Manizales, the capital of the Caldas department (state) is located in and amongst rolling green hills and valleys in the mountains of Colombia's coffee region. The people of this area are known as Paisa's (say: PI-sah), and are often compared with Texan's and the Quebecois in that they are a proud and friendly people with more local pride than national. (It should also be noted that the unofficial stereotype of the Paisa's is that they have terrible hairstyles; it sometimes seems like everyone is in a punk band.)
|Beatriz explaining the history of Manizales as told by an|
elaborate and impressive hilltop scupture.
One of the things I will always associate with Beatriz is her disdain for the hot chocolate served at school for breakfast on Friday mornings, always bemoaning the fact that the chocolates are so much better in Manizales, as she wrinkles her nose and refuses to take one. This too proved to be true. As did the fact that ordering an empanada or a bandeja paisa (huge plate of beans, lentils, meats, a potato, fried plantains, and one fried egg) outside of the region pales in comparison and would only serve the purpose of attempted nostalgia.
|Hana, Jennifer, Nira, and I at El Mirador in Manizales|