Colombia: Political System
Colombia has been a presidential republic since 1886. The 1991 constitution
stipulates that the state is headed by a president who is elected directly by
the people every four years. The parliament (congress) is a bicameral system. It
consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House of
Representatives is elected every four years in free, equal and secret elections
and as of January 1, 2006 has a total of 165 members. The Senate represents the
32 regions. It consists of 102 members with an electoral term of four years. The
head of government is the president, a vice-president helps him with official
business, the president can dissolve parliament and force new elections.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
|Republik Kolumbien - Republic of Colombia
The country is a parliamentary-presidential democracy.
The national anthem of a country is usually a piece of music underlaid with a
text, which is intended to express the state, attitude to life or national
feeling of a country. It is usually played on particularly festive occasions.
The introduction of the national anthems in most European countries goes back to
the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The numerous former colonies that had
become independent usually introduced their national anthems and also their
national flags after independence, i.e. in the second half of the 20th century.
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, a folk song from the south of the country "La Guaneña" is
generally considered to be the first hymn of Colombia.
The national anthem, written to commemorate Cartagena's independence, was
written by Rafael Nuñez and set to music by Oreste Sindici. It became the
country's official anthem in 1928. Oh Gloria inmarcesible is considered one of
the most successful national hymen. Only the first stanza is sung on official
In spanish language
Oh unfading glory!
Oh immortal jubilation!
In furrows of pain
The good germinates already!1.Strophe
The horrible night ceased! sublime freedom
sheds the auroras of its invincible light.
All humanity, groaning between chains,
understands the words of the one who died on the cross.2.Strophe
Independence screams the American world;
the land of Columbus bathes in the blood of heroes.
But this great principle: the King is not sovereign, he
resonates, and those who suffer bless his passion.3.Strophe
Del Orinoco the riverbed is filled with spoil;
of blood and tears a river is seen running there.
In Bárbula, the souls and the eyes do not know
whether to feel or suffer admiration or fear.4.Strophe
On the shores of the hungry Caribbean a people fights,
Horrors preferring to perfidious health.
Oh yes, of Cartagena self-denial is great,
and the rubble of death despises its virtue.5.Strophe
De Boyacá in the fields the genius of glory
with each spike an undefeated hero crowned.
Soldiers without armor won the victory;
his manly shield breath served them.
Bolivar crosses the Andes that waters two oceans;
swords like lightning flashes in junin.
Indomitable centaurs descend to the plains,
and the end of the epic begins to appear.
The victorious trunk in Ayacucho thunders;
and in each triumph his formidable son grows.
In its expansive thrust, freedom makes its debut,
from the American sky forming a pavilion.
The Virgin plucks her hair in agony
and hangs her hair from her widow's love on the cypress.
He regrets his hope that covers cold china,
but glorious pride surrounds his fair complexion.
The homeland thus forms thermopylae sprouting;
constellation of cyclops her night lit up.
The flower trembled, deadly the wind finding,
under the laurels it sought security.
But it is not complete glory to win in battle,
that the arm that fights encourages the truth.
Independence alone does not silence the great clamor;
if the sun shines on everyone, justice is freedom.
Of the man the rights Nariño preaching,
the soul of the prophetic fight taught.
Ricaurte in San Mateo in flying atoms,
duty before life with flames wrote.
And the first two stanzas in the English translation
Oh immortal fame
Oh immortal jubilation
In the furrows of pain
the good is already germinating1st stanza
The terrible night passed! Heavenly
freedom shed the dawn of its invincible light.
All humanity languishing in chains
understands the words of the one who died on the cross2nd stanza
independence calls the American world,
the land of Columbus is bathed in the blood of heroes,
the great principle: the king is not a ruler
again, and those who suffer bless their pain
Fernando Botero (1932 in Medellín)
Fernando Botero is a painter and sculptor. He is considered one of the most
important and well-known visual artists in Latin America.
Alejandro Obregón (1920 - 1992)
Alejandro Obregón was a painter, sculptor, and engraver. He was born in
Barcelona as the son of a Colombian and a Spanish woman. He died on April 11,
1992 of a brain tumor.
Omar Rayo (1928-2010)
Omar Rayo was a painter, sculptor, and caricaturist.
Cabas (born 1976)
His full name is Andrés Mauricio Cabas Rosales. He is a musician whose music is
characterized by a special "Caribbean sound".
Juanes (born 1972 in Medellín)
The singer, songwriter and guitarist Juanes is correctly called Juan Esteban
Aristizábal Vázquez. He now lives in Florida/USA with his wife and three
Shakira (born 1977)
Singer and songwriter. Shakira was born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll on
February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla. At first she sang in Spanish and only enjoyed
success in Latin America and Spain. It was her album in English that made her a
For some time she has been in a relationship with the Spanish footballer Gerard
Carlos Vives (born 1961)
The singer, songwriter and actor Carlos Vives was born on August 7, 1961 in
Santa Marta, Colombia. His music is a mixture of traditional accordion sounds
mixed with elements of rock and pop. In addition to his career as a singer, he
also played as an actor in Latin American soap operas.
Manuel Patarroyo (born 1946)
The immunologist Manuel Elkin Patarroyo was born on November 3, 1946 in
Ataco. He attracted great international attention when he announced the
development of a synthetic vaccine against malaria in the 1980s.
However, the vaccine did not have the expected effect.
Ingrid Betancourt (born 1961 in Bogota)
She was a candidate in the presidential elections in Colombia in 2002. She was
kidnapped by rebels of the FARC guerrilla movement until July 2008 before the
election in February 2002. She was freed by the Colombian military - along with
14 other hostages. She then went to France, whose citizenship she also has.
Luis Eduardo (Lucho) Garzón (born 1951)
Garzón was born on February 11, 1951 in Bogotá. The left-wing politician was one
of the founders of the “Polo Democratico Independiente” (PDI) party in
2003. From 2004 to December 2007 he was mayor of Bogotá.
Antanas Mockus (born 1952)
Antanas Mockus Šivickas was born on March 25, 1952 as the son of Lithuanian
immigrants in Bogotá. He is a philosopher, mathematician and also a
politician. From 1991 to 1993 he was rector of the University in Bogota and from
1995 to 1997 mayor of Bogotá.
