Geography Education
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Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next?

Colombia rejects FARC deal: What's next? | Geography Education |

"A narrow win for Colombia's opponents to a government peace deal with FARC rebels has thrown the country into disarray, leading one journalist to starkly declare, 'Nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.'  Likened to the fallout from the United Kingdom's 'Brexit' referendum, the vote's unexpected failure has left the Colombian political classes reeling and unsure how to respond in order to save four years of hard negotiation with the Marxist militia."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Colombian peace negotiations with FARC (the insurgent rebels in drug producing regions) were hailed as the key for Colombia to move past it's violent, drug-cartel past and move into the future.  As the Colombian population rejected the deal by the slimmest of margins (50.22% against), it leaves the government "without a Plan B." There are more questions than answers at this point about what might happen (if you are asking what's FARC?, then this primer will walk you through it). 


TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics, conflict.

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Colombia: from failed state to Latin American powerhouse

Colombia: from failed state to Latin American powerhouse | Geography Education |
In the shadow of a violent and drug-fuelled past, business confidence is growing in Colombia, a country that has been transformed over the past decade

TagsSouth America, Colombia, development, economic.

Zach Owen's curator insight, May 6, 2015 8:22 PM

What do you believe sparked this change in economic growth?

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 10:57 AM

It was refreshing to read about Colombia's improving economy and the growth of its middle class, although I am uncertain of how "real" any of this progress really is. Although the article talked up the growth of Colombia's industry and business, raw materials still constitute 72% of its exports as I read in another article, meaning that much remains to be done in terms of investment and diversifying the nation's economy. It was interesting to see how the continent is plagued by many of the same problems- poor infrastructure and government corruption, both the legacy of hundreds of years of colonial domination. It was this combination that allowed for the domination of national politics and the economy by the narcotics trade for much of the late 20th century. For the sake of the Colombian people, I hope that their nation's economy continues to grow, allowing unemployment to fall and the poverty rate to drop. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese recession affects this growth.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, November 16, 2015 1:42 PM

Columbia is well on its way to being a thriving economic powerhouse. They left the past behind with the violent and drugs now transformed by bringing businesses in and integrate western technologies. It shows that any country can rebuild and change itself if it has the potential and remove the on going problems that is bringing the country down.  Progress happens slowly and when it down it will take off toward a new direction.

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Colombia's Herd of Hungry Hippos

Colombia's Herd of Hungry Hippos | Geography Education |

"A herd of hippopotamuses once owned by the late Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar has been taking over the countryside near his former ranch - and no-one quite knows what to do with them."

Seth Dixon's insight:

An important idea in biogeography is the concept of invasive species. An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous to an area but causes great economic or environmental harm to the new area as it quickly adapts and alters the ecosystem.   Colombia's hippopotamus herd certainly qualifies as an interesting example to share with students of unintended ecological consequences that occur through human and environmental interactions.  For further explorations into invasive species, see this National Geographic lesson plan.   


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Colombia, National Geographic.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 1, 2014 6:30 PM

Ecosystem imbalance

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FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized

FARC-Colombia peace deal finalized | Geography Education |
Negotiators seeking to end the insurgency in Colombia, one of the world's longest-running conflicts, said they had reached a final peace deal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Farclandia has long been an insurgent state where the Colombian government had no real power to enforce the rule of law and their sovereignty over this area that all the political maps say are Colombia.   This shadowy place became a place where drug cartels could operate freely and many of the concessions that Colombia is making for this deal to happen involve amnesty for past crimes. 


TagsSouth America, Colombiapoliticalnarcotics. conflict.

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For Florists, Roses A Nerve-Racking Business Around Valentines Day

For Florists, Roses A Nerve-Racking Business Around Valentines Day | Geography Education |
Valentines Day is this one day when one product — a red rose — is worth two or three times more than it is at any other time of the year. If a florist catches that window, he's golden. But the process of getting the roses to is fraught with risk, middlemen, crazy expense and bad weather.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This NPR podcast looks at the economic fluctuations of the flower market based on the cultural festival that is Valentines Day, and this Guardian article examines the economic development issues in the commodity chain for cut flowers (focused on Colombia). 

Nicky Mohan's curator insight, February 14, 2015 7:07 PM

Valentines day followed by Mother's day and Father's day etc etc

Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, February 16, 2015 1:03 AM

International dependency. Economics and Business. A clever way to bring many dimensions into one by following the flower market. 

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Giant outdoor escalator built in Colombian shantytown

What impact will this escalator have on this poor neighborhood?  Was this a wise use of funds?  If you had $7 million to invest in a shantytown with the goal of revitalizing the neighborhood and benefiting the lives of the residents, how would you spend these funds? 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:20 AM

This escalator seems like a waste of money. I understand that it will make life easier for the locals and possible cut down crime. But I feel with $7 million the government is choosing to attack the symptoms of living in the shantytown rather than treating the cause of inequalities. Perhaps they could have opened up local markets, started some sort of commercially viable industry, or help educate citizens that could provide the community members with a way to get out of poverty rather than.just making it easier to live in these shantytowns.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:09 PM

This is an interesting idea simply because of the discussion that can arise from it. Would the construction of this escalator actually benefit the people living within the slum to any foreseeable degree? On one hand some claim that yes it will have a positive impact as it could cut back on the number at attacks and muggings of those stopping to catch their breath as well as simply allowing them to conserve energy. While those on the other side of the issue say that the benefit the escalator my bring doesn't out weigh the cost of building it. Simply throwing money at a situation like this wont actually bring any relief. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 8, 2015 4:40 PM

I sincerely believe that was a waste of money. Sure people can now get out of the area in “6 minutes” instead of “30 minutes” which, as was mentioned in class, can get people out of the area so as to get to jobs quicker. However what good does that really do in the grand scheme of things? Do the citizens still have poor jobs? Are their homes unsafe? Are there still sanitation issues? I am pretty sure the answer is yes, to all of the above. Clearly, these issues are more pressing than an escalator. So even if investing in an area can benefit a population, I think the improvement could have been greater because there are other more pressing needs of the area where the money could have been invested. 


I am actually surprised people were happy with the new addition. Given that it was a short clip, not all sides were seen. However, I feel that once people get over the novelty of the new toy and back to the reality of their everyday situation tensions could raise. Especially if the outdoor elevator breaks down, which is bound to happen given its exposure to mother nature, as the escalator just adds more of  a maintenance cost in a place that doesn't seem to have money. It wouldn't surprise me if people were later angered by the addition. In fact, I am actually surprised their wasn't protests that stopped the escalator from being built in the first place.