Colombia Lifestyle and Culture

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Colombians are considered to be very warm and expressive. Upon meeting they meet, they shake hands and greet each other warmly. If they already know each other, they may give a kiss on the cheek. Good manners are extremely important for Colombians.

Roman Catholicism is the state religion, and about 90% of the population belong to the Church. Religious freedom is, however, protected by the Constitution and oughts to be respected at all costs.

In their free time, Colombians enjoy going to parks, movies, discos and visiting. They also enjoy many festivals and carnivals throughout the year which you don’t want to miss.

These include the Carnaval de Blancos Negros, Semana Santa (held during Holy Week), and Feria de las Flores amongst many.

The Colombian culture reflects the intermixing of Indian, Spanish, and African traditions. This fusion is seen in their blend of crafts, folklore, music, and sculpture. Music incorporates the African rhythms of the Caribbean, Cuban salsa, and Spanish-influenced Andean music.


Some people may think Colombia is a scary place or have misconceptions about it which is why we are here to deliver you from any possible confusion. Just like many other places, drugs and violence exist, but Colombia is not a country that should be feared, especially given the friendliness and kindness of the people here.

Here are quick facts to note,

  • The most popular programs are American TV shows, which can lead to some misconceptions about what a ëtypical' American family is like.
  • Typical business hours are 8-5 or 9-6.
  • Public transportation is not very good. Traffic is a problem and buses are very crowded. About 70% of people use it.
  • Few students have their own cars.

Pro tip: Always remember that it is absolutely okay to ask people to speak slower, to repeat things, or explain what a word means. Even to ask if they speak English (or your native language) to make sure that you understand what you need to.

The Family

The family is very important branch in Colombian society. Most families have two or three children on average. In Bogota, the capital, 96% of families have both parents working. The rest of the cities have a much lower percentage and most women stay at home.

Because Colombia is a strongly Catholic country, divorce is not allowed or tolerated. Couples separate rather. Younger generations here are more open-minded about separation than older generations. About 35% of couples are separated.

Traditionally, children here live at home until they marry. This is starting to change as young people want to experience living on their own or with a partner before marriage in some circles.

Nearly all upper and middle-class Colombian families have maids to help with the housework. Often maids have weekends off so the family does know how to cook and do chores.

" Its a place to be" - Martin from Canada

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