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Albania (La Guajira, Colombia)

Last modified: 2014-05-16 by zoltán horváth
Keywords: la guajira | albania |
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image resized from wikipedia

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Albania (previously known as Calabacito from the Spanish meaning Small Calabash tree) is a town and municipality of the Colombian Department of La Guajira. It was founded on 27 January 1801 and became a municipality by Ordinance 001 of 19 March 2000. Albania was previously an exclusive enclosed camp site for the Cerrejon coal mine workers and their families.
The flag of Albania is horizontally devided black-yellow-green and is charged with a yellow sun on white background that is placed on the middle stripe next to the hoist.
Sources: wikipedia, municipal web site.
Dov Gutterman
and Felipe Carillo, 15 August 2008

Translated from municipal web site:
"The yellow colour and the sun symbolize the energyemitted by the sun, which enlightens with its light the radiant lands of our municipalty.
Green symbolizes vegetation and aspiration to a better life in our municipality.
Black symbolizes the resources provided by the depths of our land, representing coal, which is the source of income of our municipality.
White symbolizes peace provided by Jesus Christ."
The image on the municipal website depicts a simpler sun, with only ten rays, as shown on the municipal coat of arms. Since the wikipedia images are said to be "based on" the images on the municipal website, their author might have had some good reasons to modify them.
The flag is clearly derived from the coat of arms, which is made of shield tierced per bend black-yellow-green, with the sun in canton.
The yellow stripe is charged with a black tree, which has been omitted on the flag, a small calabash recalling the former name of the place.
The name of the municipality has nothing to do with the European country of Albania. It was coined in 1937 by Eduardo Londoño Villegas as a tribute to his daughter Alba. Those who would still call the place Calabacito could be arrested and fined 5 pesos, allocated to the parish church. The first policeman of the village, Ambrosio Deluque, was in charge of the inforcement of the rule.  
According to <>, the Cerrejón mine is the world's largest export open pit mining operation; it is exploited by the "Cerrejón" company, the leading coal producer in Colombia (c. 30 Mt exports in 2007, generating 125 M USD). The mine is linked to the export port of Puerto Bolívar, the most important coal terminal in Latin America, by a 150-km railway line. Albania's nickname is "The Black Princess".
There is also a project of oil prospecting in Salinas, led by a joint venture set up between Mera Millenium Inc. and Ecopetrol. Six exploratory pits should be drilled until a depth of 8,000 feet. The prospection sites are located on the lands of the native Guayacanal community, which should be associated to the prospection as prescribed by law.
Ivan Sache, 30 August 2008

Coat of Arms

image from wikipedia