Enrique Peñalosa (born 1954)
Enrique Peñalosa was born on September 30, 1954 in Washington DC. The economist
and politician was mayor of Bogotá from 1997 to 2000. In 1997, after 1992 and
1994, it was his third attempt to become mayor of the capital - the most
Andrés Pastrana Arango (born 1954)
Andrés Pastrana Arango was born on August 17th, 1954 in Bogotá. He was Mayor of
Bogotá from 1988 to 1990 and President of Colombia from 1998 to 2002.
it should be noted that he was kidnapped on January 18, 1988 by members of the
Medellín cartel. In doing so, drug lord Pablo Escobar tried to pressure the
government not to extradite him to the United States. But just a week later he
was freed by the police and elected mayor of Bogotá in March.
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1900-1975)
Gustavo Rojas Pinilla was born on March 12, 1900 in Tunja. He was a soldier,
politician and dictator. He became president following a military coup on
13 June 1953. He remained in this office until May 10, 1957.
On January 17, 1975, he died in Melgar as a result of a heart attack. He found
his final resting place in Bogotá.
Ernesto Samper Pizano (born 1950)
Ernesto Samper Pizano was born on August 3, 1950 in Bogotá. He belongs to the
Partido Liberal Colombiano (PLC) and was President of Colombia from August 7,
1994 to August 7, 1998.
Cesar Gaviria Trujillo (born 1947)
César Gaviria Trujillo was born on March 31, 1947 in Pereira, the son of a
coffee farmer. From 1990 to 1994 he was President of the country and from 1994
to 2004 General Secretary of the "Organization of American States".
lvaro Uribe Vélez (born 1952)
Álvaro Uribe Vélez was born on July 4, 1952 in Medellín and was President of the
country from 2002 to 2010. He was extremely popular among the population and
fought the guerrilla organizations (FARC and ELN) with all consistency
Juan Manuel Santos (born 1951)
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Juan Manuel Santos has been President of Colombia
since August 7, 2010.
For his determined efforts to end the more than 50-year-old civil war in the
country "he received the Nobel Peace Prize of 2016 - despite the referendum on
October 2, 2016, in which the peace plan with a turnout of just 37.4% A narrow
majority of 50.2% had been rejected
In September 2016, he and the head of the left Farc guerrilla, Rodrigo Londoño -
alias "Timochenko" - signed a peace treaty after a civil war lasting around 50
years with more than 220,000 dead and millions of displaced persons.
Santos was born on August 10, 1951 in Bogota, where he also grew up. He
graduated from school as a midshipman at the Naval Academy in Cartagena. He then
studied economics at the University of Kansas, from which he graduated with a
He received his Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics.
His life was very career-conscious, for example he was the chief executive of
the Colombian coffee delegation at the International Coffee Organization in
London, manager at El Tiempo and a columnist for numerous daily newspapers.
In 1991 he became Minister for Foreign Trade in the cabinet of César Gaviria and
in 1992 he was chairman of the VII United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development for four years.
And in 1999 he was appointed President of the Economic Commission for Latin
America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
In 2000 he became the country's finance minister.He
was one of the founders of the Partido Social de Unidad Nacional (Partido de la
U) in 2005 and became the country's defense minister in 2006. In addition to his
office as president, he is also chairman of the party.
Writer and poet
Andrés Caicedo (1951-1977)
Luis Andrés Caicedo Estela was born on September 29, 1951 in Cali, where he also
spent most of his life. This important Colombian poet and writer put an end to
his own life on March 4th, 1977. He did this according to the statement in his
novella "¡Qué viva la música" that a life of 25 years is "madness".
Germán Castro Caycedo (born 1940)
Germán Castro Caycedo was born on March 3, 1940 in Zipaquirá. He is a journalist
and writer. His descriptions revolve around real life in Colombia. He also
played a major role in establishing modern journalism in his country.
Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)
journalist, writer and Nobel Prize winner in literature. Gabriel José García
Márquez was born on March 6, 1927 in the small town of Aracataca. Many of his
works deal with the individual and isolation of Latin America.
For his work "Hundred Years of Solitude" (Cien años de soledad) he was awarded
the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
He died on April 17, 2014 in Mexico City.
Alvaro Mutis (born 1923)
Álvaro Mutis was born on August 25, 1923 in Bogotá.
The writer and poet lives in Mexico and has been writing poetry since the 1940s
- and since the 1960s also novels such as the multi-volume saga about the
character of the navigator Maqroll. In 1997 he was awarded the Prince of
Asturias Prize - and in 2001 the Cervantes Prize.
Hernando Téllez (1908-1966)
Hernando Téllez was born on March 22nd, 1908 in Bogotá. Téllez devoted himself
to journalism from an early age. In the 1950s he began to write short stories
and then also tragic-comic stories.
John Leguizamo (1964)
actor, comedian and voice actor. John Leguizamo was born in Bogotá on July 22,
1964, but moved to New York with his family in 1969. After graduating from high
school, he studied drama at New York University. His first role was on
television in 1984 in an episode of Miami Vice. He later starred in numerous
films. He was also one of the most recognized comedians in the USA.
Sofia Vergara (born 1972)
actress and model. Sofía Margarita Vergara was born on July 10, 1972 in
Barranquilla. She began her career as a model and later became known in South
America for a commercial for "Pepsi Cola". That earned her a position as a
at the television station Univision. Her international breakthrough came in 2002
with a small role in a film in Hollywood.
For her social commitment she was named "Hispanic Woman of the Year" in 1999 and
in 2002 she was named "Women of Hope" for her role model function for young
Latin American women.
Vergara is divorced and from this marriage has a son born in 1991.
Elvis Alvarez (1965-1995)
Elvis Álvarez was born on February 2, 1965 in Medellín. He was boxing world
champion in 1989 and flyweight in 1991.
Álvarez was murdered in Medellín on July 16, 1995.
Faustino Asprilla (born 1969)
Faustino Hernán Asprilla Hinestroza was born on November 10, 1969 in Tuluá. As a
striker, he is still one of the best and most successful football players in the
Fidel Bassa (born 1962)
Fidel Bassa was born on December 18, 1962 in El Reten. From February 3, 1987 to
September 30, 1989 he was world flyweight boxing champion.
