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Snapshot of Colombia – Spanish is the official language of Colombia, though several other languages (including English) are recognized as official regional languages in certain parts of the country. Colombia’s population is primarily Roman Catholic, though most do not actively practice the religion. Protestantism has been increasing in recent years. Colombia has a rich history in art and literature. Music and dance are also quite popular in Colombia, with pop, rock, salsa, vallenato, and cumbia being among popular styles. Shakira is Colombia’s most famous musician. Soccer is the most popular sport in Colombia, though baseball is almost somewhat popular in Caribbean areas of the country. Colombian cuisine varies by region. The typical dish of central Colombia is ajiaco, a chicken, potato, and corn soup, while spicy seafood dishes are popular in the Caribbean region. Rice and beans, eggs, corn, and avocado are common parts of meals across the country. Several types of bread and arepas are also common.
The Colombian members continue to grow each year. There are currently 180,526 members in all Colombia. The first missionaries entered Colombia in the 1960s. There are over 250 congregations throughout the country, five missions and one temple. The temple is in Bogota and took nine years to build from its announcement to dedication. It was dedicated on June 26, 1993.
The food in Colombia is fresh and delicious. The whole country enjoys beans, lentils, and fruits.
For breakfast it’s common to have eggs, bread and fruits like melons, pears and strawberries.
Lunch is the main meal. Rice, a type of bean, chicken or beef, and a salad make up a delightful dish. Colombians use all types of beans, lettuce or tomato salads, and fruit juices.
Dinner is much lighter than lunch, with smaller portions of a lunch-type meal.
The streets in Bogota are very crowded. There are many options for public transportation, including buses and taxis. There’s a traditional bus system and another system called “TransMilenio”. The TransMilenio is a faster transit system, although the traditional bus systems are still being used.
The crime rate per capita is less than that of Washington D.C. Yet, it is important to know that there are locations in the city that tourists are targeted. Most recently there have been issues of burglaries. Like all major cities it is important to be aware of your surroundings and neighborhoods. There are areas that should not be traveled through during the night hours or during festival times.
One missionary advised, “do not where jewelry(watches or something fancy). keep anything fancy and nice hidden”
Bogota loves the arts and expresses appreciation through the many museums, art galleries, libraries, athletic events, parks and tourist activities.
Soccer reigns throughout the streets of Colombia. It is claimed as the national symbol and there are three teams millonarios, La Equidad, and Santa Fe.
There is a Spanish influence in Bogota, shown through the architecture and traditions.
A missionary fondly recalled,”Christmas was a blast. They would paint the streets and have major block parties with music and dancing.”
Good shoes, that is the most important thing!
Mailing to Bogota
It typically took about 3 1/2 weeks to receive mail. When receiving packages, put stickers and pictures of Jesus Christ on the box. Less likely to get broken into.
Love the mission. It is only 18-24 months!
Calle 72 # 10-07 Oficina 1001
Edificio Liberty Seguros
What did you eat the most of?
“Lentil bean soup/rice/potatoes or Yuka/Chicken”
What is the craziest thing you ate?
What was most surprising about the culture?
“It doesn’t matter what your message is or what you are doing, if you looked parched, the community will open their doors to you for a delicious limonada”
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone going to this mission?
“Embrace the people and their culture. They have a love for life that no one can match”
What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Although it may be difficult to customize yourself at first, remember that time moves very fast and before you know it, you will be in your exit interview. Enjoy those first couple of months”