Colombia has given so many amazing things to the world that you’ve surely heard of: excellent coffee, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, James Rodriguez and much more. However, there are also some wonderful things from Colombia you might be less familiar with, so here are 11 awesome things you didn’t realize Colombia gave the world.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The world-famous Nobel Prize-winning author of 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera may have lived much of his life in Mexico City, but he was born in the small Colombian Caribbean village of Aracataca and spent much of his youth living in cities such as Barranquilla and Bogota. He is known as one of the pioneers of the literary genre of Magical Realism and is one of the most widely read authors in history.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Opinions on who invented the pacemaker remain quite divided, but one thing is for certain: in 1958 Colombian doctor Alberto Vejarano Laverde and electrical engineer Jorge Reynolds Pombo constructed an external pacemaker which was successfully used to sustain a 70-year-old man. They are considered by many as the true fathers of the life-saving device.
Colombia accounts for 70-90% of the world’s emerald market, so the vast majority of all the emeralds you will ever see or buy come from the South American country. Colombian emeralds are of extremely high quality and are much desired for their clarity and purity. Not many people know it, but Colombia is responsible for almost all of the emeralds in the world!
Kangaroo mother care
Also known as skin-to-skin care, this pioneering technique of newborn care, where the infants are placed skin-to-skin with a parent, is highly effective in reducing both death and the risk of hospital-acquired infection. It was first introduced by Dr. Edgar Rey Sanabria in 1978 in Bogota, and his findings were published in 1979.
OK, so Colombia didn’t exactly invent flowers, but not many people realize that the country actually exports the second most cut flowers in the world at about 15% (way behind the leaders The Netherlands, who export more than 50% of the world’s supply). Therefore, if you buy flowers to decorate your home with, there’s a decent chance that they’re from Colombia.
Everyone knows that Shakira and Sofia Vergara are Colombian, but fewer people realize that the critically-acclaimed actor Jon Leguizamo also hails from Colombia. The popular star of Romeo + Juliet, Carlito’s Way and Ice Age was born in Bogota, although he also has Puerto Rican heritage on his father’s side.
These beautifully woven bags have become a popular fashion accessory all around the world thanks to their bright colours, excellent craftsmanship and unique designs. What fewer people realize is that the bags are actually handmade by the Wayuu Indigenous people of the coastal northern deserts of the Guajira in Colombia.
Cumbia music is exceedingly popular throughout Latin America, where the genre has taken on many distinct forms over the years, from the psychedelic cumbia of ’70s Peru to popular cumbia fusion bands in the United States. However, cumbia was first invented in the early 19th century among Caribbean coastal populations of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous peoples, where it is still perhaps the most popular genre to this day.
The architectural philosophy known as social urbanism was first espoused by former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo. It consists of constructing the most beautiful new buildings in the poorest areas of cities in order to foster inclusivity, as well as building ambitious public transport networks to connect the poorer neighbourhoods to the city. The ideas of social urbanism have since been adopted by many other developing cities, but the concept was born in Colombia.
Remember the huge hit TV show about Betty Suarez who, in spite of her lack of style and supposedly ‘ugly’ appearance, lands a job at a high-class fashion company? The show was in fact based on the popular Colombian telenovela named Yo Soy Betty, La Fea (which basically translates as “I am Ugly Betty”). The show was a huge hit in Colombia between 1999 and 2001 and there were 169 episodes produced before being adapted in around a dozen countries worldwide.
Sophrology was invented by Professor Alfonso Caycedo, a Colombian neuro-psychiatrist, in the 1960s, and describes the study of the consciousness in harmony. It is widely practised throughout Europe, and commonly used in sports, education and social care, as it is thought to have a very positive impact on concentration, self-confidence and energy levels.
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