- A gateway to Latin America. Colombia is located in the middle of the Western hemisphere, on the northern coast of the South American continent. Colombia’s Caribbean coast is closer to Miami than Miami is to New York.
- A large country. Colombia is the size of Texas and California combined. Its 45 million people make it the third most populous country in Latin America.
- Home to a diverse geography and environment. Colombia is the only country in South America to have both a Pacific and Caribbean coast. The rugged Andes Mountains form a geographic spine down the center of Colombia, dividing the country from north to south. Most of the population (95%) live and work in the fertile central valleys of the Andes and the Caribbean Coast. The eastern and southern portions of the country are covered with the dense, tropical forests of the Amazon. These forests, together with those of the country’s Pacific coast, are among the world’s most valuable natural resources. They are home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity (second only to that of neighboring Brazil). Only 5% of the country’s population lives in the Amazon region, where there is very little infrastructure. About 58% of the country’s territory is located in the Amazon region.
- A very urban country. More than 70% of Colombians live in just 10 cities.
- A diverse ethnic population. Colombia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the Western Hemisphere. The country is true melting pot of European, indigenous and Afro-Caribbean populations. The indigenous population, composed of 85 different ethnic groups, owns 24% of the national territory.
- A source of energy for America and the world. Colombia has vast mineral and energy resources, which are being explored and developed for economic benefit. Colombia is estimated to have over 47 billion barrels of potential oil reserves, and is currently the largest foreign provider of coal to the United States. Colombia is the eleventh largest supplier of oil to the U.S.
- A stable democracy. Colombia is Latin America’s oldest and most stable democracy. It has experienced peaceful changes of Government every four years over the last half century. Government leaders have been elected by the people through free, fair and competitive elections. Colombia has a free, competitive press.
- A strong and stable economy. Colombia was Latin America’s strongest and most stable economy during the 20th century. It did not experience a year of negative growth for over 65 years, between the early 1930s and the late 1990s. Moreover, it has never experienced hyperinflation and has never defaulted on its domestic or international financial obligations.