Santiago Botero (born 1972)
professional cyclist. Santiago Botero Echeverry was born in Medellín on October
27, 1972. At the Tour de France he won a total of three stages, won the 2002
Tour's mountain jersey and finished fifth in the overall standings. Two years
later he even reached fourth place. At the road cycling world championships in
Zolder, Belgium, he was world time trial champion. In addition to other
successes, he took 2nd place in the Tour of Catalonia in 2006.
In July 2010, he ended his racing career
Antonio Kid Pambele Cervantes (born 1945)
Antonio Kid Pambele Cervantes was born on December 23, 1945 in Palenque. He was
boxing world champion from 1971 to 1975 and then again from 1977 to 1979 in the
light heavyweight division. He is one of the four best light heavyweight boxers
in the world and is the only Colombian boxer in the International Boxing Hall of
Fame (IBHOF) - a hall of fame and museum for people who are or were connected to
boxing. It is located in Canastota, New York
Ener Julio (born 1973)
Ener Julio was born on October 14, 1973 in Cartagena. He was world champion
boxing light welterweight in 1994. After a long inactive period, he lost his
title to DeMarcus Corley in 2002.
Jorge Eliezer Julio (born 1969)
Jorge Eliécer Julio Rocha was born on April 4, 1969 in El Reten. He was
bantamweight boxing world champion in 1992/1993 and 1998 to 2000. He also won
the brandy medal in Seoul in 1988.
Juan Pablo Montoya (born 1975)
Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán was born on September 20, 1975 in Bogotá. He started
his career in Formula 1 in 2001 and finished it in 2006. During his Formula 1
career, he drove 94 races, 7 of which he won seven. In 2002 and 2003 he was
third in the World Cup. Then he started at NASCAR
Edgar Renteria (born 1975)
Edgar Rentería was born on August 7, 1975 in Barranquilla. However, he later
took on the US citizenship. He's a major league baseball player. Achievements
World Series MVP: 2010
World Series Champion: 1997, 2010
Participation in the All-Star Game: 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006
Gold Glove Award: 2002, 2003
Silver Slugger Award: 2000, 2002, 2003
Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama (born 1961)
Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio was born on September 2nd, 1961 in Santa
Marta. He is revered by many as the best Colombian soccer player of all time. He
played in the Colombian national team between 1985 and 19998 and was named South
American Footballer of the Year twice. He was often referred to as El Pibe ("The
Boy"). He also stood out because of his lemon yellow hair.
Rodrigo Valdez (born 1946)
Rodrigo Valdéz was born on December 22, 1946 in Cartagena. Valdez was multiple
middleweight boxing world champion.
Drug barons, desperados
Carlos Castaño (born 1965)
Carlos Castaño Gil was born on May 15, 1965 in Amalfi. He was the founder and
long-time leader of the Autodefensas Campesinas de Córdoba y Urabá (ACCU) - a
right-wing paramilitary organization in Colombia.
He was probably assassinated on April 16, 2004 in Antioquia.
Pablo Escobar (1949-1993)
Pablo Escobar was born on December 1, 1949 in Rionegro near Medellin and died 44
years later, on December 2, 1993, in a shooting in Medellin. One of the greatest
drug barons of all time, he became one of the richest people in the world
through his drug smuggling and cocaine trafficking. It is said that during his
most successful phase he made about $ 1.5 million a day. Escobar, best known for
his ruthlessness and greed for power, quickly became one of the most powerful
people in Colombia and quickly eliminated anyone who came in his way. By being
elected to the Medellin City Council, Escobar was even able to obtain immunity
and, by bribing numerous politicians, he was able to influence the entire
politics of Colombia. While he was seen by the whole world - and especially the
US - as a serious criminal and public enemy number 1, opinions about him in
Colombia varied widely. With drug money, he financed a number of schools, social
buildings and hospitals and thus also became a folk hero who is remembered to
this day by monuments in Medellin.
Manuel Marulanda (1928-2008)
called Tirofijo (= safe shot). Manuel Marulanda Vélez was born on May 12, 1928
in Génova. He was the leader of the Colombian guerrilla group FARC. He died on
March 26, 2008 as a result of a heart attack.
The FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias) is a left-wing Marxist Colombian
guerrilla movement that has been conducting an armed struggle against the state
since 1964. It uses kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking to raise money.
The FARC is a terrorist organization in Colombia, Peru, the USA, Canada and all
27 EU member states.
Félix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro (born 1959)
Félix Antonio Muñoz Lascarro , also known as José Lisandro
Lascarro or Pastor Alape, was born in Puerto Berrío in 1959. He is - as the
successor to Víctor Julio Suárez Rojas who was killed on September 22nd - the
leader of the guerrilla group FARC.
The mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) is native to the Andes
of Ecuador and Peru at altitudes between about 2,000 to 4,500 m. It has a soft
and woolly fur that is gray in color, which is why the animal is also known as
The animal reaches a head-trunk length of around 180 cm, with a shoulder height
of 90 cm. Its weight is between 130 and 180 kg. The mountain tapir is a
herbivore and its population is considered to be threatened.
The giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is, as its name suggests, the
largest member of its family. It is about 1.30 meters long and 50 kilograms in
weight. Its tail is about 90 cm long and has 40 cm long bristles.
The completely toothless anteater feeds on termites and ants by breaking up
their mounds with the pickaxe-like claws of its forelegs and picking up the
insects with its long, worm-like tongue covered with a sticky coating. It is not
tied to a particular location, but lives mainly in bush-lined savannahs and in
light forest areas. Because of its skin, which is well suited as leather for
shoes, it was hunted a lot and is now under international protection.
Furthermore applies in Peru, Colombia and Brazil have a strict ban on hunting,
fishing and export.
The jaguar (Panthera onco) is the largest big cat on the American continent and
the third largest big cat after the tiger and lion.
