Because of the abundant rainfall and poor soil quality, few people inhabit this region.The three Andean Cordilleras (mountain ranges) running the entire length of the country from the north to the south, occupy only 30 percent of the landmass.
Antioquia and the coffee region are considered "white" departments or states because of the reluctance of European settlers to mix with blacks or Indians.Black people represent about 4 percent of the total population and live primarily on the Caribbean coast, the historical center of the slave trade.The hot zone is marked by heavy annual rainfall along the Pacific coast.The temperate zone, in which 40 percent of the population lives, has moderate rainfall and moderate temperatures.The northern end of this range is characterized by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Despite the tectonic activity, almost 80 percent of the population lives in the Andeanregion.
The Indian population, which is estimated to have been between 1.5 and 2 million people in the pre-conquest period, numbers between 300,000 and 400,000.
There are over fifty Indian groups, many of which live in relative isolation. The official language is Spanish, which was imposed during the colonial period.
The high plateau is striped with tributaries of the Amazon River and rain forest to the south.
While few crops are grown in this hot, flat region, the grassland provides ample space to graze cattle.
Coffee plantations are plentiful in the mild climate, which also supports banana, cassava, and coca.