Too often, stereotypes cloud the image foreigners may have of a country and this could deeply affect the country in question. For example, in my case, I have always been subject to judgment based on the fact that I am Colombian, and "evidently" my Dad must be a drug-dealer. This is the stereotype that I have struggled with the most for all of my life.
I do not mean to rant, I just want to clear the air as to the reality of my country. The truth is that yes, Colombia produces a lot of coccaine, around 60% of the world's coccaine. But to specify, 90% of the coccaine it produces goes straight to the States, its main consumer. Oh, the irony... Those of us who have actually visited or lived in Colombia know that coccaine is not a part of Colombians' lives. Rarely do you ever hear about people doing coccaine and most people, especially young people, are willing to insist that Colombians aren't the ones consuming the drugs, it's the consuming countries, and I emphasize the United States, who ironically is the country who stereotypes the heaviest. I am a firm believer in the laws of supply and demand; if there were not so much demand, well obviously the coccaine industry would decrease in response to this.
The people of Colombia are always so eager to bring down those stereotypes, they try very hard to emphasize other products, like coffee or emeralds, and hopefully to be able to crush the coccaine industry and replace it with one of the various other resources we have to offer the world. And also, since people believe that all there is to Colombia is coccaine and drug dealers, then they also think that it is a dangerous place where you will get robbed, kidnapped, or even killed. This is also a lie, those dangerous times were about 15 years ago, and the country is working very hard to make the land a better, safer place for both natives and visitors. To be quite honest, the real danger hides in the rainforest, not in the cities. And if you ever do visit Colombia, you will find that all the natives welcome you with open arms and clearly steer you away from any sketchy parts of town.
Colombians are friendly, welcoming, and have a constant smile on their faces. I hope the world would give Colombia a chance, maybe even visit and find out for themselves what a paradise it truly is. All we really want is vindication.