It occurs from Central America via Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia to Argentina
and Brazil. The big cat can also be found in Guyana, Venezuela and French
He prefers to stay in the dense, overgrown rainforest and is a loner. You can
find a detailed description of the animals here >>>
Central American tapir
The Central American tapir is the largest tapir and weighs up to 250 kilograms
when fully grown. Except for the whitish lower half of the face and the chest it
is uniformly gray in color. What is striking is its trunk-like, elongated,
mobile nose, which it uses to take in leaves, twigs, shoots and fruits. He is a
shy and nocturnal forest dweller who prefers to avoid the open terrain. Its
distribution area extends from southern Mexico to
northwest Colombia and Ecuador.
The Puma (Puma concolor) has a narrow body up to 130 cm long, a shoulder height
of 65 cm and a strong, around 70 cm long tail with a black tip. It reaches a
weight of 50 to 60 kg, whereby the females are about a third lighter. The
animals living in the regions of the equator tend to be smaller than those in
the far north or south.
Its dense and short fur varies in basic color according to the area of
distribution and ranges from yellow-brown, reddish-brown to silver-gray. The
chin and chest as well as the entire abdomen are always whitish, while the tip
of the tail is dark in color. The animal is also known as the mountain lion or
It occurs almost throughout South and Central America, as well as in some states
of the USA.
The animal is a pure carnivore and two-thirds of its prey include deer and elk,
deer and reindeer, but also rats, ground squirrels, skunks, raccoons, beavers
and possums as well as sheep and cattle.
You can find a detailed description of the animal at Goruma here >>
One of the many species of monkey is the white-footed monkey from the marmoset
family, which only occurs in northern Colombia and is therefore considered
endemic. It has long cheek hairs that curl up and out. It is colored dark brown
on the back and has short, silvery hair on the forehead and on the
crown. Together with the tail, it reaches a size of almost 70 cm. The whitefoot
monkey is diurnal and feeds on insects, spiders, fruits and tree sap. Due to the
destruction of its habitat, it is now threatened with extinction. However, it
can still be found in the forest fringes of the primary forest.
A representative of the ungulates is the white-tailed deer from the deer family,
which is the most widespread large mammal. It is slim, has medium high legs and
a long bushy tail, which is white on the underside. They move this tail up and
down when alarmed, thus warning of a danger. This type of alarm siren also
earned them their name. The males are not only larger than the females, but also
have antlers that are often over 70 cm wide, which is not the case with the
females. They shed these antlers after the rut, whereupon it is then re-formed.
The summer fur is yellow-brown, the winter fur is gray-brown. The white-tailed
deer is very adaptable and lives in light forests and in bush forests, but not
in steep mountainous areas.
toed sloth Sloths can be divided into the two-toed and three-toed sloths. But
what both have in common is that they spend up to 18 hours hanging upside down
in a tree asleep. They feed mainly on leaves.
You can find a detailed description of the animals at Goruma under two-toed
The distribution area of the two-toed sloth includes northern South America
from Colombia, eastern Ecuador and Peru, Venezuela south of the Orinoco, Guiana,
Suriname and French Guiana to Brazil north of the Amazon.
You can find a detailed description of the animal at Goruma here >>
coati (Nasua), also referred to as trunk bears, a genus of the family of the
small bear (Procyonidae).
They got their name because of their trunk-like, elongated snout with the
Their head-torso lengths range from 45 to 70 cm, while their yellow and brown
banded tail are between 40 and 70 cm long. Your shoulder height is about 30
cm. Their weight is between 3.5 to 6 kg.
While their front legs are rather short, the hind legs are rather long. Usually
the males are larger than the females.
The coat of the Nelson coati is short and silky. In the two other types, the
hair is longer and rather coarse.
The color of the back ranges from a light brown to reddish and even black. On
the abdomen, their coloration ranges from yellowish to dark brown, with the
muzzle, chin and throat usually being whitish, while the feet are black.
With their snouts, they search the ground, crevices and cavities for food, which
consists mainly of fruit. But neither do they disdain invertebrates and even
There are three types of
coati: - South American coati (Nasua nasua) - from Colombia to northern
Argentina and Uruguay.
- White-nosed coati (Nasua narica) - from Arizona to the Gulf of Urabá in
- Nelson's coati (Nasua nelsoni) - on the island of Cozumel.
Reptiles and amphibians (excluding venomous snakes)
The caimans (Caimaninae) are a subfamily of the family of the alligators
With the exception of the crocodile caimans, whose range extends to Central
caimans only occur in South America. Since caimans have a slower metabolism than
the real crocodiles, they will at 100 years almost twice as old as these.
Their preferred habitat are lakes, swamps and rivers. Unfortunately, the animals
have become rare due to intensive hunting.
The local crocodile caiman reaches a maximum length of 3 m and has the following
- Common crocodile caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus)
- Northern crocodile caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus)
- Nicaraguan crocodile caiman (Caiman crocodilus chiapasius)
- Rio Apaporis crocodile caiman (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis)
Also, the O rinoko crocodile is now an endangered species and
is under the statutory nature conservation. He stays in the catchment area of
the Orinoco River on slowly flowing river arms, swamps and lakes. On his menu
is everything that doesn't get off the bank quickly enough.
He is said to have already consumed people. Adult animals can reach lengths of
up to 7 m, which is seldom seen in the wild. Lengths of 4 m are more
likely. Even so, the Orinoco crocodile is one of the largest species.
G rüner iguana
The local lizards are the Gorgonaeidechse, the Green Iguana and the helmet
iguana. The green iguana lives in the green lowlands, near
rivers and lakes. Adult animals can be seen in the high treetops. Young animals,
on the other hand, tend to stay in trees and bushes that are not too high. The
vegetarian green iguana can live up to 1.80 m long and 20 years old.
The helmet iguana is a lot smaller, it can be up to 37 cm long. Its color varies
between dark brown and dirty olive green, with the tail showing transverse bands
in most cases. The eponymous helmet extension begins at the tip of the snout and
from then on goes steeply upwards. With his delicate limbs he climbs a lot, but
he also moves on the ground. The helmeted iguana can be found in the tropical
rainforest from the coastal region to the hill country, where it often lingers
for hours on branches
and waits for its prey. This is made up of crickets, wax maggots, grasshoppers
and other larger insects.
