things that matter

20 Facts To Know About Colombia Before You Make That Big Trip

Colombia is a country full of surprises, its food, music, festivals and diversity are what make it one of the most authentic and fun places to visit! Here are some facts about it, that you will love.

1. Colombia is a pretty big deal when it comes to size.

CREDIT: colombia.travel / Instagram

This ain’t no one week tour kind of country. Colombia’s surface size is equivalent to the sum of France, Spain, and Portugal combined. Patience for those who plan travel off the beaten path is essential. Pro tip; internal flights are cheap, particularly for those who book in advance.

2. Colombia is a land of many neighbors.

CREDIT: colombia.travel / Instagram

Colombia’s land borders with five different countries including Venezuela, Brazil, Panamá, Perú and Ecuador. It’s close connection to these countries make it a great hub for international travel.

3. It has the 2nd highest coastal mountain range in the world

CREDIT: oskarconkha / Instagram

Mountain lovers will be excited to learn that Colombia is home to the Sierra Nevada. Still, be prepared to appreciate from afar especially when it comes to Cristobal Colon. For the indigenous of the region, the mountain is considered sacred and access is not open to the public.

4. It has the tallest palm trees in the world

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One of the coolest fun facts about Colombia is that it is home to the world’s biggest palm trees. Some can measure up to 60 m!

5. El Dorado has a lake full of gold

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Fans of Disney and tall tales probably already know all about the legend of El Eldorado. The secret city where gold supposedly paves the streets and lights up water. Treasure hunters have spent centuries in search of the gold-laced city lost in the jungle.

6. The world’s most beloved hips were born here.

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The famous singer and “The Voice” judge Shakira was born in Colombia. You can even hear a shout out to the country in a lot of her songs.

7. It was a pirate gold mine

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A Spanish shipwreck worth billions of dollars was found odd of the coast of Colombia by the government.

8. Colombia is just a nickname!

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The official name of Colombia is the Republic of Colombia. The country declared its independence from Spain in 1810 but wasn’t recognized until 1819.

9. It has the 28th largest population in the world.

CREDIT: colombia.travel / Instagram

The country has an estimated population of over 49 million, it’s total area of 44-,831 square miles makes it the 25th largest country by area.

10. The official language is Spanish, but English is official in certain areas

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There are other ethnic languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. San Andres Island has English as an official language, as well as Spanish.

11. The flag has meaning.

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The national flag of Colombia was adopted on November 26, 1861. The flag is known to have triband with horizontal bands of yellow, blue and red. Yellow represents the riches of the country. Blue represents the seas of its shores and red represents blood spilled for its independence.

12. It has the largest Gold Collection in the World.

CREDIT: museo–de-oro.Colomcia.Co.Dec 2012

The Gold Museum is located in Bogotá and has the largest gold collection in the world. The museum displays a selection of Pre Hispanic gold work with approximately 34.000 pieces. It’s a must when visiting the city.

13. It has a whole lot of jungle.

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One-third of Colombia is made up of the Amazon rainforest.

14. It has one of the highest cities in the world.

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At 8,530 ft Bogota is the highest city of its size on the world map.

15. Bogota is also one of the world’s smartest.

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The cities great tech advances have also made it known as one of the smartest cities in the world.

16. It has the Salsa Capital of the World.

CREDIT: Learn to dance Cali .Caledonia Worldwide.Jan 2017

If you are a Salsa lover you need to visit Cali, the Salsa Capital of the World! You won’t stop dancing on your visit.

17. Kids get hyped up on cafe con leche.

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As is true for most Latin American countries it is pretty normal to see children of Colombia sipping on coffee after dinner.

18. Bikers beware.

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Colombia has one of the largest bike routes in South America. It stretches over 300 kilometers.

19. It has a high life expectancy.

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The overall life expectancy of the average Colombian male at birth is 71.2 years and 78.4 years for females.

20. Is One of the Happiest Countries in the World.

CREDIT: colombia.travel / Instagram

According to different studies Colombia is on of the happiest countries in the world. Main reasons for this are its music, festivals, people and of course food!


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People Are Furious That The Peruvian Government Is Risking Machu Picchu By Building An Airport Near The Site

Things That Matter

People Are Furious That The Peruvian Government Is Risking Machu Picchu By Building An Airport Near The Site

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There’s a reason why historical grounds are considered sacred. Ancient areas in the world are part of our history. They are a glimpse of what life was like thousands of years before. For avid travelers that seek to visit these historical areas, they understand the value and privilege of what it’s like to be there. As such, we try to protect it for future generations to come. That’s what makes what is happening near Machu Picchu so frustrating for the international community.

Peru is constructing the Chinchero International Airport near the Andes mountains, which is packed with Incan relics.

The government broke ground on the ancient grounds earlier this year. According to KUNC, the airport will be built in the “mouth of the Sacred Valley” and will be a multi-billion-dollar project.

The airport is expected to transport more than 7 million people a year, but some are wondering how the traffic and pollution will affect these parts that are valuable to history.

“The airport planned to be built in Chinchero, Cusco, endangers the conservation of one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the world,” a petition on Change.org states. “An airport in the surroundings of the Sacred Valley will affect the integrity of a complex Inca landscape and will cause irreparable damage due to noise, traffic, and uncontrolled urbanization.”

