Interesting neighborhood worth to visit
HOTEL EN LA CANDELARIA
SAL CATEDRAL OF ZIPAQUIRA (Catedral de Sal)
COLON THEATER (Teatro Colon)
BULLFIGHT PLAZA (Plaza de toros)
SANCTUARY-SHRINE (El Santuario de las Lajas)
PICTURES OF NOTORIOUS PEOPLE IN COLOMBIA
JOSE ASUNCION SILVA
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ
FERNANDO BOTERO Angulo
LUZ MARINA ZULUAGA MISS UNIVERSE 1958
ANDRES MENDEZ (FORMULA RACER)
HIGUITA SOCCER GOALKEEPER
PABLO ESCOBAR (drug lord)
Work of Fernando Botero Angulo- Sculptor, Painter