There are also tortoises in Colombia, which include the charapa, the fringed
tortoise, and the Terekay rail tortoise. Both the Charapa (Arrau turtle) and
the Terekay rail turtle belong to the family of polomedusa turtles. The
vegetarian Charapa is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world, as the
females can reach a length of up to 1 m. Today it is threatened with
extinction. In comparison, the Terekay rail turtle is "only" 40 cm long, with
the females also being larger than the males.
You can find them in lagoons and large jungle streams.
The idol snake (Boa constrictor) reaches sizes between 3 and 4 m and feeds on
smaller and larger mammals as well as on birds and reptiles.
The prey is embraced and strangled by contracting the muscles.
The snake can be found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Amapá, Pará,
Rondonia, Bahia, Sergipe, Amazonas, Pará, Pernambuco, Federal District, São
Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná, Piauí, Mato Grosso, Goiás, S Ceará, Rio Grande
in Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia (Valle
Also in Mexico (Yucatan, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Quéretaro, Veracruz,
Puebla, Jalisco, Morelos and Hidalgo), in Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay.
The snake is also at home in Peru (Pasco), Suriname and Venezuela (Merida, Isla
Margarita), as well as in Florida/USA - where it was released.
They can also be found in Trinidad, Tobago, Martinique, Aruba and Antigua.
A detailed description of the snake can be found at Goruma here >>>
The great anaconda (Eunectes) can in rare cases be over 9 m long and is
therefore the largest snake in the world alongside the reticulated python. Your
prey is entwined and strangled or crushed by the contraction of the muscles.
It can also be life-threatening for humans. The Great Anakondo can be found here
in Colombia in Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, northern Bolivia,
northeast Peru, eastern Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.
A detailed description of the local Great Anaconda can be found at Goruma here
In addition to the poisonous poison dart frog, the horned toad also belongs to
the amphibians. This has a prickly skin because the warts are converted into
tips. Upon contact with the skin, a slightly corrosive liquid escapes, which is
more unpleasant than dangerous.
Venomous snakes - coral snakes
General information on coral snakes
This mostly very pretty snake of the genus Micrurus (coral snake, coral otter)
with its black and white or yellow and red rings occurs in 79 species with
They can be found in the southern states of the USA via Mexico, Central America
and almost all of South America - with the exception of Chile. Often, however,
not nationwide but only in parts of the country or even in smaller regions.
They live mainly in moist, warm habitats and are between 60 to 150 cm
long. Their head is barely wider than the trunk and their tail is short. They
have The nocturnal snakes usually live hidden in holes in the ground, between
dense vegetation or under stones and feed on small reptiles - more rarely on
small mammals, amphibians, and young birds.
Bites are extremely rare in humans. They have a very effective neurotoxin, which
interrupts the connection between nerves and between nerves and muscles
In addition, numerous species of snake have poisonous parts that destroy muscle
tissue (myotoxins). Without an antiserum, paralysis and even fatal respiratory
arrest can be expected .
Amazon coral snake
With a length of over 1.50, the Amazon coral snake (Micrurus spixii) is the
largest species of the coral snake genus. It is also known as the giant coral
snake. They can be found in the south of Argentina, in Brazil (Amazonas, Para,
Tocantins, Mato Grosso), in the south of Colombia and Venezuela and in the
north-west of Bolivia
backed coral snake The Andes black-backed coral snake (Micrurus
narduccii) is found in the north-west of Bolivia, in the north-west of Brazil,
in the east of Ecuador, in the south of Colombia and in the north and east of
There are two subspecies of the snake.
Bolivian coral snake
The Bolivian coral snake (Micrurus obscurus) can be found in northern Bolivia,
in the northwest of Brazil (in the upper Amazon region) and in the east of
Also in the south and east of Colombia and in the east of Peru
Cauca Coral Snake
The Cauca Coral Snake (Micrurus multiscutatus) can be found in the Colombia
Valle del Cauca in Colombia as well as in Ecuador
Clarks coral otter
The Clarks coral otter (Micrurus clarki) is red-black ringed with narrow white
The snake can be found in the southeast of Costa Rica, in the west of Colombia
(Valle del Cauca) and in Panama
Choco coral snake (Micrurus spurrelli) one finds only in the department of Choco
Cordoba coral snake
The Cordoba coral snake (Micrurus camilae) are found only in Colombia, and there
in the region de Urra, in the management unit (municipality) de Tierra Alta as
well as in the department of Cordoba.
Dumeril`s Coral Snake
The Dumeril`s Coral Snake (Micrurus dumerilii) can be found in the north of
Ecuador, in the north and west of Colombia, in the southeast of Panama and in
the northwest of Venezuela.
There are six subspecies of the snake.
Snake Ecuador Coral Snake (Micrurus bocourti)
Hemprich's coral snake
Hemprich's coral snake (Micrurus hemprichii) is found in Bolivia, Brazil (Para,
Rondonia), Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and
There are two subspecies of the snake.
Caribbean coral snake
The Caribbean coral snake (Vipera psyches) can be found in northern Brazil, in
French Guyana, in Guyana, in southern Colombia, in Suriname, on Trinidad and in
the south and east of Venezuela
Colombian coral snake
The Colombian coral snake (Micrurus renjifoi) is only found in Colombia
The Langdorff`s Lorallenschlange (Micrurus langsdorffi) can be found in the
south of Colombia, in the north of Peru, in the upper Amazon region of Brazil
and in the south of Ecuador
Medemi coral snake
The Medemi coral snake (Micrurus medemi) can only be found in the Departamento
de Meta in Colombia
Neblina Coral Snake
The Neblina Coral Snake (Micrurus remotus) is found in Brazil, in the southeast
of Colombia and in the south of Venezuela.
Natterer's Coral Snake
The Natterer's Coral Snake (Micrurus nattereri) can be found in northern Brazil,
in eastern Colombia and in southern Venezuela on the Rio Negro and the upper Rio
Ornament coral snake
The ornament coral snake (Micrurus ornatissimus) is colored with red and black
rings bordered by white. The snake can be found in Brazil in the state of
Rondônia on the slopes of the Amazonia in eastern Ecuador, in Colombia and in
Putumayo Coral Snake
The Putumayo Coral Snake (Micrurus putumayensis) is found in northwestern
Brazil, in southeastern Colombia and in Peru
Regal coral otter
The black and red striped with white stripes Regal coral otter (Micrurus
ancoralis) occurs in the east of Panama, in the west of Colombia (Valle del
Cauca) as well as in the west and north-west of Ecuador.
