Souvenir Suggestions -- the CARRIEL
I had a good friend that adopted a child from Colombia. She wanted to buy her child something Colombian that would be significant and that her child could always have from his birth country. There are so many things that are unique to Colombia, so I recommended that she buy an item that would be representative of the region and culture where her son was born. In the case of Antioquia and the Eje Cafetero, there is nothing more representative of the Paisa culture that a CARRIEL. Heck, even Juan Valdez carries one.
A carriel is a leather bag often decorated with pieces of fur. There are a number of pockets in the bag and when you open it is looks a little like and accordion. There are also up to nine small compartments or hidden pockets. Carriels can be used to carry just about anything. In fact, the word Carriel has its roots in the English words “Carry All”. It was mainly used by farmers and campesinos, but it grew into a cultural symbol and is closely associated with the Paisa culture.