Are you looking for the next land of opportunity? Does talk of massive government debt, bankruptcies, foreclosures and unemployment have you singing the blues? Escapeartist is about to provide you with an insider tip to the next ‘in’ location. We are talking about a location where all the smart money is moving to, a country vast with resources, a beautiful culture and probably the most attractive women on planet earth. (It’s true) –
Names like Sam Zell (Billionaire) and Carlos Slim (Billionaire) and many others are investing in Colombia right now. Why are they investing? Why are tourism rates in Colombia skyrocketing? Why is the Colombian stock market returning double digit returns? Why is Colombia leading the Latin American rim in attracting foreign direct investment?
Escapeartist has the insider scoop on Colombia and we are going global with it! – We were on the front lines of Costa Rica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Argentina and NOW Colombia!
Escapeartist has partnered with Investment Group Colombia to provide our readers with authoritative articles that are written by Escapeartist readers who actually live the Colombia Escapeartist Dream right now. Escapeartist over the next few months will be providing special coverage of Colombia and we will be getting the truth from the ‘frontline’ early adopters, the market mavens, pioneers of the international Colombia lifestyle!
Our intention is to create a tsunami of awareness for Colombia over the next year and you are getting the very first newsletter that we have published on Colombia – Nothing like being at the right place at the right time… right before 15 million people learn about this beautiful country – Colombia is Passion!
Please enjoy the first of three Special Edition Colombia Ezine – This month we covered Bogota, in March we will cover Medellin and in April we will feature the romantic ciudad of Cartagena.
Now, go on and get your insider tip and learn more about Working in Colombia
At Investment Group Colombia (IGC), it is our desire to provide you with pertinent, insightful, and helpful information that will assist you in making sound business and investment choices and that will enable you to conduct and perform business in a more efficient manner. It is IGC’s research efforts, local sources, and, in Colombia’s case, our in-country presence that gives you the reliable, verified, and qualified information that you as an investor or business person require. Conducting business and investing internationally, each country — each culture — has its own specific customs and idiosyncrasies.
Colombia is no different.
One of these idiosyncrasies for Colombia that at first is not given much thought to is public holidays. Holidays can and do affect the way that you do business. When it comes to setting business dates, appointments, or meetings, it pays to know the holiday schedule. When it comes to scheduling employees or establishing production schedules, it pays to know the holiday schedule. When it comes to filing documentation or meeting deadlines, it pays to know the holiday schedule, and when it comes to performing business in Colombia, it REALLY pays to know the holiday schedule!
Either a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective as a business owner or as an employee, Colombia is ranked number one in the world for its number of public holidays. According to a new study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which advises businesses in 42 different countries, Colombia has 18 public holidays per year. Colombia leads the number two country, Slovenia (having 16 holidays), by two. Third place on this holiday manifesto falls to a three-way tie between Chile, Slovakia, and Cyprus, each having 15 public holidays per year. By contrast, the United States currently has 10 federal holidays. In addition to the 18 public holidays Colombia also requires two weeks of paid vacation for full-time employees. Once again, by contrast, the United States does not require ANY paid vacation, while both France and Finland pay for 30 vacation days per year.
In researching our current article on Entertainment and Culture entitled, “How Happy Are You,” some of the sources suggested that Colombians “happiness” was a result of these frequent holidays, while other sources inferred that the holidays were the result of the happiness. There may be some merit to those assertions. According to an Invamer Gallup survey published by Caracol Broadcasting, 54% of Colombian employees say that their employers provide opportunities for them to improve, 51% say that their employer invests in the development of their employees, 74% say that their company promotes the labor development laws, and 68% said that it is possible to progress in Colombia by working hard. …pretty strong figures that certainly seem to have some correlation with satisfaction and happiness!
Whatever the case, Colombia’s public holiday schedule can and does affect the way one performs business.
As the result of a law enacted in 1983 created to encourage domestic tourism, the majority of religious holidays in Colombia have been moved to the following Monday, even when traditionally falling on a weekend. This creates several “puentes,” the Colombian term for a three-day weekend (Saturday, Sunday, Monday). Depending on the year, June can have as many as three puentes. With nearly two holidays or puentes per month on average, knowledge and awareness of the holiday schedule can be crucial to both the business person and the employee. Add to this official public holiday schedule the occasional what could be called “political holidays” and the number of days and production lost per year can be significant.
In a place as beautiful, and exciting, and just plain relaxing as Colombia, the days off can be oooh so rewarding too!