Peruvian officials claim there are no Incan artifacts located in the construction area.

The main problem is Machu Picchu is already getting more tourists than it should. The Guardian reports that “more than 1.5 million visitors in 2017, almost double the limit recommended by UNESCO, putting a huge strain on the fragile ruins and local ecology.”

We recently saw the devastating effects from Mt. Everest, which shows what happens when people go to a tourist area thinking anyone can handle it. More people are dying as they climb Mt. Everest and they’re also leaving massive amounts of trash behind.

If the government wants to make travel easier to Machu Picchu why couldn’t they think of a better alternative instead of damaging their main money-making tourist spot?

The government reiterates that the reason it has taken so long to get this airport approved is that they have conducted several studies to make sure the area is not hurt by the construction.

“It is a project of many years, for which all the studies have been carried out, it will solve the problem that now exists with the Velasco Astete Airport and projects an important growth of the tourist activity of Cusco, ” Guillermo Cortés, Vice Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries of the Ministry of Culture, told a Spanish news outlet in Peru. He added, “that the Chinchero Airport is also a project that is developed in an area for which all the precautions and precautions have been taken so as not to affect the heritage.”

Click here for more information on what is happening and how you can get involved.

READ: Peru’s Former President Alan Garcia Commits Suicide As Police Attempt Arrest In Corruption Charges

Pride Celebrations Are Happening Around The World And The Biggest Ones Are Taking Place In Latin America

Culture

Pride Celebrations Are Happening Around The World And The Biggest Ones Are Taking Place In Latin America

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There’s growing up Latino and then there’s growing up as a gay Latino. While our culture is known for their supernatural skills at throwing a pinche good party, gay culture might just rival it. Both cultures’ party superpowers mixed together? ¡Imagínate!

Whether you own your identity as a queer Latino and want to feel affirmed from all corners, or are just looking for the best way to celebrate your Gay Pride, Latin America has you covered. Here are the most celebrated Pride events in Latin America along with some of its own local pride history. Be there or be square.

Mexico City, Mexico | June 27-29

@Univ_inenglish / Twitter

Going on its 41st year of gay occupation of Mexico City streets. Each year, the celebrations get bigger and bigger. The Mexican Student Movement of 1968 was as influential as Stonewall in sparking the first rebellion.

Of course, locals come out in their best outfits to celebrate the queerness of the Mexican capital.

@FelixdEon / Twitter

La Marcha de la Diversidad is the main event, which begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 28th. Despite the hate crimes persisting around the country toward the LGBTQ+ community, many say this parade is a day they feel less alone. Show up.

São Paulo, Brazil | Sunday, June 23rd

@i_imagina / Twitter

This year will mark the 23rd annual gay pride parade in São Paulo. It’s 2006 pride went down in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest pride parade in the world, rivaling that of NYC.

The Bolsonaro administration might be doing everything they can to push the LGBTQ+ community back in the closet, but that’s not what’s going to happen.

@XHNews / Twitter

Ironically, the government has invested millions of dollars into the parade. Meanwhile, the first openly gay politician in Brazil had to flee the country earlier this year because of the death threats he was receiving from the public. It’s still not safe to be openly gay in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | September

@ilfogliettone / Twitter

While São Paulo wins the largest pride in the world, Rio’s comes close behind, with 1.2 million people in attendance every year. While this year would be the 24th LGBT Pride of Rio, strangely a date has not been set just yet.

See. Brazil is so queer, they boast some of the greatest pride celebrations in the world.

@AFP / Twitter

The parade typically marches down Copacabana Beach, as the gayest version of Carnaval sambas down the beach. Folks usually end up at Papa G’s club, which swells with proud members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Buenos Aires, Argentina | November 2

@GayEssential / Twitter

Carlos Jauregui organized the first Pride, which, like most, was a protest march in 1992. Most of the roughly 300 people in attendance were wearing masks for their own safety.

Now, there are no masks hiding the identities of the participants because being part of the LGBTQ+ community is nothing to be ashamed of.

@Queer_America / Twitter

Today La Marcha del Orgullo a Pride ends with a public concert in Plaza Congreso. The parade is conveniently scheduled the same weekend as the Queer Tango Festival.

Bogotá, Colombia | June 30

@XHNews / Twitter

Bogotá’s first pride was made of just 32 people and almost 100 police officers In 1982. Today, the entire country celebrates, with Bogotá’s Orgullo Gay march attracting up to 50,000 folks.

Colombia has seen a rise in LGBTQ+ activism and this parade might be one celebration to watch.

@XHNews / Twitter

In fact, Latin America’ largest gay club, Theatron, is in Bogotá. It’s essentially a complex with 13 different dance floors, holding up to 5,000 people! There are rooms that are men-only, women-only, salsa music-only, Motown-only. The only question is, why aren’t you there?

Cartagena, Colombia | August 7-11

@GAYMAP / Twitter

This year, Cartagena Pride is selling itself as the “biggest gay event in the Caribbean.” You can expect a colorful parade, a drag race and a variety of boat parties.

With such a colorful and beautiful array of cultures throughout Latin America, there is no reason to think that Pride won’t be a major force in the region this year.

READ: São Paulo Hosts One Of The Largest Pride Celebrations In The World

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