The snake has two subspecies:
Red-tailed coral snake
The red-tailed coral snake (Micrurus mipartitus) is one of the few coral snakes
with green rings.
You can find them in Costa Rica, in Ecuador, in the east of Panama, on the
Pacific coast of Colombia (Valle del Cauca), in Brazil in the state of Rondônia
and in the west of Venezuela (Zulia).
There are five subspecies of the snake.
Snake The Santander Coral Snake (Micrurus sangilensis)
Black-banded coral snake
The black-banded coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus) - also known as the Central
American coral snake - lives in Mexico in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and
They can also be found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama.
There are seven subspecies of the snake.
Slender coral snake
The slender coral snake (Micrurus filiformi) - in English "Slender Coral Snake"
- can be found in the south of Colombia, in the north of Brazil and Peru and in
the east of Ecuador. The snake is ringed red and black with thin white rings
. There are two subspecies of the snake.
Slender Coral Snake
The Slender Coral Snake (Micrurus filiformis) is found in the east of Ecuador,
in the north of Brazil, in the south of Colombia and in the north of Peru.
South American coral snake
With a length of up to 1.20 m, the South American coral snake (Micrurus
lemniscatus) belongs to the large coral snakes. You can find them in
Argentina, northern Bolivia, in Brazil (Amazonas, Goias, Rio Grande do Sul Rio
de Janeiro), in the east of Ecuador,
French Guiana, Guyana, Colombia, Paraguay, in the east of Peru, in Suriname,
Trinidad as well in Venezuela. The snake has five subspecies.
Tambito Coral Snake
The Tambito Coral Snake (Micrurus oligoanellatus) occurs only in the department
of Cauca in Colombia.
Venezuela coral snake
The Venezuela coral snake (Micrurus isozonus) is found in Venezuela (Cojedes,
Anzoátegui, Aragua, Bolívar, Guárico, Miranda, Monagas, Sucre). Furthermore on
the island "Isla Margarita", in Colombia (Bolívar, Arauca) as well as in Brazil
in Rio Cotinga and in the southwest of Guyana. There are two subspecies of the
Multi-banded coral snake
The multi-banded coral snake (Micrurus multifasciatus) can be found in the north
and east of Costa Rica, in the north of Panama and in central Panama and in the
Valle del Cauca in Colombia.
Also in Nicaragua. There are two subspecies of the snake.
Water coral snake
The water coral snake (Micrurus surinamensis) is also known as the surimam coral
The 1.3 m long snake feeds mainly on eels that live in the local waters. The
snake can be found in Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará), Bolivia, Ecuador, French
Guyana, Guyana, in the Amazon region of Colombia and in Peru.
Western Amazon Coral
Snake The Western Amazon Coral Snake (Micrurus tikuna) can be found in Colombia,
Brazil (in the state of Amazonas) and Peru
Snake The dwarf coral snake (Micrurus dissoleucus) is found in Colombia, Panama
and northern Venezuela.
There are four subspecies of the snake.
backed coral snake The dwarf black-backed coral snake (Micrurus
scutiventris) can be found in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.
Venomous snakes - lance vipers
information about lance vipers The genus of the lance vipers (Bothrops) belongs
to the subfamily of pit vipers (Ctotalinae) and to the family of vipers
The genus of the lance viper comprises 45 species of snakes, some of which in
turn have subspecies.
The smallest species or subspecies reach a length between 50 to 70 cm and the
largest can be over 2 m long.
Their poison has tissue-destroying parts (proteases), blood-damaging and
It is worth mentioning that the enzyme reptilase in the venom of Bothrops atrox
and Bothrops jararaca is used in diagnostics to determine coagulation disorders
and as a therapeutic agent for anticoagulation.
The animals are viviparous. They get their name from their triangular head
shape, which is reminiscent of a lance tip.
Andes lance viper
The Andes lance viper (Bothrops pulchra) occurs in Ecuador and Colombia up to an
altitude of approx. 2,000 m.
There are no subspecies of the snake
Ayerbe's lance viper (Bothrops ayerbei)
The snake is only found in Colombia.
There are no subspecies of the snake
viper The Brazilian lance viper (Bothrops brazili) is found in Brazil (Pará,
Amazonas, Rondonia, Mato Grosso). Also in the north of Bolivia
in the south and southeast of Guyana, in French Guyana, in southern Colombia, in
Ecuador, in the east and northeast of Peru, in Suriname and in Venezuela
Speckled Wood Lance Viper
The Speckled Wood Lance Viper (Bothrops taeniatus) occurs in Bolivia, Brazil
(Amazon, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Roraima, Maranhão, Pará and Acre),
Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.
There are two subspecies of the snake.
Common lance viper
The common lance viper (Bothrops atrox) occurs in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador,
French Guyana, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Also on Trinidad,
an island that belongs to the Lesser Antilles.
There are no subspecies of the snake
viper The golden lance viper (Bothrops punctatus) is known in English as the
"Chocoan Forest Pit Viper".
It occurs in the northwest of Ecuador, in the west of Colombia and in the
southeast of Panama. The snake can be found up to a height of around 2,000 There
are no subspecies of the snake
Green Jararaca Lance Viper
The Green Jararaca (Bothrops bilineatus) occurs in Brazil in the states of
Bahia, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Espírito Santo. Also in
the south and south-east of Venezuela, in the south of Colombia, in the east of
Ecuador (in the Amazon region), in north Bolivia, in the east and north-east of
Peru and in French Guyana, in Guyana and in Suriname. There are two subspecies
of the snake.
Cats lance viper
The cats lance viper (Bothrops rhombeatus) is only found in Colombia in the
Valle del Cauca.
