-Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
-1,138,914 sq km
-slightly less then twice the size of Texas
-coastline, 3,208 km
-terrain, flat coastal lowlands, high Andes Mountains, eastern lowland plains
all statistics from CIA-The World Factbook. (accessed June 11, 2010).
In the 1800’s life in the towns of the Magdalena region on the coast of Colombia consisted of mercantile interests as well as rural estates. By 1850 however the land was unable to sustain agriculture on a large scale.       “A few Indians fished and grew subsistence crops there, and a few widely dispersed hamlets of mixed Indian, black, and mulatto squatters raised food crops for their own consumption. Occasionally squatter families trekked to town to sell their surpluses. As late as 1875, the Santa Marta region was a sparsely populated economic backwater.” LeGrand from Peloso’s Work, Protest and Identity in twentieth-century Latin America

“The War of the Thousand Days produced an influx of immigrants into Magdalena, increasing the labor force in the region. This occurred at the same time United Fruit entered the picture in Columbia. During the war, many liberal soldiers and their generals escaped to the Caribbean and settled there once the war was over. The region also absorbed people from other impoverished areas of Colombia who were looking for better prospects. The arrival of these people, many of the sympathizers of the Liberal Party, shaped the area into one with unique characteristics, different from the rest of the Colombian Caribbean.” Bucheli from Bananas and Business



“The banana, a tropical plant, grows best where there is an abundant of sunshine, and a deep fertile soil that is at or near sea level. The plant grows rapidly, and matures early, producing an enormous amount of food in proportion to the area occupied. Since the banana takes about one year from planting to harvest, it is necessary to clear and plant a large area in the quickest possible time…The mature fruits (they are always harvested while green) are cut from the tree, carried to the nearest railroad, loaded into cars and hauled to port where they are loaded on the ship…” Palmer from Economic Geography

The Magdalena region was perfect for this crop.