The Republic of Colombia is located in South America and was founded in the year 1819 as the republic of Gran Colombia. Gran Colombia consisted of present day Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and Venezuela. These countries were part of New Granada after the liberation. Colombia's name was derived from the great explorer Christopher Columbus. Simon Bolivar was elected the first president of New Granada. In 1831 Gran Colombia gained its independence as a free state. In 1863 after a civil war had broken out Gran Colombia became known as the Republic of Colombia, and has remained that since. In 1903 Panama separated from Colombia and became a free and independent state, Ecuador and Venezuela also have since become free and independent states.
Colombia's economy is strongly based on its major export which is coffee. Colombian coffee is known throughout the world for its exceptional quality. It is the world's largest mild coffee exporter, and it is second in overall coffee exporting to Brazil. Other major exports include bananas, flowers, cotton, gold, petroleum, emeralds, and textiles. Their gross domestic income is approximately $95.7 million compared to $8.4 trillion of the United States. The major imports are machinery and transportation equipment, chemicals, minerals, metals, and food. Their major trading partners are the US, the European Union, Japan, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil. The currency is the Colombian peso and is worth approximately 1141 to $1 US. .
Colombia is approximately 440,000 sq. mi. which is comparable to twice the size of Texas. Its highest point is Pice Cristobal Colon at 18,950 ft. above sea level. The climate is varied throughout the country with the average temperature in Bogota being 57 F and the average temp in Barranquilla being 80 F. The average rainfall is between 30-40 in annually. .
Many Colombians have made great contributions to culture. Gabriel Garcí Márquez is a famous Colombian author.