Colombia and its Diversity
Bogotá: Centre for Culture and Education
Arriving in Bogotá
Cost of Living
GDP per capita:     US$2.151 (2005)
Inflation:          4.85% annually December 2005
Main Industries:    Textiles, coffee,...
history with a taste of the Caribbean. All of the Colombian cities have their own
unique allure which makes them stand out...
Everything that represents Colombia can be found in Bogotá. This is an interesting mix
because all of the different cultur...

                      CITY                   AIRLINES WHICH FLY TO BOGOTÁ*
The table below shows the approximate costs of one academic year in Colombia.

                         (Prices quoted ...
Postgraduate Diploma and it is the equivalent of the M.A or MSc in the United States
Education System. The Masters Program...
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U.D.C.A: About Bogotá and Colombia


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U.D.C.A: About Bogotá and Colombia

  1. 1. ABOUT COLOMBIA Colombia and its Diversity Bogotá: Centre for Culture and Education Arriving in Bogotá Cost of Living Educational system COLOMBIA AND ITS DIVERSITY Official name: Republic of Colombia Area: 1.141.748 km2 Location: Colombia is found in the Northeast of South America. It shares its borders with Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. Colombia is unique because it is the only South American country whose shores are bathed by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Capital: Bogotá Population: 41'242.948 (information obtained from The National Administrative Department of Statistics, DANE 2005) Population 58% Mestizos (euro-indian desendants.) Composition: 20% Caucasian 14% Mulattos (afro-european descendants.) 5% Blacks 3% Zambos (afro-indian descendants.) 1% Indians Language: Spanish (official),and about 75 indigenous languages Religion: Catholic 95%; The remainder of the population practice traditional religions. System of Democracy Government: President: Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2006 2006-) Main Cities: Bogotá (6.6 million inhabitants), Medellín (4.5 million inhabitants), Cali (2.2 million inhabitants), Barranquilla (1.8 million inhabitants), Cartagena (1.2 million inhabitants) Currency: Colombian Peso Gross Domestic US$109.900 million (2005) Product (GDP):
  2. 2. GDP per capita: US$2.151 (2005) Inflation: 4.85% annually December 2005 Main Industries: Textiles, coffee, petroleum, sugar cane, processed food Main Trading United States of America, Andean Countries and the European Partners: Union. According to one of the most popular tourist guides in the world, Lonely Planet, Colombia should be among one of the most attractive and intoxicating destinations in the world because of its spectacular tropical rain forests, mountains, beaches and fascinating people. A lot of which is virtually unknown because of the unstable situation in the country and the negative international press. However, one does not have to believe everything thing that is heard because it is not always 100% true. The magic of daily life in Colombia is disrupted only by isolated incidents unlike what the international community might think. In addition, the fact that the unstable and dangerous areas are clearly pointed out, life in Colombia is a paradox; it is safe but one has to know where not to go in order to stay safe. The traditions and culture of Colombia is an amalgamation of Indian, Spanish and African influence which is also responsible for the interesting fusion in art, gastronomy and idiosyncrasies of its people. Its mixed composition is not limited to these aspects. The country boasts of beautiful landscapes: from the exquisite beaches on the Caribbean coast to the snow capped mountains of the Parque de los Nevados; to the lush tropical forests filled with exuberance and life. In addition, there are deserts, bleak plateaus, coffee plantations, islands, savannahs, mountain ranges and valleys all of which make Colombia one of the richest countries in the world because of the variety of ecosystems which it possesses. This is reflected in the richness of its flora and fauna and the endless variety of common and exotic fruits. It is certain that one will eat an unfamiliar fruit. Although the country is located in the equatorial zone, the climate is not exclusively tropical as believed; it varies with the altitude. It can be said that the country enjoys four different climates. Warm (0 - 1.000 metres above sea level; temperatures above a 25 °C); Temperate ( 1.000 - 2.000 metres above sea level; temperatures between 18- 24 °C); Cold (2.000 - 3.000 metres above sea level ; temperatures between 12 - 18 °C) and Very Cold (more than 3.000 metres above sea level; temperatures less than 12 °C). Although the country does not have seasons depending on the time of the year, it can be dry or wet according to different zones of the country. At no time during the year is there any real lack of sunshine. In all of Colombia, the sunrises at 5:30 a.m. and sets at 6:00 p.m. The rising and the setting of the sun vary minimally throughout the year. Colombia’s diversity does not end with its many climates. The cities of Colombia are diverse, not only in customs but the people, the architecture. Bogotá, the capital is a city of variety, it is the most complete and cosmopolitan city in the country. There is always something interesting happening, therefore that why it’s the capital. Cali is the Bohemian City of excellence, land of salsa and rum. Medellín, is known as "the city of eternal spring" because of its perfect climate and is also known for its community spirit, hospitality and the vigour which its inhabitants possess; Barranquilla is the Golden Door of Commerce, it is an up beat city known for its Festival.; Of all the cities in Colombia, Cartagena is the most popular and romantic tourist destination, rich in
