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Colombia Country & Culture
Colombia is the fourth-largest country in South America and the only one with coasts on both the Pacific and Caribbean. Part of the Ring of Fire, Colombia houses dense jungles and verdant farmlands, and is dominated by the majestic Andes. It shares borders with Panama (to the northwest), Venezuela (east), Brazil (southeast), Peru (south) and Ecuador (southwest).
As the country lies close to the equator, the average temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures do, however, vary with altitude; as a general rule, the temperature falls about 6 degrees centigrade with every 1000m (3280ft) increase in altitude. Colombia's equatorial climate features two seasons: verano (dry) and invierno (wet). But because of the country's complex geographical and altitudinal factors, there is no universal pattern of seasons.
Spainards first sailed along the north coast of Colombia as early as 1500. After the defeat of the Spanish army, Colombia's democracy emerged. Colombia's history has been characterized by periods of conflict and civil war despite their commitment to democracy.
The diverse population of Colombia mirrors the history and mixed culture of the country. The population consists of Amerindians, Africans, Europeans and those who migrated from Asia and the Middle East. Today, with an estimated 44.6 million people, Colombia has the third largest Spanish- speaking population in the world, only following Mexico and the United States.
The Toy and Its Story
- Jan 1 - New Year's Day
- Jan 6 - Epiphany- The day the wise men adore the infant Jesus.
- Mar 19 - St. Joseph's Day- A feast in honor of St. Joseph, husband to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Apr 9 - Maundy Thursday- Celebrates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.
- Apr 10 - Good Friday- Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
- May 21 - Ascension- Feast in honor of the Ascension of Christ Jesus.
- June 11 - Corpus Christi- Commemorating the supreme gift of the institution by Jesus of the Holy Eucharist on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, or on the Sunday following that Thursday.
- June 30 - Sagrado Corazon- A religious devotion to Jesus' sacred heart
- July 3 - St. Peter and St. Paul- Celebrates both Jesus' first and last disciples.
- July 20 - Independence Day
- Aug 7 - Battle of Boyaca- The battle where Colombia gained its definitive independence from Spain.
- Aug 15 - Assumption- The Virgin Mary was transported into Heaven with her body and soul united. This feast day recognizes Mary's passage into Heaven and is celebrated as The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Oct 12 - Columbus Day
- Nov 1 - All Saints Day
- Nov 11 - Independence of Cartagena City- The city of Cartagena declared its independence on this day in 1811.
- Dec 8 - Immaculate Conception- A feast in honor of the conception of the Virgin Mary without Original Sin. Not to be confused with the Mary's virginal conception of Christ.
- Dec 25 - Christmas Day
* In Colombia, feasting and spending time with family at home or on small day trips and outings is customary for all holidays. Colombia has the most recognized public holidays in the world. Perhaps that is why surveys render them among the happiest people in the world.
To learn more about adopting from Colombia, please request one of Gladney's free, comprehensive Adoption Information Packets. Make your request on-line or by calling 1-800-INT-ADOP.