Colombia

The northern tip of South America, Colombia, a tropical and isothermal (relatively stable temperatures) country founded in 1810. The population is over 47.12 million (2013) and the capital is Bogotá, the center of South America’s largest network of bicycle routes at over 180 miles in length. The primary religion is Catholicism and the main language is Spanish. Its top exports are oil, coal, nickel, gold, flowers, coffee, bananas, tropical fruits, textiles and clothing, and its largest trading partner is the United States. The time zone is the same as Eastern Standard Time.

A fun fact about Colombia is that it is only country in South America with a coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Also fascinating is that Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil, which is ten times larger in size.

A misconception about Colombia is that the country as a whole is extremely dangerous to live and travel in. While dangers still do exist and travelers should exercise caution to protect their personal safety and belongings, crime rates have dropped significantly since the 1990s and the U.S. Department of State sends officials to many major cities throughout the year without incident. The city Medellin, once the murder capital of the world with 17 murders every day in 1991, has now become one of the country’s main cultural hubs and is a popular tourist destination along with the capital, Bogotá.

Vietnam

At an orphanage of children impacted by Agent Orange   Vietnam War Remnants   Country Information: There are approximately 98,000,000 people living in Vietnam, in a country about the size of New Mexico. The majority of Vietnamese practice Buddhism and...

Guyana

  Guyana might be one of my favorite countries in South America. Why? When I visited in 2016, I found it to be vibrant, had lots of positive energy and was the only country on the continent with a distinct Caribbean flair. Its major exports are gold, bauxite,...

Tonga

Country Information:  In the Kingdom of Tonga (Tonga), an archipelago of over 170 islands with 36 of them inhabited. It’s capital is Nukuʻalofa and its main languages are Tongan and English. About 104,000 people live here (2011). The main religion is the Free Wesleyan...