Pasto -- Nariño
Perhaps one of the world’s most impressive airport landing strips is in Pasto, Colombia. There simply is not room for mistakes – one wrong move and you fall off a cliff. Check it out!
Not only is the airport unique, but the entire area has its own unique culture. It is highly influenced by the Andean Indigenous Culture. However, never make the mistake of comparing the people of Pasto to people from other Andean Culture hotspots like Ecuador or Peru. While there are similarities, Pastusos are proud Colombians – “Orgullosamente Colombianos”, and resent that others discount them as Colombians because of their close association with other Andean areas.
Pasto is Tierra Fría. In fact, it is COLDER than Bogotá. Like in Bogotá, people conducting business in this area (like your appointments at ICBF and the courts) wear business suits -- ties for men and panty hose for women. You’ll want to bring your sweaters and jackets, and warm pajamas as there is no indoor heat.
The people of Pasto are friendly, but shy. Many will bend over backward to be helpful and treat tourists well. They are helpful, but a bit formal. You’ll want to greet people with a handshake and a formal “Buenos Días, Buenas Tardes, or Buenas Noches.”
Just to show you an example of their friendliness, in preparation for writing this week’s blog I asked for help from a complete stranger – a person that my niece knows from Pasto. He proudly talked to me for over an hour about his city and department. Then, he offered, “Hey, I talked to my Mom in Pasto about your project. She told me to tell anyone who is going to Pasto that she would love to help them in anyway and can help them learn about Pasto’s culture and she will invite them to dinner.”