There are no subspecies of the snake
viper The Colombian lance viper (Bothrocophias colombianus) is endemic to the
western slopes of the western Andes in Cauca. The snake becomes about 1.40 m
long and lives in tropical rainforests. There are no subspecies of the snake
Pulchra lance viper
The Pulchra lance viper (Bothrops pulchra) is found in Ecuador and Colombia at
heights of up to approx. 2,000 m
Terciopelo lance viper
The Terciopelo lance viper (Bothrops asper) is also known as the rough-scaly
They can be found in Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia,
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuel.
There are no subspecies of the snake
Venezuela lance viper
The Venezuela lance viper (Bothrops venezuelensis) occurs in Colombia and
There are no subspecies of the snake
More venomous snakes
The Ore Spitznatter (Oxybelis aeneus) has a large distribution area:
Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Amazon, Federal District, Minas Gerais, Rondonia,
Roraima, Pará, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso, Ceará, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro,
Rio Grande do Norte, Pernambuco).
Also in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana,
Honduras, Isla Margarita, Colombia in the Valle del Cauca, Mexico (Chiapas,
Morelos, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Aguascalientes, Tamaulipas, Campeche, Quéretaro,
Jalisco, Sonora, Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Nuevo León, Chihuahua), Nicaragua with
Corn Island, Panama, Peru (Ancash), Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
It is also found in the US state of Arizona and Venezuela (Mérida, Esqueda, La
Glossy Vine Snake
The gloss Vine Snake (Oxybelis fulgidus) reaches a Grööße over 1.80 m. You can
find them in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará), Costa Rica, Ecuador,
El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras,
Colombia, Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Campeche), Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Surinam
as well as Venezuela and Tobago.
Their poison is less strong and causes unpleasant local symptoms such as
swelling, edema and pain as well as lymphangitis and lymph node swelling, but
should be taken seriously.
Raptic-tailed palm-lance viper
The rasp-tailed palm-lance viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) is found in Belize,
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama,
Peru and Venezuela
Stülpnsenotter The Landsberg's Stülpnsenotter (Porthidium lansbergii) is found
in Panama, in the north of Colombia (from Nord-Choco and Antioquia, coastal
Caribbean lowlands, and from Rio Magdalena valley, up to Honda, Tolima, Huila),
on the island
Isla Margarita as well as in Venezuela.
There are three subspecies of the snake.
Rainforest inverted-nosed viper
The rainforest inverted-nosed viper (Porthidium nasutum) is found in Mexico in
the states of Chiapas, Vera Cruz and Yucatan, also in Belize, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, in Colombia in the Valle del Cauca and
Also in Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
The tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus) is found in Argentina (Mendoza, La
Pampa, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Córdoba, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del
Estero, Tucumán, Chaco, Formosa, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Misiones).
On the Caribbean island of Aruba, in Brazil (including in Rio Grande do Sul,
Roraima, Amapá, Roraima, Goias, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro), in Guyana and French
Guyana. Also in Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
This rattlesnake is the most venomous of all rattlesnakes.
There are seven subspecies of the tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus).
A detailed description of the snake can be found at Goruma here >>>
The Verrugosa Bushmaster (Lachesis acrochorda) occurs in Ecuador, Colombia and
The snake is very poisonous
Poison dart frogs
The poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae) - also known as poison dart frogs -
belong to the family of the frogs (Anura).
The only about 12 to 50 mm large frogs are divided into a dozen genera and
around 250 different species. But only three of the species are really deadly
poisonous and were used by the Indians as arrow poison. Strictly speaking, the
term poison dart frog is only correct for the following three species, which
also only occur in Colombia
- terrible poison dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis)
- two-colored poison dart frog (Phyllobates bicolor)
- gold streaked leaf climber (Phyllobates aurotaenia)
Poisoning leads to cardiac arrest and is almost always fatal if left untreated.
In Colombia you can find the Andean condor, as well as vultures, toucans,
parrots, cockatoos, storks, cranes and hummingbirds.
The hummingbird is one of the smallest warm-blooded animals and
not only can it stand in the air, but it is the only bird that can fly
backwards. Its low weight and the very fast flapping of the wings (approx. 80
beats/sec.) Contribute to these flying skills. Hummingbirds mainly feed on
nectar to provide the energy they need for strenuous flying. What is striking is
their very long beak, which is a perfect adaptation to their diet, as the nectar
required is usually deep in the calyx of the flower.
A notable bird is the macaw. It is a very intelligent
parrot, capable of learning languages and easily tamed. He can be up to 85 cm
tall and on average 60 years, but also older. He prefers to stay in forest
zones, river regions and swamp areas.
The Hokko is a chicken bird in which the rooster reaches a
size of 82-92 cm. Due to its size, its flight is also rather cumbersome. The
male has shiny black plumage with a white underside, while the female is striped
with white. Both have long, slender legs and long, clawed toes. The Hokko lives
mainly in forest areas and other regions with tropical vegetation, so that at
night it can look for its resting place in the trees. Its food, which it looks
for on the ground, consists of fruits, seeds and buds.
The Jabiru is the Latin American representative of the stork
family. It has a standing height of 1.50 m, a wingspan of 2.50 m and is one of
the largest birds in the world capable of flying. He is also the only stork in
the world who has a pure white plumage. Its home is the marshland in the
catchment area of the Rio Paraguay and the Rio Parana. He hunts his food,
which is exclusively animal, in the water. It consists of insects, fish, snails,
worms, crustaceans, frogs, snakes and rodents.
You have to be careful of the fever flies (mosquitoes), which transmit
the disease malaria, which is common in South America. The midges, on the
other hand, are not dangerous, a tiny, somewhat stocky mosquito that specializes
in blood fluids, but not necessarily those of humans. Other insects are the
lantern bearer (a cicada), the leaf-cutting, driver and the Conga ant.
A specialty is the Hercules beetle from the scarab beetle family, which is
not only the largest beetle, but also one of the largest insects in the
world. The male has two large, pincer-like horns at the front end of the body,
with which he reaches a total size of 17.5 cm. Thus, it is slightly larger than
the female that lacks such horns.
Hercules beetles are nocturnal and hide during the day in dark hiding places
such as between roots or in tree hollows. Their lifespan is 2 years, of which
they spend 15 months as a larva. They are residents of humid, tropical
rainforests and are except in Colombia from
southern Mexico to Venezuela, Peru and northern Brazil.
