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All Colombians speak it except some of the indigenous populations in the Amazonian basin.In major cities, English is used, particularly by the upper class, but it is not commonly understood or spoken.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.

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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.

Coffee plantations are plentiful in the mild climate, which also supports banana, cassava, and coca.

To the east of the Andes is the broad expanse of the Ilanos, which contains more than 60 percent of the land area.

Lowland coastal areas give way to rain forest, the Andes, and the Inland Ilanos (plains).