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Exploring Geography: Colombia

We are visiting Colombia for today’s Exploring Geography post! Soraya is a Colombian living in the US, and the mother of a very active, curious and precocious 4 year old boy. Her blog, Multicultural Mama, narrates her views on motherhood as an immigrant, as well as her struggles and triumphs in passing on her culture, heritage and language to her son. Soraya and her Kentucky-born husband try to use their own family’s uniqueness as a tool to raise a culturally aware and accepting kid. Soraya’s blog is brand new, but it was still easy for me to find three posts I love: Having a Kid Changes Everything, The World in Brown and Blond, and Tales of Cultural Acceptance.

Exploring Geography at Mama Smiles

Weather in Colombia has always amazed me. Colombia does not have four seasons. There is a rainy season and a dry season. That’s all. How long will they last or when one will give way to the next is a source of headache for meteorologists country wide.

Sitting at the northwest corner of South America, Colombia has some unique geographical features. It has coasts on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. And it receives influences from currents on both sides.

Additionally, the Andes mountain chain trifurcates as it enters the country in the south, producing three distinctive branches of intricate mountainous terrain with warm and humid tropical valleys in between.

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For all these reasons Colombia has all kinds of weather. You can be on top of a snow covered mountain in below freezing temperatures and drive down for a few hours to find yourself at sea level facing humid 100 degree weather.

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So if you find yourself a little too cold or too hot for your liking, just hit the road up or down hill. Literally! We visited the city of Armenia a few years ago and people actually decide where to live according to their preference of a cool (50 to 60 degree) or warmer (80’s to lower 90’s) weather year round. All within a 30 to 45 minute drive.

Due to these temperature variations, Colombia has a wide variation in terms of flora and fauna. In fact, Colombia ranks 4th in biodiversity worldwide. There is always something in bloom, and harvest time is year-round.

 

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Colombia is first in the world in bird species with over 1800 species of birds identified. Five new bird species have been discovered in the last 12 years.

We are known for our coffee. In the coffee growing areas there are large areas of coffee bushes, often times mixed with plantain trees for shade. But we also produce a large number of fruits and vegetables of all kinds.

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It is not profitable for the farmers to produce coffee alone anymore. But the coffee culture is definitely a big part of the country’s heritage.

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This is a typical coffee plantation manse with the large corridors and a big dining room to fit all the workers for lunch and dinner during harvest time.

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This is a common type of transportation from town to town and for the workers to be taken into the areas where the coffee grains need to be picked. The colorful seats are hand made out of wood and painted. Yellow, blue and red are popular colors, as they resemble the colors of the Colombian flag.

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Finally, this last picture here is taken from the lift that takes tourists inside “El Parque Nacional del Cafe” (National Coffee Park), a theme park dedicated to explaining the culture and history of coffee growers.

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Thank you so much Mary Anne for allowing me to share with your readers. I enjoyed writing this as much as my boy and I enjoy discovering new places and learning with your Exploring Geography Series!

Thank you, Soraya, for sharing your beautiful Colombia with me and my readers! It is clearly a beautiful place to live, and I love that the trucks are painted to match the colors of your country’s flag!

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

8 thoughts on “Exploring Geography: Colombia”

  1. What a beautiful post – Armenia sounds like my kind of place. I would love to be able to choose where to put my home by the temperature.

  2. My cleaning lady is from Columbia and all I knew was the narco-wars. I had no idea of the temperature variation and that was so interesting to learn about. Love your post. Thanks for sharing your ex-pat experience with us!

    1. That’s what I love about this series – you have the opportunity to learn so much more about the world!

      One of my best students when I taught high school was from Colombia, and she was so frustrated that all you hear about Colombia is the narcotics issue when the country as so many wonderful things to offer.

  3. If I lived in Colombia, I’d want to live in the warmer parts! I guess if you get too hot, you can just take a small road trip to the cooler parts. ;) That’s so cool!

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