General Information:

  • Official Name: Republic of Colombia
  • Capital: Bogota
  • Population: 49 million
  • Official Language: Spanish
  • Location: Northern South America, connects Central America to South America
  • Religion: primarily Roman Catholic


  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Colombia.
  • Tejo is the traditional national sport of Colombia. Tejo is a team sport that involves launching objects at a target.
  • Colombia is the third largest exporter of coffee in the world after Brazil and Vietnam.
  • Colombia can be considered a hierarchical society where people earn respect due to age and position.
  • When going to a Colombian's home, bring fruit, a potted plant, or quality chocolates for the hostess.
  • Age is valued in Colombia. The older a person is, the more powerful their voice becomes. Elders are revered throughout the country.

Doing Business In Colombia

  • It is courteous to shake hands both upon meeting and departing. However, men should wait for a woman to extend her hand.
  • If you're carrying business cards, it's thoughtful to have one side translated into Spanish.
  • During business meetings, there may be an agenda, but they do not always follow a linear path.
  • Relationship building is crucial - it may be a good idea to invest time in establishing trust for the first few meetings.
  • Colombians can sometimes be 'indirect communicators' meaning they tell you more with their body language and context rather than their words; people often to communicate in this way to protect valued relationships and face.
  • People used to speaking directly and openly must tame their communication style because it may cause offense.
  • Although they can be indirect, Colombians can also be very animated when speaking. This should not be mistaken for aggression!


World Bank

March 11, 2019