What is referred to as “political holidays” above is in reference to election years. Elections always fall on weekends in Colombia. And in the interest of encouraging voter turnout, eliminating any potential unrest, and insuring sound, “sober” voting choices, all alcohol sales are prohibited from midnight on Thursday until the following Monday morning … not a bad idea! In essence though, this creates several more “holidays,” or puentes (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) during election years as most bars, clubs, and liquor stores simply shut down for three days… alcohol sales at liquor stores and markets can be quite brisk prior to Thursday midnight however! The majority of holidays in Colombia are in honor of Roman Catholic saints and mandatory for both public and private-sector employees. But don’t ask Colombians who or what the holiday is for.
As AP writer Joshua Goodman states:
“Most (Colombians) are blissfully ignorant of what allows them to pack their car trunks for the beach or mountains for yet another puente.” As a matter of fact, I can just about guarantee with certainty that if you familiarize yourself with the attached public holiday schedule, you will know more than 90% of Colombians! …after a year of asking innumerable people, “What holiday is it today,” I have never received even one answer! I even asked a Catholic priest, who was quite embarrassed to admit that he was not sure who or what the current holiday was for!
Following are the official public holidays for Colombia:
Date – Espanol – Inglais
January 1 – Año Nuevo – New Year’s Day
January 1 – La Circunsición – The Circumcision
January 6 – * Día de los Reyes Magos – Epiphany
March 21 – * Día de San José – Saint Joseph’s Day (Fathers Day)
March/April – Jueves Santo Maundy – Thursday (the Thursday before Easter)
March/April – Viernes Santo – Good Friday (the Friday before Easter)
March/April – Easter (not part of the official 18 holidays as it always falls on a Sunday and ALL Sundays are unofficial holidays)
May 1 – Dia de los Trabajadores – Labor Day
May/June – La Ascensión de Jesus Ascension of Jesus (observed the Monday six weeks and a day after Easter Sunday)
May/June – Corpus Christi (observed the Monday nine weeks and a day after Easter Sunday)
May/June – Sagrado Corazón – Sacred Heart (observed the Monday ten weeks and a day after Easter Sunday)
June 29 – * San Pedro y San Pablo – Saint Peter and Saint Paul
July 20 – Dia de la Independencia Colombian Independence Day
August 7 – Batalla de Boyacá – Battle of Boyacá
August 15 – * La Asunción de Nuestra Señora – Assumption of Mary
October 12 – * Día de la Raza – Columbus Day
November 1 – * Día de Todos Santos – All Saints’ Day
November 11 – * Independencia de Cartagena – Independence of Cartagena
December 8 – La Inmaculada Concepción – Immaculate Conception
December 25 – Navidad Christmas Day
Note: * Movable holiday: when they do not fall on a Monday, these holidays are observed the following Monday.
Holidays are a happy time for a happy people. Holidays are a time to spend time with friends and family. Often seen by foreigners a bit more superficially as simply an excuse to have a party, the Latin culture utilizes the opportunity, seemingly instinctively, more as means of further nurturing and cementing the bonds of friendship and especially family. While the distinction might be insignificant and inconsequential to some, it is quite possibly one of those “little things” that is the key, ultimately contributing immensely to the visible happiness, contentment, and subjective well-being of one of the happiest people and Countries on earth…the people — the passion — Colombia!
If you would like more information about the exciting and rewarding opportunities of visiting, living, or investing in Colombia, please enter your contact information below. An IGC representative will contact you within 5 business days.
Each of these topics individually, will focus on Colombia; each constituting one more step in the decision making process. Upon completion of this series it is our hope at Investment Group Colombia that you will be better equipped physically, mentally, and emotionally to make possibly one of the more important decisions in your life. Colombia is a land of wonderful and expanding opportunity. Colombia is a land that some of us are already blessed to be in. It is our sincere desire at IGC to share first-hand our passion–the passion that IS Colombia — with you, our loyal clients and friends.
When one considers all of the extraordinary opportunities and incentives offered by the Colombian government, along with the benefits of geographical location, climate, and cultural richness, it is clear to see that Colombia truly is an outstanding opportunity that the serious investor should not let slip by. Investment Group Colombia confidently encourages you — our client, friend, and investor — to give immediate consideration to investing in Colombia.
Join in with Investment Group Colombia’s enthusiasm, confidence and passion…share in the passion that IS Colombia!
If you would like more information about the exciting and rewarding opportunities of visiting, living, or investing in Colombia, please request our Investors Guide to Colombia by CLICKING HERE.