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Essay/Term paper: Colombia

Essay, term paper, research paper:  World History

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Colombia


Climate

The climate, however, varies with the elevation. The low regions along the coast
and the deep Patía and Magdalena river valleys are torrid, with mean annual
temperatures of 75° to 80° F. From about 1500 to 7500 ft the climate is
subtropical, and from about 7500 to 10,000 ft it is temperate. Above about
10,000 ft is the cold-climate zone, where temperatures range from 0° to 55° F.
The average January and July temperatures in Bogotá are 58° F and 57° F,
respectively. The averages for the same months in Barranquilla are 80° F and 82°
F. Throughout the year, three-month periods of rain and dry weather alternate.
Along the Pacific coast precipitation is heavy. At Bogotá the annual rainfall
averages about 40 in, and in Barranquilla it averages about 32 in. Dry weather
prevails on the slopes of the Eastern Cordillera.

Government

Colombia has a Republican form of government. Colombia has a president who is
elected by popular vote. He is chosen by any man or woman 18 years or older.
The president can serve one four year term. He appoints a cabinet which has to
be approved by congress. Congress is composed of a House of Representatives
(199 members) and a Senate (112 members).

Land Area

The total land area of the country is 440,831 sq. mi. The capital and largest
city is Bogota.

Population Characteristics, Religion, and Language

The population of Colombia (1993 estimate) was 34,942,767, giving the country an
overall population density of about 79 per sq. mi. About 95 percent of the
people are Roman Catholics. Small Protestant and Jewish minorities exist. The
official language of Colombia is Spanish. The racial makeup of the Colombian
population is diversified. About half the people are mestizo (of mixed Spanish
and Native American ancestry), about 20 percent are of unmixed European ancestry,
and about 14 percent are mulatto (of mixed black and white ancestry). The
remaining 8 percent is made up of blacks, Native Americans, and people of mixed
race.

History

In 1538 Spanish conquistadors founded New Granada. In 1717 Bogota became the
capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada which consisted of present-day
Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. In 1819 Simon Bolivar defeated
Spanish troops near Bogota and became the first president of the new republic of
Gran Colombia.

Currency

The basic unit of currency is the Colombian peso (829 pesos equal U.S.$1; 1994).

Natural Resources

The mineral resources of the country are varied and extensive. Colombia is the
major world source of emeralds. Other significant reserves include petroleum
and natural gas, coal, gold, silver, iron ore, salt, platinum, and some uranium.

Compulsive Age Of Education

There isn't a standard age for the beginning of education for the Colombian
child. All that is required is five years of education for each student. 85%
of all Colombian children over age 15 can read and write. To make a comparison,
in the United States schooling begins at age 5 and is mandatory to age 16.


 

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