Country of countries

Colombia places as one of the most representative ethnic presences in South America, favoring a large immaterial richness index.

The ethnic and cultural diversity of Colombia is tied to its location, the South American doorway. Because of that, Colombia has the privilege to be one of the southern continent’s  countries with the largest reception of ethnic groups after the discovery of America. 

Since the colonial age, American Indian, African and Hispanic immigrants are the predecessors of almost 87 ethnic groups, the 3 Afro-Colombian groups and gypsies who live in the country and shape the ethnic diversity of Colombia.

The Colombia of today, has an estimated population of 48 million, from which the Afro-Colombian group is over 10% of the population, the indigenous 3,42%, the gypsy 0,01% (almost 5,000 people who are direct descendents from European Gypsies), and finally 85% of people are classified without ethnic affiliations, including Jews and Arabs. 

  • The indigenous are distributed for the most part in the Colombian rural zone, mostly in Cauca, Nariño, La Guajira, Putumayo and Amazonas Departments. The political constitution from 1991 recognizes the fundamental rights of the Colombian indigenous people, after having been victims of abuse, slavery, very difficult living conditions and forced labor for centuries.
  • The Afro-descendants are located in the Colombian Pacific corridor, in the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, in the San Basilio community and in some mainland cities of the country.
    After the arrival of the first slaves in 1504, Afro-colombians have constituted to a considerable part of the population, to the point of being the third largest Afro-descendent population in the Americas, after The United States and Brazil. This ethnic group has made big contributions to the country’s music and sports.
  • The Gypsy communities from their side, are distributed in ppulated areas of the cities and in variable urban centers called « Kumpanias ».
  • The Colombian white ascendance is mostly Spanish and Arab, with some Italian, French, German and Slav contributions. The white population has also maintained an influencial role in the country’s history.

Like everywhere in the world, the climate and the geographic factors determine as well as shape the country’s cultural diversity, gastronomy, the way to dress and ones own worldview of life. This ethnic mix represents a national pride and contributes to the immaterial Colombian cultural richness index to a large degree. The country includes, for example, about 64 Amerindian languages, which include creole languages like the “Bandé”, the “Palenquero” and the « Romaní ».