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June 21, 2011

Showcasing Jeeps from Colombia

Our team here is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a special delivery of a jeep from Colombia.

The first jeeps were imported in the 1940s by the Colombian government, but the vehicles became popular among coffee farmers, who adapted them for a far more quotidian use: transporting coffee in mountain regions previously accessible only to mules. Jeeps in Colombia are called mulitas mecánicas, or mechanical mules. Many families in the coffee-growing region proudly own retrofitted Willys Jeeps.

In Quindío Province, the Desfile del Yipao (Jeep Parade), takes place each year. Family jeeps are driven down the main streets of the city, and people participate in competitions that determine, for example, who can pack the largest amount of agricultural produce or people in one jeep . Successful packing depends on the skill of the yipero, especially in the pique contest where jeeps are driven while balanced only on their two rear wheels.

At the Festival, visitors will learn how jeeps built for World War II have evolved into mechanical mules, transporting produce from farms to markets; children from school to home; and families moving household goods.

Comments
  • http://www.hoteleriayturismo.blogspot.com IVAN RESTREPO R

    It is such a great pleasure to be able to see a Jeep from Calarcá, Quindío in such a fine event as this one.
    The company that builds the Jeeps nowadays should be aware of ours, they would make a great theme for a Commercial, ¿why not ? after all they have been laboring here for 60 years or so.
    Please take note that this past June 25th, UNESCO included Colombia’s coffee landscape among 2011 UNESCO World Heritage site
    Once again, congratulations for bringing this event to the world

    Ivan Restrepo

    • http://folk1a.si.edu Sojin Kim

      The yipero who is joining us here at the Festival is Jhon Jairo Amortegui Piña of Calarcá. He is doing demonstrations daily. It is amazing to watch him handle the jeep. He is masterful!

  • http://www.territorio57.com/cromoformatica.html ricardo noreña

    En este año se exponen al publico en Calarca Quindio 30 fotografias de mi archivo personal del desfile del yipao es una muestra retrospectiva
    en el marco de la fiesta nacional del café . para ver una versión web de la exposición visite mi portal personal http://www.territorio57.com/cromoformatica.html

    La expo esta titulada Calarca Quindio Colombia
    yipao fiesta nacional del café

    Esperando su atención y comentarios

    noreñag