Another superlative is a butterfly, the morpho butterfly from the butterfly
family. With a wingspan of 8-20 cm, it is one of the largest butterflies in the
world. Its bright blue and metallic glittering wings are striking. It usually
stays at the height of the treetops on rivers, but also in mountains. They feed
by sucking the juice of rotting fruit.
And of course you can also find numerous species of flies, bees and wasps here.
Platelet sea snake
The very poisonous platelet sea snake (Pelamis platura) occurs in the seas or
oceans of numerous countries and also in the sea of Colombia countries: A
detailed description of this sea snake can be found at Goruma here >>>
In addition, whales and sharks live here, Dolphins and numerous rather smaller
fish, which are a great pleasure especially for divers
The rainforests, which cover 51% of the landing area, are among the most
biodiverse in the world.
Mangroves and coconut palms grow on the Caribbean coast, while mahogany, cedar,
pine, balsa and guaiac trees can be found in the forest areas. The guaiac tree
is an evergreen tree with ovate and entire leaves. It can be up to 15 m high.
The up to 25 m high balsa tree belongs to the wool tree family and provides a
particularly light and elastic wood, which is used in shipbuilding, among other
The Frailejones, ragwort plants from the sunflower family, which can reach a
height of up to three meters, are widespread. Translated, the name means "giant
monks" because these plants sometimes appear like human figures in the fog.
In the tropical rainforest, the Brazil nut tree grows from the potted fruit
tree family, a jungle giant that can be over 50 meters high and 500 years
old. It grows very slowly and it can take up to ten years for the first fruits,
the Brazil nuts, to appear. The skin of this fruit is very hard, and apart from
humans, only one animal can open this skin, the agouti, a mammal with very sharp
In addition to Colombia, the Brazil nut tree also grows in the tropical
rainforests of Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.
The crops include corn, plantains, rice and yuka. A milky sap containing
chicle gum is extracted from the bark of the ten to 15 meter high sapotilla
tree, which is also known as the pear apple tree or chewing gum tree. This mass
is heated and processed into chewing gum with sugar and flavorings. Brown,
apple-sized and tasty berries, the "nisperos", also grow on the tree. Colombia
is considered to be the world's largest coffee exporter after Brazil.
Coffee is grown especially in Antioquia.
The guaiac tree is one of the medicinal plants. A medicine against gout and
rheumatism is obtained from its core and sapwood. The guaiac wood also has a
stimulating effect on liver and kidney functions.
An essential oil is used as a remedy for depression, tension, imbalance, grief
and worries, which is obtained from the bitter, black beans of the tonka tree.
The tree that smells of hay belongs to the butterfly family. The condor liana is
a climbing shrub that belongs to the lianas. They are also known as the "vulture
plant" or "Kondurango".
It has hairy shoots and very hairy, coarse and egg-shaped leaves.
The trunk can have a diameter of ten centimeters.
The condor liana is a plant that promotes gastric juice secretion and increases
The cat's claw (Uña de Gato) is also a liana, three to nine centimeters thick
and sometimes up to 100 m long. The bark is used from the light red wood, from
which a brew is made to strengthen the immune system. The brew helps with
diseases caused by fungi, bacteria or microbes, but also with injuries,
arthritis and gastritis, as it reduces sensitivity to pain in the inflamed
In the armpits of the leaves, which are arranged in pairs, there are curved
holding or climbing organs, to which the liana owes its name.
The flowers, which grow instead of the thorns during the flowering period, are
white to yellowish or orange in color and have a cinnamon-like odor. The bark is
peeled from felled or growing trees of the genus Cinchona, which is known as
cinchona bark or popularly "fever bark".
Cinchons are evergreen trees with deep green colored foliage. A distinction is
made between the red and the yellow bark, whereby the yellow one has a much
higher quinine content and is therefore also used as a medicine against malaria.
Otherwise the cinchona bark is used in a variety of ways, for example for
headaches, neuralgia, bronchitis, whooping cough, flu, fever. It also promotes
gastric juice secretion, stimulates liver function and strengthens the heart.
Basically, the guarana bush can also be counted among the medicinal plants. It
is a tropical, up to ten meters high, evergreen and perennial climber, which,
however, also occurs as a spreading, low bush. It has large, leathery leaves and
yellow to whitish flowers.
These later develop into the hazelnut-sized, deep yellow-red-orange capsule
fruits. These burst when ripe, releasing a dark brown seed from which the
guarana paste is finally made.
This seed is considered to be the strongest naturally occurring source of
caffeine because it contains three times as much caffeine as the coffee
bean. Guarana is the main component of a popular drink because, in moderate
doses, it reduces tiredness and temporarily improves concentration and
However, increasing the dosage does not increase the effect; it can lead to
fluttering of the heart, sweating, fleeing thoughts, nervousness and insomnia.
The native leaf belongs to the arum family and is about 100 centimeters
high. Its flower, which consists of a white bract that surrounds the
beige-colored flower head, is striking. The toxins cause irritation on the skin
such as burning or inflammation, and oral ingestion causes symptoms similar to
swelling of the mucous membranes, gastrointestinal complaints and cramps.
The coca bush, which grows at an altitude of about 2,000 m, is not necessarily
poisonous, but in any case not without risk.
With its reddish bark and inconspicuous yellow flowers, it belongs to the
redwood family. Both coca and cocaine are extracted from the leaves. Chewing
coca leaves along with plant ash is very common and promotes endurance. It also
decreases hunger, lifts mood, increases wakefulness and suppresses pain.
On the other hand, it also causes ulcers in the mouth and stomach and constricts
the vessels of the oral mucosa. In medicine, cocaine is used as a pain-numbing
agent. However, it has to be taken in ever larger amounts in order to develop
its effect and is therefore considered to be highly addictive.
Colombia is the richest country in the world in orchids and palm trees.
The sapotilla tree originally comes from Central America. The coca bush is also
not indigenous, but originally comes from the Andes of Peru.
Frailejones grow very slowly (less than an inch per year) and bloom with yellow
flowers between November and December.
A dry and dusty semi-desert stretches across the Guajira peninsula, where only
shrubs and various types of cacti can thrive.