Monday, October 19, 2009

HUILA

While the rest of Colombia calls people from Huila -- Huilenses, they call themselves Opitos. Just one of the many unique things about the people and culture of Huila.
The capital of Huila is Neiva which is located about 5 hours from Bogotá. Neiva is located on the Magdalena river and is hot and humid -- with average daily temperatures ranging from 89-102 degrees.
The city itself was founded on May 24, 1612, by Diego de Ospina y Medinilla, and the department of Huila was established in 1905, with Neiva as its capital.
What to see in Neiva?
  • Parque Santander -- This is the main park in the center of town. Surrounding it are government and religious buildings. You can see the Templo Colonial or the modern catherdral. There are also shops and restaurants.
  • Parque Isla -- This park is located on the shores of the Magdalena. You can take the Teleférico or go in a canoe to get there. It is a nature preserve where you can see birds, ride horses, fish, or kayak or canoe in the Magdalena.
  • Estación Ferrocarril -- This is where the Casa de Cultura is located.
  • Concha Acústica Jorge Villamil Cordovez -- This is where a children's park and library are located. Often there are cultural and artistic presentations for children here.

Your meeting at ICBF:

Since the climate is hot, you will not be expected to wear a suit coat or pantyhose. However, nice dress slacks and a collared shirt for men would be appropriate and modest (nothing sleeveless, low-cut, or mini) summer-type dresses would be appropriate for women.

Huilenses will expect that you conscientiously use your best manners. You will need to be friendly. Always greet people and acknowledge their greetings. Always graciously accept invitations and be effusive in your compliments. Also, make sure that you don’t take your leave without individually saying “Goodbye” to EVERYONE in the room.

Language:

Besides learning the word Opito/a, you may also want to know that often people in Huila call children GUAMBITOS. So, if you hear this word, you'll know what they are talking about.

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