Simón Bolivar -- Tiestecitos

There is actually a Virgin of Colombian Independence. While she is officially called the Virgin del Carmen, she is known in Colombia as the "Virgin of the Tiestecitos" (or in English the Virgin of the little Pieces of Pottery).

According to tradition, as Bolivar crossed the Andes and began his trek through Boyacá -- where he would eventually win the Battle of Boyacá and achieve Independence for Colombia -- he passed thorugh the small village of Tutazá. In Tutazá, the people were famous for creating all kinds of things out of clay -- pots, jars, statues, figurines, etc. While in Tutazá, he had seen the statue of the Virgin Mary in the church and also the many of the clay pots and figurines in the village.

Later, during the Battle of Pantano de Vargas, he prayed for protection from the Virgin of "the place where they make those Tiestecitos." [His exact words in Spanish: "VIRGEN MARIA DE ALLA... DONDE HACEN LOS TIESTOS, AYUDANOS"]


Many believed that it was the power of the Virgin of Tutazá that brought the amazing victory against insurmountable odds at the Pantano de Vargas.

Incredibly, I have been to this tiny town -- at the end of a dirt road -- in the middle of know where -- not once, but twice. While it is not the easiest place to get to, it was very picturesque. The picture is of the statues found in the main plaza. They depict Simon Bolivar and the Virgin of the Tiestecitos.

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