Travel Destinations »

The Colombians

Standards of education are very high in Colombia and you’ll find good conversation everywhere. People generally only speak English in the rich neighborhoods but the Spanish is amongst the clearest and easiest to understand in the world.

Colombians are family-orientated people and the guys are so famous for loving their mothers that a psychological condition was named after it. Many will only leave the house when they get married or move out of their hometown in search of work.

The nature of the ongoing civil war means that there’s a good deal of caution, even paranoia around. The various militant groups have informers and agents working in the cities and so you never really know who you’re talking to. For that reason you can feel a certain restraint when talking to people sometimes and it’s best to avoid polemic issues like the civil war and cocaine until you know them better.

People are also very cautious due to the risks of kidnapping and street violence. Anyone with their own business could be a target.

Colombians are very patriotic and very Catholic. This doesn’t prevent them from going wild when they party but they tend to be very conservative in outlook. Despite the party image of the country, Colombians are often quite conservative people and attitudes towards things like homosexuality can be quite backward.

Appearances are very important and it’s common for people to spend half their salaries on their suits.

Like elsewhere in South America, anyone who can afford it will have a maid. She’ll be paid the minimum salary of around $80-90 a month.

Nobody ever arrives on time.

They are incredibly inventive in their efforts to make a living. People sell everything everywhere. You may even see people walking into bars to try and sell garden earth.