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December 2, 2021

25 Vintage Color Photos of Colombia in 1959

Colombia is a country in South America. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela to the east, Brazil to the southeast, Ecuador and Peru to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Panama to the northwest.

Colombia in 1959

Colombia comprises 32 departments and the Capital District of Bogotá, the country’s largest city. It covers an area of 1,141,748 square kilometers (440,831 sq mi). Colombia’s rich cultural heritage reflects influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, African slaves, and immigration from Europe and the Middle East. Spanish is the nation’s official language, besides which over 70 languages are spoken.

Colombia is one of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries, and has the second-highest level of biodiversity in the world. Its territory encompasses Amazon rainforest, highlands, grasslands, and deserts, and it is the only country in South America with coastlines and islands along both Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Colombia is also a member of major global and regional organizations including the United Nations, the WTO, the OECD, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, the Andean Community, and a NATO Global Partner. Its diversified economy is the third-largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects.

These beautiful color photos from Bob McCleskey were taken by Ernst Leonhardt on his trip to South America in 1959.

Colombia. Armenia local bull ring made of bamboo, 1551m

Colombia. Bridge over Rio Fonce leaving San Gil

Colombia. Bucaramanga from hotel window. A clean, impressive city at foot of mountains, 1018m

Colombia. Cabbage, rice, beans, corn meal. Some people wearing patched patches for clothing

Colombia. Edge of town of Moniquira. Market day beginning to taper off, 2500m

Colombia. Girardot omnipresent wood market

Colombia. Girardot pottery and junk

Colombia. Girardot tropical fruit in great abundance

Colombia. Gypsy camp on edge of Moniquira

Colombia. Gypsy King prancing down main street of Moniquira

Colombia. Market at Girardot. Rio Magdalena is watery highway to this market. Natives use balsa rafts, come early in morning

Colombia. Old, narrow bridge leading into Popayan, much colonial architecture

Colombia. Poinsettias

Colombia. Popayan girls

Colombia. Popayan Spanish cathedral

Colombia. Puppy for sale

Colombia. Restaurant area of market. Tables set up in all these tents. Goat, lamb, sausages, chicken, fried potatoes

Colombia. San Gil fruit market. Food in abundance, but people very poor

Colombia. San Gil meat market

Colombia. San Gil wood market.Fuel one of big problems in the Andes

Colombia. Sugar cane unloading at Barbosa. Barbosa is rail center for entire area to take cane to factories of Bogota

Colombia. Tobacco coming from market near Barbosa

Colombia. View of market at Moniquira. Many have already left - 16.30 pm, 2500m

Colombia. Woman was selling potatoes

Colombian children




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