Welcome to Colombia, the rich and beautiful country with a dynamic culture much deeper than the negative headlines sometimes in the news.
Colombia is a republic with an executive, legislative and judicial branch. Though the political relationship with the U.S. has been complicated in the past, Colombia’s economy and exports are closely tied with American markets. Americans enjoy Colombian coffee, bananas, gold, sugar, flowers and textiles.
Spanish is the official language in Colombia, and is almost universally spoken there.
In Colombia, families are very important, usually each with 2-3 children. In the city, it is common for both parents to work, but oftentimes in other areas, the mother stays in the home.
Colombians enjoy going to parks, movies, discos and friends’ homes, and celebrating festivals and carnivals throughout the year. Local culture and music is heavily influenced by African, Indian and Spanish traditions.
After all of that celebrating, Colombians dig into their delicious cuisine, incorporating a wealth of fresh fruits and soups with rice, potatoes, chicken and fish.
The Colombian school system is very rigorous. Students must work hard if they want to succeed. Many schools are private, and girls and boys often attend separate schools.
Class size is 40 to 50 students. Unlike American students, Colombian students cannot choose their courses.
Continuing to university study is very expensive, so typically only privileged students are able to attend. Middle class students also opt to study technical careers in vocational programs.
Teenagers in Colombia enjoy many of the same activities as American teens. They go dancing, hang out, attend concerts, watch films, dine out, and watch sporting events. Popular sports include soccer, skating, volleyball, and cycling.
Teens dress casually, but like to wear clothes by famous name designers. They tend to be fashion conscious.
Teenagers begin to date when they are 14 or 15 years old. Parents like teens to spend time at their houses so they get to know their children’s friends.