Fill out your data to get our latest news and publications

    What are Colombian people like?

    What are Colombian people like? Boundless enthusiasm, charming cultural quirks and a distinctive way of speaking. These are just some of the elements that make Colombians so unique. Here is your essential guide to the people of Colombia.

    Colombian people is…

    Colombians’ joy and optimism

    Colombia is the second happiest country in the world, surpassed only by the Fiji islands, according to an annual survey conducted by Gallup, WIN and the Consulting Center. The world’s top five happiest countries also include the Philippines, Mexico and Vietnam.

    Colombian woman and man are dancing and singing on stage

    Caption:  Colombian people dancing

    This is not the first time the country has topped the charts in the Happiness Index. The people of Colombia are gritty and optimistic, and filled with positivity and hope. Add to this Colombians’ friendliness and joy, and an enthusiasm for life that ensures Colombians are quick to smile. This is one reason why more and more visitors are falling in love with Colombia and choosing to make the country their second home.

    Colombians come together

    In moments of sadness, Colombians come together and work as a team. One example of this was the way in which Colombian authorities and fans responded when a plane crashed, whilst transporting the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense to their South American Cup match, against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional.

    Atletico Nacional’s players and managers asked that the Cup be awarded to Chapecoense and the prize shared among the victims’ families. “The accident that befell Chapecoense, our brothers in soccer, will mark us for life and leave an indelible mark on Latin American and world soccer,” the sports club said, in a press release. More than 40,000 Atletico Nacional fans also made a heartfelt tribute to the Brazilian club at the Atanasio Girardot stadium, demonstrating the solidarity and togetherness that characterizes Colombians.

    Colombian creativity

    Colombians are creative by nature and always looking for new ways to innovate and improve. The proof of this lies in the vast number of outstanding Colombian businesses, driven by some of the most talented Colombian entrepreneurs.

    a Colombian entrepreneur creating a flagon with her hands

    These include the design studio Wanda Barcelona, created by Bogotá residents Inti Vélez Botero and Daniel Mancini Barón; telecommunications company Miaki, founded by Taro Araya, which has achieved international recognition and won prizes such as the Connected World Forum – Innovation in Mobile VAS; jewelry designer Paula Mendoza, whose work appears in exclusive boutiques across Europe and Latin America; and the

    publicist Mauricio Sabogal, who was named the “most powerful Latino in the media agency business” by Advertising Age magazine and “one of the 20 most influential people of the decade” in advertising, in Latin America, by the magazine Ad Latina.

    Colombia people is resilient

    colombia is the most welcoming country in the world - beauty competitions

    Resilience is the way people, communities, institutions and businesses, survive, adapt and grow, regardless of the physical, social and economic challenges they face. This word, without a doubt, defines Colombians. The country has overcome a history of violence, the impact of the international drugs’ trade, and the lives of individuals such as Pablo Escobar, and it has blossomed. Colombians are proud to look back and know that these problems are now in the past. The people of Colombia are working hard to disabuse these stereotypes and demonstrate the country’s strengths.

    Cali and Medellin were included among the world’s 10 most resilient cities in 2016, and projects throughout the country are recovering Colombia’s historical memory and transforming its vulnerable communities, such as Puerto Escondido, in Córdoba.

    Joy runs through our veins

    Colombian music is one reason why Colombians are adored abroad. Although artists such as Shakira, Juanes, J Balvin and Monsieur Periné are filling stadiums across the globe, and have received important awards in recognition of their talents, Colombian music goes even further than that.

    Men hugging while they look at someone in a local store

    Traditional rhythms such as salsa, cumbia and vallenato, are part of the country’s cultural DNA and capture the imagination of every visitor who experiences Colombian music. This rhythmic diversity reflects Colombia’s ethnic and cultural richness. Not only is Colombian joy infectious, it’s present in every beat.

    Colombians reflect their diversity in the way they speak

    a group of partners are talking around a desk in a room office

    The weather in Colombia is incredibly diverse, with climates, landscapes and scenery changing with even the shortest journey by road or air. Colombia’s diversity comes across in the way its people speak too, reflecting the cultural mix that occurred when the Spanish first arrived in America. “The Spanish were already divided between Castilians and Andalusians, and this mix, added to the indigenous languages that were already present, and the proximity of Brazil, plus expressions from African cultures, has caused the meaning of some Colombian sayings and words to change,” says linguist María Bernarda Espejo, from the Caro and Cuervo Institute.

    Each Colombian region has its own accent and vocabulary, which characterizes its citizens. That’s why it’s impossible to generalize a single Colombian accent. Colombia offers one of the greatest diversities of dialects in Latin America, according to the BBC.

    Words that only make sense in Colombia include enguayabado (hungover) cantaleta (nagging) parce (buddy) bacano (cool). There are expressions that only make sense in Colombia too, such as ‘meter la pata’ (to screw up) ‘tener un filo’ (to be starving) ‘ah carachas’ (ooh (amazed in a wrong way)) and ‘estar en la jugada’ (to be aware or to pay attention to something). Similarly, words can have different meanings depending on where you are in Colombia. ‘Charro’ is used by the people of Bogotá to refer to something that’s boring or in bad taste, whereas in Antioquia, this word is used for something amusing.

    Click here to discover the Colombian sayings you should know

    Colombians dressed with typical clothing smile while hold the Colombian flag

    These are just some of characteristics that make Colombians unique. Knowing a little more about them makes it easier to understand and become immersed in Colombia’s culture and history, as well as understand the country’s charm and the reason so many visitors fall in love with it.

    Colombians are proud that the world is discovering the magic of Colombia. From the customs and traditions, to the Colombian talent that excels overseas, there are many reasons to be proud of being Colombian, share this unique country with the world.

    You may also like:

    Guide to Understanding and Using Colombian Spanish Slang

    The Power of ‘Más’: Colombia’s Funniest Comparatives

    4.8/5 - (75 votes)
    Artículos recomendados
    fashion shows in Colombia

    What are the biggest fashion shows in Colombia?

    Events like Bogotá Fashion Week, Colombiamoda and Plataforma K have made Colombia a regional leader in textiles and leatherwork.
    Haunted Houses, Places, Halloween

    Colombia’s Haunted Houses

    Colombians love a good ghost story and they have plenty of material, thanks to the large number of old, spooky...

    Why is the Willys Colombia’s transport of choice?

    Colombia is one of the world’s most diverse countries and it has the terrain to match. Visitors find themselves exploring...
    Colombia, Country of the year, Best country, The Economist

    COLOMBIA COUNTRY OF THE YEAR. According to The Economist

    Colombia was chosen as “country of the year” for its achievements during 2016
    Ruven Afanador, Colombian photographer, fashion photographers, Colombian talent, Celebrity photographer

    Ruven Afanador: Colombian Celebrity photographer

    With his dramatic style, full of contrasts, Colombian photographer Ruven Afanador’s work has graced the covers of the world’s top...
    Education in Colombia

    In higher education and research, the answer is Colombia

    Education is the best investment countries can make, because they secure both their present and their future.
    Colombian food

    Six Weird Food Combinations from Colombia You Will Love

    Colombians are proud of their cuisine and keen for visitors to try a bit of everything, which can mean tasting...
    colombian art

    Experience the best of Colombian art in Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena

    Colombian art is booming, with more than 40 art galleries opening across the country in the past few years, several...

    Colombia, a country that celebrates its ethnic diversity

    Due to its location and the diversity of cultures that have entered the country, several ethnic groups have emerged which...

    Colombia: location and time zone

    Colombia is a country well renowned for its natural diversity, multiculturalism, tourist destinations, and it enjoys the benefit of having...