"Mom, mom, can you believe it? I learned to walk and ride a bike in Colombia!"
Gracias Tío, Tía, Daddy, y hermanito :)
Helping families with Colombian children stay connected with the Colombian culture. The blog will be updated Tuesday-Thursday. You may contact me at the following e-mail: colombiansadoptcolombians @ hotmail.com (please remove spaces around the @ symbol).
Truly, there is more to do than you can accomplish in a day, so get there early and decide what your priorities are. I recommend walking down to the bottom through the Mitos and Leyendas Trail and Botanical Garden, you will see statues of different Colombian legendary mythic creatures -- like the Madremonte. (Read more here:
And of course, what trip to the countryside isn't complete without a swim. Who cares that the rain made it a little chilly. Such an awesome experience. If you are ever invited to someone's finca -- GO!! They are a definite MUST!
One day, shortly after the founding of the city (in a date unknown and unspecified), an Indian woman who had recently been converted to Christianity (who has no recorded name) was washing clothes in the river. Suddenly, she saw a small wooden statue if Christ float by. She grabbed it and went home and planted it in the dirt floor of her room. Upon awakening, she discovered that the Christ statue had grown.
Soon, people were coming to see the Cristo de las Aguas (Christ of the Waters), as it became called. People began worshipping it and adoring it, kissing it, touching it, etc.
Soon, the archbishop of Popayán heard of the statue and became angry. He ordered that it be burned. The story goes that in 1665, the statue was thrown into a fire at the order of the bishop, however, the statue did not burn. Instead it sweat water and sulphur and was left blackened by the experience. People then began to worship the statue even more. In 1783, the official history of the statue was recorded and sent to Rome. There Pope Pius (Pío) the VI returned 22 apostolic briefs which state that worshippers can receive "abundant indulgences (meaning release of the penalty due to sin) by being devout pilgrims" to the statue. A copy of this papal document can be found in the Basilica.
Today, if you go to the Basilica, you will see worshippers bringing bags or bottles of water to the Basilica. These are then placed in front of the statue for a few minutes and money deposited in the box. The water is then thought to be pure and blessed.
Wishing to establish a stable center in el Valle, he established Santiago de Cali on the 25th of July 1536 and turned over the leadership of the village to Miguel López Muñoz. He then returned to Popayán and established a village there in December 1536.
With the newly formed villages well under control, he again began he march North in search of El Dorado. Eventually, he formed part of the most interesting coincidences in history. In 1539, he arrived in what is today Bogotá within hours of two other Conquistadores -- Gonzálo Jiménez de Quesada (coming from Santa Marta) and Nicolas de Federman (coming from Venezuela). They couldn't of planned it and had it turn out that way. [Let me just say that if your Spanish is good, you should read "Caminando en el Tiempo" available here http://www.amazon.com/Caminando-En-El-Tiempo-Spanish/dp/9582813946 It is a super book!]
The three conquistadores were unable to come to an agreement about who should be in charge of the area. So, the three decided to race back to Spain to plead their case to Charles V. In the end, Belalcazar was named the "adelantado" of Popayán and Jiménez the "adelantado" of Nueva Granada.
Later, in a land dispute with Miguel Robledo over Antioquia, Belalcazar ordered that Robledo be put to death. The sentence was carried out in 1546. As a result the Robledo family and Belalcazar's enemies joined forced and in 1550 he was arrested and sentenced to death. He appealed the decision and was allowed to leave to take his case to the court in Cartagena de Indias. However, en route to Cartagena he became ill and he died in Cartagena shortly after his arrival on April 30, 1551.
The Museum is 5 floors of Colombian Law Enforcement History. The basement is dedicated to Colombian wars against drugs and Pablo Escobar. You can see a Harley Davidson that was imported to Colombia and then Gold Plated by drug lords.
This museum is a MUST SEE for anyone with BOYS! What boy wouldn't just love to see the thousands of weapons on display in this room.***A word of warning: There is one room in the basement, the Sala de Penas y Castigos -- the Room of Punishments, that has some pretty graphic pictures that are probably not appropriate for kids. Just ask to skip that portion of the tour.