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Buenaventura

(4.1/5 based on 40 reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, religious sites
Buenaventura is a coastal seaport city on the department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia (South America). Buenaventura (Spanish for "good fortune") is the main port of Colombia in the Pacific Ocean.Buenaventura is a city with a population of 333,194 as of the 2005 census (most of city development lies on Cascajal Island) and it is the size of Los Angeles' metropolitan area; most of the city's land is rural with scattered small villages throughout. It is served by the Gerardo Tobar López Airport.HistoryThe city was founded on July 14, 1540, by Juan de Ladrilleros through orders from Pascual de Andagoya. At that time it was inhabited by the Buscajas. The city was destroyed by Native Americans before 1600; it was later rebuilt. Buenaventura thrived after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914; and in the '50s became a regular stop over for the "International Jet Set". Today the city is crucial for sending raw materials to nearby areas; this has brought prosperity and allowed recent new development to occur.DemographicsThe city is, as of 2011, affected by very high levels of poverty and violence, and is considered a center for the cocaine trade in Colombia.Buenaventura's population is mostly of African descent (85%) with 10% mixed European/Native Indian and 5% Spanish.EconomyThe city is one of the major ports on the continent, accounting for nearly 60% of all Colombian sea imports and exports. However, due to its strategic position, the city's economy has been hampered by gang-related activity fighting over control of the port, making it the most impoverished cities in Colombia.
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