Posted by: Dawn Carmin, USAID Democracy and Governance Officer
Colorado has it all — the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and bustling city centers all along Interstate 25 that crosses Colorado from the north to the south. The only thing nature-lovers may miss is a sandy beach and ocean; however, the 300 lakes in the state make up for the missing coastline. Over one third of Colorado’s 100,000 square miles is dedicated state parks and open spaces. Ukraine is more than double the size of Colorado — that means that a little more than two Colorados could fit in the country of Ukraine!
Many Coloradans enjoy the outdoors and with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, people enjoy outdoor activities year round. In the summer, you’ll often see overloaded cars and motor homes headed to the mountains for camping, hiking, picnics, cycling, rock climbing, rafting and canoeing, and all sorts of other summer activities. In the winter, many Coloradans head up to the mountains for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding. Aspen, Colorado, has hosted the Winter X-games since 2002. The games attract more than 200 of the world’s best and most extreme athletes in winter sports. They compete in skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Aspen is also home to numerous winter Olympic training sites.
Colorado has a long history and has been home to many different groups of people over the years. Evidence of the first inhabitants of Colorado date back as early as 1300 BC, and the Ute Indians are the oldest continuous residents of Colorado. They have lived in the area since 1500 AD. The name Colorado is Spanish in origin and it means “colored red.” Colorado became the 38th state in the union in 1876. Denver, the capital of Colorado, was settled in 1858 as miners came to the area looking for gold. Denver became the state capital of Colorado when it entered the Union, but was permanently named the capital after a statewide vote in 1881. In the mid to late 19th century, Denver was a part of the Wild West and attracted a lot of miners and nefarious characters looking for riches and a good time. Colorado still has a reputation of cattle and cowboys — it still hosts the world’s largest rodeo, the National Western Stock Show — but it also boasts urban fun with large cities that are home to universities, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
There are lots of Ukrainian diaspora living in Colorado and it’s easy to find groups there that share the Ukrainian language and culture.