Monteria is a municipality and city located in Northern Colombia, capital of the Department of Cordoba. The city is located 50 KM (30 Miles) away from the Caribbean Sea, by the Sinu River. The city and region are famous for their distinct cultural heritages, which include a blend of indigenous Zenu Indians, African descendants, colonial Spanish descendants, and most recently, Arab immigrants. The city is home to the Sombrero Vueltiao, a national symbol; and is the home of Porro folklore music. The city has an inland seaport connected to the Caribbean Sea by the Sinu River.
The area was first settled by Zenu Indians, who lived in the banks of the Sinu River (Finzenu), San Jorge River (Panzenu) and Nechi River (Zenufana), where the Department of Cordoba is located today. In 2003, dentist and historian Jaime Castro released Historia Extensa de Monteria, a book on the history of the city. According to Castro's book, Monteria was founded on May 1, 1777 by Spanish officer Antonio de la Torre y Miranda, being governor of the Province of Cartagena officer Juan de Torrezar Diaz Pimienta. The city, that had been named Monteria by its inhabitants and located on the east side of the Sinu river, was then renamed "San Jeronimo de Buenavista" and moved to the west side of the Sinu.
San Jeronimo de Buenavista was the name chosen by Antonio de la Torre y Miranda, in order to honor Saint Jeronimo, but people kept calling it Monteria. In 1803 the city was burned by a group of natives, so the residents decided to move back to the Sinu's east bank, where it remains today. In the last few years Monteria has seen a growth in population on the west side. In 1923 it became a municipality of Bolivar Department and in 1952 it was designated as capital of the new Department of Cordoba. Monteria was located within the boundaries of the Colombian Department of Bolivar until 1952 when it separated from Bolivar and became the capital of the new Department of Cordoba.
With a population of approximately 400,000, the city is considered to be one of the ten most important cities in Colombia and is locally known as La Perla del Sinu (The Pearl of the River Sinu). Monteria has gained notoriety lately for being the site of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's vacation "finca" or ranch.
Media and Communications
El Espectador (national weekly newspaper)
El Heraldo de Barranquilla (regional newspaper)
El Meridiano de Cordoba (Local Newspaper)
El Tiempo (National Newspaper)
El Universal (regional newspaper)
The town's economy is based mainly on cattle farming, and a very prosperous commercial district consisting of modern malls, shops, and restaurant chains. It is considered to be the Cattle Farming Capital of Colombia and celebrates this title with a yearly festival. Wealth is distributed unevenly with the majority in the hands of wealthy farmers.
Monteria lies on a major highway connecting Medellin to Sincelejo and extending to Cartagena and Barranquilla. It has an effective public transportation system and arterial connections to the rest of the country.
As is common in most Colombian municipalities, public transportation is tightly integrated into the city. A system of taxis and several lines of large and small buses serve the community on surface streets. The streets of Monteria are also full of motorcycle taxis or "rapimotos" that provide economical transportation.
A passenger-only ferry system known as " Planchones", consists of roofed wooden rafts. It traverses the Sinu river along a system of manual cable tows. It was made as a way to cross the river before a proper bridge could be built, and has served as an alternative to cross the river ever since. It is one of the most remarkable features of the city.
The city is served by a fishing port but the waters of the Sinu river do not run deep enough and are not wide enough to serve as a commercial channel. High quality sand is brought up from the bottom of the river in buckets placed by divers, for use in the making of cinderblocks for local and regional construction projects.
Monteria is home to a regional airport, Los Garzones Airport, which provides service to capital cities of neighboring provinces and to the nations capital, Bogota, though the country's main air carrier Avianca.
The region is populated by a diverse mix of people, including the indigenous people of the region, the descendants of the Sinu Indians, a tribe of natives with their own language that once produced ornate pottery and goldworks.
Tourism and Entertainment
Hotels and Restaurants
La Bonga del Sinu (Steakhouse)
Que Pollo (Chicken)
Hato Viejo (Steakhouse and Local Cuisine)
La Fogata (Steakhouse and Local Cuisine)
Piccola Italia (Italian Pizzeria)
El Bony (steakhouse and local cousine)
La Bonga Express (gourmet hamburgers)
Pollo Arana (Chicken)
Sites of Interest
There are scenic areas that are points of pride in Monteria, including:
The city's 1st Avenue runs along the Sinu river and offers a beautiful view of the river.
Simon Bolivar Park is separates the river from 1st Avenue and is home to wild Monkeys and Sloths.
The Colonial-era Cathedral of Saint Jeronimo is surrounded by a beautiful park.
"Alamedas del Sinu" is a major shopping center in the area.
The bridge spanning the Sinu river was a major accomplishment for the city and is a local landmark.
So Hot Bar
Centro Recreacional Tacasuan
Club de golf
The city, which lies in the Sinu valley, is divided by the Sinu river and surrounded and sparsely populated by tropical flora and fauna. The town's weather is mainly warm and moderately humid, with average yearly temperatures of 27C (80F). The area is subject to flooding.
Both public and private educational institutions run the gamut from unlicensed private preschools to fully accredited universities.
Universidad de Cordoba (Public)
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Catholic)
Universidad del Sinu
Fundacion Universitaria Luis Amigo
Corporacion Universitaria del Caribe
A new hospital was recently constructed in Barrio Urbina, called The Hospital of Saint Jeronimo.
Government Hospitals: 2
Health Care Facilities: 17
Health Care Clinics: 32
Total Number of Beds: 204
Number of Doctors: 87
Number of Dentists/Othrodontists: 17
Number of Nurses: 223
External Links and References
El Meridiano De Cordoba - Local Paper (Spanish).
Fact Sheet, Colombian Government
Cordoba Official Government Website
Monteria Official Government Website
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Monteria