  3. 3. history with a taste of the Caribbean. All of the Colombian cities have their own unique allure which makes them stand out against the others. Colombia is a country of contrasts and it is set apart because of its quality, vibrancy, creativity, people, beautiful landscapes, the productivity of its firms (in light of the crisis which is affecting the sub-continent), the quality and competitiveness of its professionals that are produced by the educational system among other things. It is quite sad that in such a beautiful country where there is so much to do and see, one has to study. For more information about Colombia, visit these websites: www.presidencia.gov.co www.colombia.com www.turismocolombia.com www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/south_america/colombia Back to the top BOGOTA: CENTRE OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE Official Name: Bogotá, Capital District Founded: 6 August,1538 Area: 1.732 km2 Population: 6.6 million Population 3.717 persons per km2 Density: Average 14 °C Temperature: Altitude: 2.640 metres above sea level Economy The G.D.P. of Colombia is equal to the sum of the G.D.P of Ecuador and Bolivia, which makes Bogotá the 8th largest economy in the region and the principal Andean market. Gross Domestic its GDP constituted 22% of the national GDP Product (GDP) GDP per capita US$3.043 (2004) Inflation 5.98 annually December 2003 Main Industries Chemistry, Manufacturing, Textiles, Printing and Editorials, Electric and non-electric machines, shoes Financial Sector Second largest in Latin America
  4. 4. Everything that represents Colombia can be found in Bogotá. This is an interesting mix because all of the different culture, food and people from the different regions of the country can be found in one place. It is the most Cosmopolitan City in Colombia and without a doubt one of the most vibrant and active in Latin America. The longstanding motto of the city has been “Bogotá, 2.600 Metres Closer to the Stars”. This refers to the altitude of the city and the fact that it is a fascinating city. In Bogotá colonial and traditional architecture live in harmony. This can be seen in neighbourhoods such as La Candelaria or Teusaquillo with its modern Financial Centre on 72nd Street as well as the neighbourhood, La Ciudadela El Salitre. From the top of the Cerros Orientales (Eastern Hills) which hug the city one can see a combination of a large green city with a multiplicity of brick constructions which makes it one of the most beautiful views that a person can appreciate. The temperature ranges between 8ºC - 20 °C. The rainy months are March, April and May and the sunniest are December and January. August is the windiest month and because of the strong winds of this period, kite flying in the country like zones on the outskirts of the city or in any of the numerous parks (3.574 in total) in Bogotá is a very popular. Bogotá is the university capital of the city. It boasts of 25 universities and various institutions that offer high quality technical training. It is also the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of Colombia. Once called the ‘Athens of South America’ due to its rich cultural and intellectual life, Bogotá is really and truly the centre for culture because there is room for any type of cultural activity. Throughout the year there are national and international festivals like the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival, The International Film Festival of Bogotá, the Jazz and Contemporary Music Festival. In addition, there is opera, zarzuela music, sacra music and European cinema among others. Added to that, there are several events that are open to the public which cater to the diverse tastes of the people such as cinema, salsa, rock, jazz and ballet concerts which are periodically organised in Bogotá. They are usually held in a park. Persons who are interested in culture will also have the opportunity to visit different museums, attend theatre shows or programmes, art exhibitions and theatre-art as well as the several concerts which the city offers. Just like any modern city, Bogotá has an active night life which is concentrated in different sections of the city as well as on the outskirts. A variety of bars and discos can be found as well as restaurants which offer national and international menus. There is something to suit the pocket of each person. Bogotá is continually improving and the inhabitants and the government of the city are committed to the improvement of the city and this is reflected in the advances that have been made in a short time. The Bogotá of today is more advanced than the Bogotá of ten years ago and with increased and well managed security it will continue to improve and grow into a better and more comfortable place to live. For more information on Bogotá please visit: www.alcaldiabogota.gov.co www.2600metros.com Back to the Top
