vanessa - kid profile photo - colombia - march 2013

Name: Vanessa Castrillon Escudero
Age: 13 years old
Languages spoken: Spanish and basic English
Parent’s job: Mother works as a cleaning lady
Favorite foods: Ice cream and red beans
Favorite animal: Spectacled Bear, also known as the Andean Bear
Favorite subject in school: Natural Sciences; she wants to be a forensic anthropologist when she grows up
Favorite activities: Hanging out with friends and watching “Bones”
Favorite flower: Anturio Negro; it’s scientific name is Anthurium Watermaliensis
What she wants to be when she grows up: a forensic anthropologist because she’s always been curious about the human body and what we are made of

Colombia at a Glance

Capital city: Bogota

Population: 46,927,125

Languages spoken: Spanish along with nearly 80 indigenous dialects, most of which belong to the Chibchan, Arawak and Cariban language families.

Religions: Roman Catholic (81 to 90 percent); Protestant (10 to 13 percent); indigenous beliefs (1 percent); other religions (<1 percent)

Geography: Northwest corner of South America, west of Venezuela and north of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil

History: Colombia has been home to Amerindians for thousands of years. Spanish settlers landed upon what is now Colombia in 1500. Indigenous peoples were dispossessed of their land when Spain colonized them. In 1810, inspired by the Haitian Revolution, Colombia fought for its independence from Spain. Spain reconquered Colombia within a few years, but under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, the Spanish were defeated. A new nation, what is now Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama, was created. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Colombia experienced a violent civil war between two rival political parties.