Colombia’s culture minister on Wednesday praised her country’s cultural diversity and festivals as an attraction for tourists to the once-taboo travel destination.
“This is a country that offers safety, comfort, hospitality, friendly meetings with our people, and above everything, especially great cultural contrasts,” Colombia’s Culture Minister Mariana Garces Cordoba told Colombia Reports.
According to Cordoba, “our cultural manifestations are very rich…culture is the very essence of who we are and what we identify with.”
Cordoba explained that Colombia offers a wide range of cultural activities that can be easily catered to a variety of interests. Most obviously, the multitude of festivals and fairs that occur throughout the year are a huge draw for visitors, especially the “Iberoamericano de Teatro in Bogota, which is recognized as one of the world’s most important [theater] festivals.”
She explained that there “are also expressions of heritage in the cultural and folkloric expressions in San Martin de los Llanos… in cultural manifestations in rural, indigenous, and African descent communities, as well as Easter processions in Popayan.”
“There is also the possibility to appreciate our museums, such as the Museo de Oro (Gold Museum) in Bogota or the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin,” Cordoba said, which are extraordinary expressions of Colombia’s cultural history.
“Colombia is a country, like one of the most successful recent campaigns says, where the only risk you run, is wanting to stay,” Colombia’s culture minister said.
Colombia drastically improved it’s national security over the past decade and is attracting an increasing amount of international attention as a result.
The Colombian government, and many private sector supporters such as non-profits and non-governmental organizations, have decided to push culture on a national level, as well as on departmental and municipal levels, in an attempt to interest outsiders about Colombia.
However, Cordoba explained that “a country as diverse and culturally rich (as Colombia) is not always easy to represent, but it is clearly possible…the most important thing is to show the diversity and multiculturalism.”
“The function of the government is to promote sound public policies, be a true facilitator, to preserve cultural expressions, and every day to make a greater number of citizens have equal access to the production and enjoyment of (our) cultural wealth,” Cordoba acknowledged.
According to Cordoba, President Juan Manuel Santos has played an important role in promoting Colombian culture, by continually highlighting it on international visits, and recently proposing four bills in support of the promotion and defense of Colombian culture.