Author: Angela Romero
When we think of Colombia, we imagine mountains, various cultures, the Andes. But that’s not all, Colombia has a unique human quality and is full of people with artistic talents recognized globally and locally. In addition, art manifests itself in various forms throughout the country.
As the slogan says: The risk is that you want to stay in Colombia. So let’s take a look at this group of talents.
Let’s start by naming the best known to date. If you have read One Hundred Years of Solitude, then you know the writer Gabriel García Márquez, born on the Atlantic Coast. In addition, nowadays, figurative works of artists like Fernando Botero are known all over the world, besides singers like Shakira, Carlos Vives, J. Balvin, the fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi, the actresses Sofia Vergara and Paola Turbay, just for name some of them.
The local art in Colombia is everywhere and the festivals are numerous. It is necessary to talk about the Silleteros of Medellín. The Silleteros parade is the central event of the Medellín Flower Fair, in which residents and tourists meet every year. The parade reveals millions of flowers loaded on the back of silletas. It is the laborious generational work of the peasants of the town of Santa Elena who, with more than 80 varieties of flowers, make beautiful landscapes, portraits, messages with local and civic values and creations of the authors. With all this behind them, they roam the main avenues of the city, to publicly show the beauty of the flowers and entertain the community, a task assumed until now by the peasants.
In the parade, there are flowers for all tastes: bridal tulle, stars of Bethlehem, gladioli, chrysanthemums, pine needles, lilies, carnations, agapanthus, thoughts, sparks and sunflowers, but especially orchids (especially Cattleya Trianae), national flower of Colombia since 1936 and considered one of the most beautiful on the planet.
Medellín is an Andean city. If you stay in one of the coffee triangle lodges in the first days of August, such as the Mama Lulu Farm or the Otun Quyimbaya Wildlife Sancturium, we recommend that you go to the city to enjoy the festival, which is six hours of travel form the region in a spectacular green and mountainous setting.
The Wayuu Bags (La Guajira)
The Wayuu are indigenous people who live in the Guajira peninsula, the most northeastern part of Colombia that borders Venezuela. This matriarchal community has adapted to the adverse climate of a desert facing the Caribbean Sea.
In the community, the man is dedicated to raising sheep and goats, planting corn, making musical instruments such as drums and shoes made of old tires. Meanwhile, the woman is dedicated to weaving hammocks, backpacks or handbags for ladies, and colorful blankets that show the beauty of Wayuu design.
The backpacks and bags are the maximum expression of the Wayuu tissue. They are easily recognizable by their colors and their designs. The bags are made of crochet hooks (a technique introduced by Catholic missionaries in the early 20th century) and each piece can take about 20 days to make.
The Wayuu are powerful defenders of their moral, spiritual and ethical values. These are transmitted from generation to generation by the elderly. The Wayuu fabric is a form of cultural manifestation of this indigenous ethnic group characterized by its bright colors.
If you are staying near the Tayrona National Park, in the Mundo Nuevo accommodation, La Guajira is 3 hours and a half by car and you can visit the the Salar Guajiro.
Urban art, a tool for peace, developed in graffiti in Latin America, and more particularly in Colombia in the 80s, began as a means of expression with a significant, anonymous and scathing social criticism.
Currently, Bogotá is the city of Colombia with the largest movement of urban artists. The blog specializing in street art Bombing Scene places the Colombian capital in seventh place among the 99 best cities in the world for graffiti. The English newspaper The Guardian published a photo gallery with a selection of murals in Bogotá. Described as “the mecca of street artists”.
The exceptional cultural capital is a fact in Colombia. In different cultural expressions, Colombian artists are recognized throughout the world, pushing their art to new frontiers.
A good plan for a trip to Bogotá and then staying in a rural area within a reasonable radius is the El Moral de Osorio Farm, located in Villa de Leyva, less than 3 hours from the big city.
Colombia is full of festivals and artistic events throughout the country that make it a must-see destination. Adding to that many natural parks, a diverse and tasty gastronomy, everything related to the coffee culture and Colombian human warmth and you will get a paradise that will please any type of traveler.
Author: Angela Romero
To plan your next trip to Colombia, visit Vaolo.