Joropo and Alpargatas
Joropo (pronounced: ho roh po) is the typical folkloric dance of the Llanos. It is a high energy, flirtatious dance. In this dance, couples strike their feet on the floor in rapid succession. Some people say it looks like the dancers are stomping ants. It is quite a production.
Even small children will learn to dance Joropo. A family that adopted a 3 year old boy from Yopal was impressed to learn that he could dance Joropo -- albeit not perfectly, but still rather impressive for a 3 year old. As the children age, they can participate in inter-school competitions. My nephew, who lives in Yopal, has travelled all around the Llano representing his school in Joropo competitions.
This is one dance you have got to see for yourself!!!
If there were a suggestion for a souvenir for a child from the Llanos, my recommendation would be purchasing the traditional Joropo costume: dress for girls, hat and outfit for boys. These clothes are accompanied by special shoes called alpargatas.
Photo by Ramon Maneses