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Colombia’s Bicentennial Independence Day

In the United States of America, we are all proud of being Latino. No matter what country our ancestry traces from, we all tend to feel proud of where we come from and how far we’ve come. One great thing about Latinos in the USA is that we tend to celebrate our countries independence to the extreme. And tomorrow is no exception. On July 20th, 2010 Colombia will celebrate 200 years of independence. It was on July 20, 1810, Colombian patriots stirred the population of Bogotá into street protests against Spanish rule. The Viceroy, under pressure, was forced to agree to allow for a limited independence which later became permanent. Colombia then became one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Ecuador and Venezuela).

“On my first visit to Colombia just last month, I was struck not only by the hospitality of the Colombian people and the beauty of Bogotá, but by your determination and resilience to overcome significant challenges,” said Hilary Rodham Clinton in a recent press release. Colombia also recently named a new president this past June. Former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos won an easy victory in Colombia’s run-off election to succeed President Alvaro Uribe. Slowly but surely Colombia is becoming more than the stereotyped “drug” country, it’s becoming a tourist destination (there have been many travel stories in the media this past year) and a destination for film makers!

Wherever you are tomorrow, be sure to remember 200 years ago, Colombia declared independence. Change your Facebook profile picture, Tweet about the celebration, go out and take agua ardiente shots, eat the bandeja tipica or just sing your favorite Grupo Niche song. Be safe tomorrow and always remember your roots.

by Eric Cortes


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Me, being a Puerto Rican from NY/NJ, with ties to Colombia makes me proud of the country who has adopted me as one of their own. I’ve always felt at home there, even during the rough times. The woman who sold me my retirement home in Colombia, did it on a Gentlemen/Women’s Agreement. All she stated was that “it was an honor for her to sell me her home, at the time. Colombia will be the next “tourist” attraction in the coming years, and I would love to be the next ‘Steve Perillo’ of Colombian Tourism in El Norte Valle del Cauca or all of Colombia! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, COLOMBIA!

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