Colombia has one of the most representative ethnic presences in South America.
Colombia’s ethnic and cultural diversity is due to its geographic location at the doorway of South America, a place of strategic passage connecting the North and the South of the continent, as well as a historically important point of arrival for Spaniards and Africans coming to the Americas.
Colonial Amerindians and African and Hispanic immigrants are the ancestors of the 84 indigenous ethnic groups, the 3 different Afro-Colombian populations, and the gypsies that inhabit our territory, which make up the ethnic diversity in Colombia.
We are diverse, different, and authentic. We are proud of this, and we show it every day through our traditions, gastronomy, dance and sabrosura*. Reason enough to enjoy Colombia!
These groups live in wonderful regions of Colombia, where they have left an indelible mark of magic, tradition, and history. Although indigenous and afro-descendants have different identities, they are united by the love for nature and their environment.
Indigenous ethnic groups, which represent 3.4% of the national population, are mostly distributed in rural areas, with a greater presence in the departments of Cauca, Nariño, La Guajira, Putumayo, and Amazonas.
The Afro-descendant population, representing 10.6% of the national population, is located in the Colombian Pacific corridor, the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, the community of San Basilio de Palenque, and some of the larger cities.
Gypsy communities, on the other hand, are spread out in popular sectors in the cities and in several nuclei known as kumpanias, adding up to an estimated total of 5,000 people.
The plurality of ethnic groups represents a source of national pride and contributes significantly to the Colombian intangible cultural heritage index. For example, around 64 Amerindian languages are spoken in our country, in addition to creole languages such as bandé, palenquero, and romaní.
Moreover, this diversity has allowed Colombia to bring out the best in its people and visitors, thanks to the Latin flavor and every detail that makes us unique; from the languages, to the indigenous dances and festivals such as the Blacks and Whites’ Carnival, where there is no end to dancing and celebrating diversity.