  5. 5. HOW TO ARRIVE TO BOGOTA COUNTRY OF CITY AIRLINES WHICH FLY TO BOGOTÁ* ORIGIN Buenos Aires Avianca, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Taca, Argentina Córdoba LanChile Alemania Frankfurt Lufthansa Aruba Aruba Avianca Bolivia La Paz Aerocontinente; Lloyd Aero Boliviano; Taca Rio de Janeiro Avianca Brazil Sao Paulo Copa, Avianca Toronto Air Canada; Mexicana de Aviación; Avianca; Lacsa; Delta Airlines Canada Montreal Air Canada; Mexicana de Aviación; Avianca; Lacsa; Delta Airlines Curacao Curacao Avianca Chile Santiago Aerocontinente, Avianca,Copa, LanChile, Grupo Taca Costa Rica San José Lacsa, Copa, Avianca, Cubana de Aviación Cuba La Habana Cubana de Aviación, Copa Quito Aerocontinente; Aeropostal; Avianca; Continental Airlines Ecuador Guayaquil Aerocontinente; Avianca; Copa Iberia; Aeropostal; Continental Airlines; Avianca; Air France, Air Madrid Europa, Air Plus Comet, Spain Barcelona Iberia; Continental Airlines; Avianca; Aeropostal; Air France Valencia Avianca Miami Aeropostal; American Airlines; LanChile; Copa, Avianca, Mexicana de Aviación; Continental Airlines; Northwest Airlines; New York American Airlines, Avianca United State Houston Avianca; Continental Airlines; Delta Airlines Delta Airlines; Continental Airlines; Northwest Airlines; American Los Angeles Airlines, Avianca Continental Airlines; Delta Airlines Washington D.C. Northwest Airlines; American Airlines Mexico México D.F. Continental Airlines; Lacsa; Copa; Avianca; Mexicana de Aviación Ciudad de Panama Taca; Lacsa; Copa; Avianca Panamá Peru Lima Aerocontinente; Aeropostal; Avianca; Grupo Taca, Copa República Punta Cana Avianca Dominicana Santo Domingo Aeropostal Caracas Aerocontinente; Avianca; Aserca; Aeropostal, Conviasa Venezuela Maracaibo Aeropostal; Avianca *The airlines mentioned above are those which offer the most economic rates. COST OF LIVING The cost of living in Colombia is low. According to the weekly English magazine, ‘The Economist’ Bogotá is 25% cheaper that other Latin American cities like Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo. The findings of a study conducted by UBS AG revealed that a basket of 39 food items is 34% cheaper in Colombia than anywhere else in the world. Europeans pay 1.47 and North Americans pay 1.83 times the value of this basket of 39 food items (Source: Alcalde of Bogota)
  6. 6. The table below shows the approximate costs of one academic year in Colombia. (Prices quoted in US$: US$1=COL$2.400) MONTHLY EXPENSES SINGLE ROOM IN A APARTMENT (2) FAMILY HOUSE (1) Accommodation US$188 US$280 Utilities (electricity and US$0 US$100 water)(3) Food (supermarket) US$0 US$150 Lunch (in the University from US$38 US$40 Monday-Friday) Public Transport(4) US$35 US$35 Books and Stationery US$30 US$30 Telephone US$20 US$0 Entertainment and other costs US$70 US$70 Subtotal (monthly expenses) US$381 US$705 TOTAL :ONE YEAR US$4572 US$8460 (1) Single room in the North of Bogotá, includes meals (breakfast and dinner), laundry and ironing. (2) Average cost of an unfurnished apartment in the North of Bogota shared with other persons is more economic than living alone. (3) Do not worry about long distance calls. A telephone card with 10 minutes air time costs approximately US$2. (4) It is important to note that it might be necessary to take two buses to arrive at the university and two buses to return home. However, in the majority of cases the university assists students in finding places where they only have to take one bus to arrive and one to return, thereby cutting the cost of transportation in half. THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM The Colombian education System is as follows: Basic education which is divided into primary and secondary, 5 and 6 years respectively. After the completion of secondary education, students receive a High School Leaving Certificate. After obtaining the High School Leaving Certificate, students have the option of tertiary education where they can pursue technological or technical studies which on average have a duration of three years, or they can pursue a Bachelors degree which lasts about 5 years. Postgraduate programmes are divided into: Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters and Doctorate Programmes. One has to study between 1year and 14 months to obtain the
  7. 7. Postgraduate Diploma and it is the equivalent of the M.A or MSc in the United States Education System. The Masters Programmes are two years long and the presentation of a thesis is required. The Doctoral programme requires 4 years of study after which a doctoral thesis must be presented. In addition to these formal degrees and certificates, Colombia provides its citizens with the opportunity to gain skills as well as to keep up to date with the changes in their field of work through technical and professional courses. These short courses are offered in several different knowledge areas and on completion, a Diploma is awarded. For further information please visit www.mineducacion.gov.co