CARIBBEAN REGION

Location

The Caribbean Region is located in the northern part of the country. At a political level, it is considered the second most relevant region in the country due to the tourist, commercial and industrial development. Cartagena, Santa Marta and Barranquilla, the most prominent cities in the region are considered the three pearls of the Caribbean.

The temperatures range from 82° f and 95°f (28°c and 35°c). The Majority of its terrain is composed of plains and savanna apt for raising cattle. The Caribbean region is the home of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta considered the highest isolated mountain in the coastal range. This region is also known for being perfect for practicing diving especially in the Islas del Rosario, the scattered islands of San Bernardo del Viento, Taganga and Capurgana.

Population

The majority of people in the Caribbean Region is concentrated in urban centers like Barranquilla, Cartagena de Indias and Santa Marta amongst others.

There is a low density of population amongst the interior of the region. Principal urban centers and capital cities being the exception.

Gentrification and urbanization have continued to grow due to the growth of industrialization, various means of transportation as well as airport infrastructure.

The different and new commercial activities have become a great opportunity for the people in this region. The people of the region are full of kindness, solidarity, spirit and are incredibly hard workers. The mining companies in the region in which a lot of them work are working for the preservation of the environment as well as improving their quality of life.

The population of the Caribbean is composed of several diverse groups of people descendant of:

  • Indigenous ancestors who are living in La Guajira
  • Africans who were brought by the colony and today live in the islands, the coast and the banks.

Fauna

Due to the diversity of the climate in the region there is a wide variety of animal species and vegetation. A lot of these species are endangered such as the lowland paca and the manatee. The most prevalent are the Oncilla, the Titi Monkey, Macaw and a wide variety of serpents. In the rivers there are a caimans and bocachico fish.

Flora

The flora in this regions is very exotic, there are unique species like the mangrove swamp which you can find in great quantities. In the mountain heights of the Sierra Nevada you can find frailejones. The different climates in the Sierra allow for such a variety of flora, having warm weather at sea level to a more temperate climate not too far from the beaches. In the seas, specially in the islands of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, near Cartagena we have a vast amount of coral reef but these do not count as part of the flora.

The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, as mentioned before, has different temperature zones unlike La Guajira where the only flora found are cactus and bushes due to its high and dry temperatures.

In the Gulf of Uraba there is jungle vegetation in the interior of the region where we can find plains and valleys where there is an abundance of Natural Parks and Forests.

Cuisine

In this region you can enjoy a wide variety of dishes.

Main dishes include; the fish, chicken or bean sancocho (a traditional stew from the coast),

Cheese mote, different types of fish like bocachico, mojarra, red snapper, sierra, and sabalo.

Goat, Lobster, shrimp, oysters, prawns, chipichipi. Lean beef with tomato and onion sauce (guiso) accompanied with chicharron (pork rind)

Different types of preparations of animals from the mountains like goat, tortoise, monkey, armadillo, tapir, venison and saino. Different types of tubercle like ñame.

In the Caribbean there are a lot of arepas, the most popular being arepa de huevo (egg within the arepa), carimañola and a variety of empanadas. There’s also a popular type of tamales called hallaca and rice tarts. Usually all the dishes are accompanied by fried plantains, coconut rice or rice with chicken.

Bean Buñuelos, and muffins made out of corn or yam or even plantain, diabolines, and cheese from the coast.

The most popular drinks are freshly squeezed juices of popular fruits from the coast like anon, corozo, guanabana, mango, marañon, tamarindo, guayaba, zapote, nispero, el boli. Amongst other beverages we have; Sweet water made out of brown sugar (panel) with lemon, rice water and coconut water.

In the coast there are a lot of homemade sweets like caballito, el enyucado, las cocadas (made from coconut), de icacos, de batata, la arropilla. Los rasguñaos are sweets that are made from fruits and vegetables that are mainly consumed during the Holy week especially in the department of Atlántico.

Music and Dances

The most prominent rhythms are Cumbia, Porro, Vallenato, the Bullerengue and Mapalé, which are the result of mixed indigenous and African elements.

The rhythm and dance more known internationally is “the cumbia”, which combines indigenous melodies and African rhythms. Among the best known exponents are Joe Arroyo, José Barros, Pacho Galán, Toto la Momposina, Lucho Bermudez Francisco Zumaque, Mario Gareña and Petrona Martinez. Women wear skirts or skirts checkered red, are barefoot or use cotizas. Usually they wear a headscarf and candongas and in her hands have a lit candle with which frighten man in his courtship; men dress liqui-liqui white, with rolled up pants (or picked up about half calf) and shirt clenched fist, go barefoot or cotizas and use “sombrero vueltiao” or corrosca, kerchief around his neck, machete and backpack functions. Porro is another important musical style of the region.

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