Colombia, an Andean mountain nation found in the northern part of South America, has endured many disasters, both natural and man-made.  While, Colombia has fifteen major volcanoes, rests atop a number of geological faults that have caused many devastating earthquakes, and is subject to heavy flooding, especially in areas that have experienced substantial deforestation, Colombia is notorious in the U.S. for its long history of civil wars, political coups, left-wing guerrilla armies and right-wing paramilitaries, not to mention vicious narcotics cartels….oy.

What many of us “norteamericanos” don’t know about Colombia is its proud tradition of independence (most notably its role in the early 19th century anti-Spanish liberation wars of Simon Bolivar), its enthusiastic Spanish/African/Carib multiculturalism and its “megadiverse” ecological wonders.  Despite its many political and natural problems, today’s Colombia, far more politically and economically stable than it was in the drug cartel-and Marxist-militia-dominated ’80s and ’90s, is a country full of promise.

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