Colombia or its official name the republic of Colombia is located in South America neighboring the Caribbean Sea as well as the Pacific Ocean. It is also situated south of Panama, west of Venezuela, and Brazil, and north of Peru and Ecuador. The total area is 1,138,910 sq km, which makes it the fourth largest country in South America. Because of Colombia's position the climate varies between the different altitudes. It's between 24° to 27°C along the coast and plains and can descend to -18° to 13°C in the highlands. Colombia is the wealthiest country in mineral resources. It is the leading source of emeralds, and a major contributor in platinum, gold, silver, copper, and natural gas. Colombia has many natural hazards, and issues. It sometimes experiences earthquakes, droughts, and the highlands are exposed to volcanic activity. It is currently experiencing some environmental problems because of car pollution, and pesticides. Colombia is also suffering deforestation and poor soil quality which can be contributed to the "slash-and-burn farming methods".
The Colombian population in July 2002 was estimated to be 41,008,227 people. The life expectancy for females is estimated to be 75 years, while the male expectancy is estimated at 67 years. The ethnic structure of Colombia is assortment of different races. Nearly 58% of the population is Mestizo which is a mix of Spanish and Native American. Approximately 14% are Mulatto which is a mix of black and white, close to 20% is of European descent. While the remaining 8 % are Native Americans, Blacks, and people of mixed race. The dominant religion at 90% is Roman Catholic, and the main language spoken is Spanish. The literacy rate currently stands at approximately 91% of the total population over the age of 15 can read and write.
Colombia has a very rich culture full of art, festi