Colombia in Wikipaisa

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Wikipaisa is a project to provide information about Colombia (English and Spanish) from the Paisa point of view. The following is the newest article about Colombia, although, of course, it is in development. You are welcome to join it.

The Republic of Colombia is the political, social, cultural and national organization of the people of Colombia. It is a national unity in Latin America and especially in the South America Continent which government seat is in the Bogotá Capital District.

Generalities of the country

Colombia is a Republic declared as such on July 20, 1810 in a presidencialist form. The creation of the Republic was given after the Independence War against the Kingdom of Spain from where Colombia, together with Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama, was a Colony under the title of Viceroyalty of New Granade. The President of the Republic by 2007 is Mr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez. There is also a Congress of the Republic and a Court of Justice.

The territory of Colombia has an area of 1,141,748 km² (26th) or 440,839 sq mi, being the 25th country in the world in extension and the third biggest of the South American Continent after Brasil and Argentina. 8.8 % of the Colombian territory is made by water and it has 6.004 kms of international borders and 3.208 kms of coast lines.

The population of Colombia, according to the statistics of DANE by 2006 is 42.090.502 of Colombians, being the 28th country in the world population with a density of 36 inhabitants per km2. However, only 50% of the national territory is in fact inhabited.

The Colombian PIB per capita is US$ 122.309 millions being the 40th country in the world according with the 2005 report of the World Bank. The national currency is the Colombian Peso, the unique currency used whithin the country and identify internationally as COP. An American dollar by 2007 is about COP 2.121 and an Euro es COP 2.885.

The persons born in Colombia are “Colombians” and the name of the country must not be confused with the American state of Columbia. The Colombian time zone is UTC-5 during the Nordic summer. Bogotá has the same hour of New York, Brasil (Acre), Cuba (N), Ecuador, Haití (N), Islas Caimán, Islas Turcas y Caicos (N), Jamaica, Panamá and Perú.

The Internet TLD is .co, the international calling code is +57, radio is HJA-HKZ and 5JA-5KZ and ISO is 170 / COL / CO.

Colombia is member of the following international organizations: CSN, ONU, OEA, CAN, G.3, FLAR and Mercosur.

The official language of Colombia is Spanish, spoken by almost all the Colombians, but there are many aborigin languages and variations of Spanish. The aborigin languages are official in their territories. Foreign languages are not popular in Colombia, including English. The most important Colombian inmigrant group is the Arab.

Cities

The Colombian population is considered urban in its 70%. It means that about 30 million of Colombians live in any urban center. However, the Colombian process of urbanization is rather recent, starting about the 1930’s with what we can call the “Colombian Industrial Revolution“. To the 1960’s most of the Colombian population was living in urban centers, but it was due to the predominant and agresive rural violence of the 20th Century.

The Colombian city is deeply divided for this reason in social diferences: in a hand what we can consider the city itself, the urban space leaded by the high and middle class in cities such is Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga and [[Pereira (en)}Pereira]], among others. On the other hand, there is other Colombian “urban” population that is not other than the former farmers living in a marginalized way and not enjoying the benefits of the development. Such a population that exists within the Colombian cities, formed what is called the “Popular Zones” and they are like an “Underground City” that becomes the space of survival and hopeless.

Although this, the Colombian city is a suitable place for the international market, but it makes evident its deep social evils such is street children, hunks in marginalize suburbs, unemployment and others.

It does not mean that the Colombian city is a war area as some foreign observers would like to conclude. Although these situations — that it is very important to recognize and study–, the Colombian city in general has much to offer. Doing an appreciation of that, the marginalize sectors would have a hope to come into the same opportunities of development.

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