The music of Colombia is as diverse as its people, with every region of the country seeming to have its own unique blend of Spanish, African and indigenous rhythms and melodies. In music class we’re particularly fond of Cumbia, a form of Central and South American folk music originating from the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Panama. Cumbia began as the music for a traditional courtship ritual but over time mixed with local music all over Latin America to diverge into several sub-forms, each with its own distinct character. “Cumbia Colombiana” became a popular expression of resistance during Colombia’s struggle for independence from Spain, and modern manifestations still speak to the difficulties of “shantytown” life. Colombians also enjoy champeta, also known as “creole therapy,” a distinctly Colombian interpretation of West African-influenced Caribbean dancehall music.