• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in Colombia

WARNING: Drug trafficking violence is a risk in Colombia, please read this travel warning before going!

Dating is often done in the presence of a chaperone for conservative families, but this is changing, especially in the cities. Some people and some families believe their children should only date people in their same socio-economic class and there is pressure to confine to this, but there is freedom of marriage and many people date and marry outside their race or socio-economic class. In cities and among less conservative families dating is done without a chaperone and there is great freedom to choose who to marry.

Colombian weddings are often times undertaken in a church as bride's maids and groomsmen are not common. At the ceremony coins are often exchanged from the groom to the bride to symbolize that what is one's is the other's. Many Colombian newlyweds also light a unity candle from two individual candles. Godparents are often chosen for each spouse and these Godparents take on a significant role in the newly married couple's lives. Civil ceremonies are becoming more common, but the Catholic Church is such an important aspect of the culture many weddings still take place in a church (although it can be very expensive).

However, the celebration truly beings at the reception and dance after the formal ceremony. One interesting tradition during the reception is that every single person is supposed to put one shoe under the dress of the bride (most dresses have ample space) and the groom pulls one shoe out, indicating the next person to marry.

After marriage, in many households the man is expected to be the head of the house as his role is to financially support the family, protect the family, and make all important decisions. In many houses the woman is the primarily caregiver and maintains the house; today both of these roles are often the case, but not as much so as it was in the past. Women now take on greater roles in the family or work, giving the family dynamic in Colombia a number of variations. Many lower class women work to help make ends meet, while many middle class women are fairly independent and seek careers.

Most Colombian couples have two or three kids. Divorce is uncommon in Colombia as the Catholic Church frowns upon this as does most of society. Today divorce is legal, but still something that is generally avoided, partially due to societal pressure.

This page was last updated: November, 2013