The climate, however, varies with the elevation. The low regions
along the coast and the deep PatÃÂa and Magdalena river valleys are
torrid, with mean annual temperatures of 75ÃÂ° to 80ÃÂ° F. From about
1500 to 7500 ft the climate is subtropical, and from about 7500 to
10,000 ft it is temperate. Above about 10,000 ft is the cold-climate
zone, where temperatures range from 0ÃÂ° to 55ÃÂ° F. The average
January and July temperatures in BogotÃÂ¡ are 58ÃÂ° F and 57ÃÂ° F,
respectively. The averages for the same months in Barranquilla are
80ÃÂ° F and 82ÃÂ° F. Throughout the year, three-month periods of rain
and dry weather alternate. Along the Pacific coast precipitation is
heavy. At BogotÃÂ¡ the annual rainfall averages about 40 in, and in
Barranquilla it averages about 32 in. Dry weather prevails on the
slopes of the Eastern Cordillera.
Colombia has a Republican form of government.
Colombia has a
president who is elected by popular vote. He is chosen by any
man or woman 18 years or older. The president can serve one four
year term. He appoints a cabinet which has to be approved by
congress. Congress is composed of a House of Representatives
(199 members) and a Senate (112 members).
The total land area of the country is 440,831 sq. mi. The capital
and largest city is Bogota.
Population Characteristics, Religion, and
The population of Colombia (1993 estimate) was 34,942,767,
giving the country an overall population density of about 79 per
sq. mi. About 95 percent of the people are Roman Catholics.
Small Protestant and Jewish minorities exist. The official
language of Colombia is Spanish. The racial makeup of the
Colombian population is diversified. About half the people are
mestizo (of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry), about