|The view from Marylandia, a Catholic retreat in Guapota.|
|Eglise of Guapota with park below.|
According to Fr. Leonardo, Guapota was established about 200 years ago and the church was built about the same time. The front portion of the church needed replacement, so it is not the same age as the rest of it. Built with local stone and brick, what I noticed first is the arches throughout the church and the priest's residence. The church is high on the hill overlooking the village, with a park in front, and some lovely old trees preserved to give dense shade from the hot sun.
|The beautiful arches inside the church|
are created with local
stone and brick. Simple but really lovely.
|Coffee beans are spread out on the sidewalk|
to dry and once dried are bagged up (see the
bags behind the metal fence) and sent off
to be roasted. Then shipped worldwide.
|This is not just a 'one-horse' town, but this was one of|
the several I saw; few mules even though this is Juan
Valdez coffee-raising country.
As it was also the week before voting for various state and local candidates (voting takes place on Sunday, Oct. 30 in Colombia to avoid losing workers from their tasks, it seems) there was a lot of loud music from each of the candidate's offices or vehicles reverberating off the stone streets and walls.
Some of the research I did about the village shows a population of less than 1,000 people, but I am not sure of that information. There is a new hospital, a home for the grandmothers and grandfathers to be cared for, and there is transportation service between Socorro and Guapota several times during the morning and afternoon. Clearly with only one road in and out of Guapota and a strong police presence, outsiders are noticed immediately. But typical Colombian hospitality is still in evidence and it makes a nice day trip.
|Another view toward the Andes in Guapota.|