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Top 10 Facts about Columbia

Facts about Columbia

10. Plastic Surgery Isn’t Taboo

Have you ever come back from a long break and noticed a colleague or classmate looked different? You probably felt weird asking if they were the same person, huh? Well, nose-job vacations are perfectly fine to talk about in Colombia. Colombia’s culture does not chastise plastic surgery. In fact, many women get nips and tucks from ages as young as 15 years old. There are world-class surgeons in many of the country’s main cities and surgeries are much more affordable than they are in the U.S. This makes it so women hardly hesitate to change something if they’re not happy with. Popular surgeries are nose jobs, breast augmentations, and even butt implants. This makes it of the world’s most popular surgery hubs. While it’s great that women feel the power to change what they want, some say it increases the pressure on young women to have extraordinary features.

9. Explosive Sports

Have you ever wanted to drink and play dangerous games at the same time? Look no further. Colombia has a traditional sport called Tejo which sparks a lot of passion in both locals and foreigners, pun intended. See, the sport consists of throwing a metal or clay disc at a sack of gunpowder found underneath a pit of sand. Everyone gets a chance, hitting the gunpowder triggers a “pop” and the more alcohol you drink as you play, the more fun you’re having. It’s regularly played in a bowling alley type structure, outdoors, and with beers among friends. It’s not just practiced in small towns and villages, either, there’s an available tour in one of Colombia’s largest cities, Medellin.

8. Rainbow River

You may have heard of rainbow trout, which is disappointingly very normal-colored, but have you ever heard of a rainbow river? No, we’re not taking you to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Instead, we’re looking at the super instagramable tourist attraction of Colombia. Colombia has a river that draws thousands of tourists per year due to its surprising colors. Located in the province of Meta, it’s commonly called the five-color-river. Its biosystems, the Andes, the Eastern Llanos, and the Amazon rainforest give it it’s amazing appearance. In July through November, you’ll find the river colored yellow, green, blue, black, and red with plants and wildlife.

7. National Anthem

While in the United States we hear the national anthem mostly when we’re at sporting events, Colombia plays the national anthem by law every morning and evening on the radio and T.V. Sound like a bit much? Maybe, but it’s a great way of creating a presence in citizen’s lives. This allows the people of Colombia to hear their national anthem, remember their national pride, and maybe even feel like their beloved national soccer team is about to play once again. The unique law, created in 1995, requires the Colombia National Anthem to play on TV and the radio each day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. What would you do if that happened in your country?

6. All About That Cycling

With its mountains, valleys, and winding roads, for decades, Colombia has been a huge fan of cycling. Locals often go cycling up steep mountains on the weekends for fun and exercise. In fact, the largest bike route on the continent is located in Colombia. How long you ask? 300 kilometers or about 186 miles! Now we’re talking! It’s no wonder why Colombia has, in the past ten years, produced some of the world’s leading champions in cycling and BMX biking like Nairo Quintana, Mariana Pajon, and Rigoberto Uran, who have brought home gold medals and honors from all over the world, even the Olympics and the Tour de France! Despite never making it to the finals of a FIFA World Cup, football remains just as popular as it is elsewhere. Other sports include Rana, Chaza, and bullfighting.

5. Government-Funded Street Art

Colombia stopped fighting young people with aerosol cans ages ago. Ahem, we don’t mean people fine-tuning their perms with hairspray...I mean those are tolerable too, but we’re talking about street artists. In big cities like Bogota and Medellin, street artists aren’t just tolerated, they’re government-funded. Both cities have famous bike tours through the cities’ urban art that talk about the history and hardships that the scenes are based on. In Medellin, entire tunnels have been painted during nocturnal government-funded block parties, where each artist was supported to paint beautiful murals. Along the street where the Medellin Zoo is located, the mayor’s office paid for murals of the city’s unique bird species to be painted. This allows locals to feel proud of the local art, the architecture, and the beauty of their city.

4. A Booty Worth Billions

No, we’re not still talking about plastic surgery, but rather of the loot found off the shore of Colombia. The pirate kind, anyways. Billions of dollars ($17 billion to be exact) worth of riches from an old Spanish shipwreck. The ship from over 300 years ago, found in 2015, was carrying gold, silver, and emeralds from the mines of Potosi, Peru. The shipwreck was discovered thanks to the same vehicle that uncovered the 2011 Air France 447 wreckage and helped map and photograph the ship that stole all our hearts, the Titanic. The discovery of the ship was significant because of the riches, not just in value, but in historical and cultural artifacts carried inside. The Colombian government plans to create a museum and laboratory to preserve and display the artifacts. The catch? UNESCO called on Colombia to not exploit the wreck and the location is still a state secret.

3. Bird-Watchers Paradise

With over 300 super-diverse ecosystems, Colombia is home to over 1,800 species of birds, the most in the world. Bird watchers arrive annually to catch sight of rare finds that call their home, including the Emerald Toucanet, White-throated Toucan, Keel-Billed Toucan, American Flamingo, and the Andean Condor. For other wildlife lovers, you'll also be treated to Cotton-top tamarin, 1,600 known species of butterfly, Jaguar, poison dart frogs, giant anteaters, sloths, pumas, spider monkies, uakari, and many more. Colombia also has some of the most diverse wildlife in the world, including the- wait for it- Pink Amazon River Dolphin!

2. Panama Who?

Before Panama was Panama, it was part of Colombia. The separation all started with the history of the Panama Canal, whose construction was first in the hands of France. The costs of the canal and rebellions in Panama to separate from its neighbor to the south led to the abandonment of this construction for a decade. Kind of like when your homework just gets too hard and you decide to not do it anymore. In the end, with all these factors included, Colombia not cooperating with the Canal, the U.S. interest to continue to project, Panama’s declaration of independence and France’s financing of it, everyone got what they wanted. Except for Colombia, that is, who was left emptyhanded until 1909 when Panama paid them $500,000 to cover their share of the tab.

1. It’s Blowing Up The Charts

You’re probably hearing Colombian music on the radio, whether you know it or not. Unless you’re tuned in to that one country music station, or the hard rock one, or... Anyway, they’ve come a long way since having only Shakira. Now, we hear Colombians like J Balvin, Maluma, Sebastian Yatra, Kali Uchis, and Jessie Reyez loud and proud on international stages. After the Puerto Rican, “Despacito” hit, Colombians took that ladder and climbed all the way up, bringing their local hits to a much more global market. “Mi Gente” by J Balvin hit platinum in 13 countries and topped the charts in many more. The Remix reached an even bigger audience with Queen Bey. It won Most Performed Song, was nominated for Top Latin Song, Hot Latin Song of the Year, Airplay Song of the Year, Digital Song of the Year, Favorite Urban Song of the Year and many more. As far as big YouTubers go, be sure to check out the likes of Enchufetv, Toycantando, Ami Rodriguez, and Pautips!

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