By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Few countries ball as hard as Colombia — just ask the United States Secret Service. Whether kicking it with beautiful women or shooting aguardiente, those dudes couldn't resist Colombian charm, succumbing to Cartagena's nightlife while also potentially jeopardizing national security. But really, who cares? Even though it may have cost several officers a job and/or reputation, it freed them up just in time to celebrate Colombia's independence at Doral's favorite nightclub, La Covacha.
Though historically plagued by internal violence and political strife, Colombia is very much a free country. In 1821, Simón Bolívar became the nation's first president after the Congress of Cúcuta adopted Colombia's constitution. At the time, the country was huge, encompassing present-day Venezuela and Ecuador. It was South America's first constitutional government. However, the Republic of Colombia lasted only a few years before civil war broke out.
Fueled by territorial grievances, Venezuela and the city of Quito seceded, dramatically reducing the nation's size. And since then, it's been plagued by feuding political parties, hyperviolent drug cartels, and egregious human rights violations. But things are on the up-and-up in Colombia, especially its musical stars. Take for example J-Balvin, one of the country's hottest reggaeton acts, or the boys of Golpe a Golpe, who paint such a warm image of Medellin that it'd melt even a narco-terrorist's heart.