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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Dec 29 12:41 AM

December 29th, 2015: Yipao Jeeps

At the end of the big one, WW II, the US government was up to it's puckers in war materiel. All those wool blankets for the tropics, and pith helmets for the arctic, were costly to store. Even worst was a bazillion Jeeps, so they gave them away to third world nations, to buy their loyalty. Unfortunately, sooner or later, those ingrates decided to think for themselves. Maybe because many of those jeeps went to the militias who were oppressing them. Go figure
But one place loved them so much they have an annual parade, Colombia.

Willys Jeeps were first introduced in Colombia in 1946 following the end of Word War 2. The US Army had surplus Jeeps and parts from the war, which they began to sell to the developing countries at bargain prices. A large number of them were procured by the farmers in the Quindío Department of western Colombia. Prior to the introduction of the Jeep the main transportation in the mountainous topography was mules, which lead people to call Jeeps "mulitas mecánicas" or mechanical mules.

Yipao means a fully-loaded Willy, so that's how they parade them. Everyone except Juan Valdez and his ass. Yipao Ki-yay, MoFo!
Willys are the coffee region’s workhorses. Because of the vehicles’ robustness and versatile nature, they’re used to transport agricultural produce such as heavy loads of coffee beans, massive bunches of bananas, heaps of plantain, melons, milk jugs, chickens, and even household items like mattresses and bicycles. And they are always loaded to the top. Not only can the Willy manage all this, but it can navigate those steep hills in Colombia with ease. In some areas where there is no electricity, the Jeep’s running engine is used to power water pumps, and generators. The Jeeps, despite their age are still functioning and many still have their original parts.

Every year, almost every small town in Colombia’s coffee growing region organize a parade called Yipao to celebrate this iconic vehicle. The word “yipao” means a fully-loaded Willy, and that’s exactly how the festival is celebrated. Every vehicle that takes part is loaded to the brim with everything the locals can get their hands on. A popular way of loading a Jeep for the parade is with furniture and antiques representing all of a family's possessions. The Jeep is loaded with so much weight that sometimes the front wheels barely touches the ground.
The biggest load and the most "harmonious arrangement" win prizes.

Griff  Tuesday Dec 29 10:48 AM

Love this!

Snakeadelic  Wednesday Dec 30 08:14 AM

I'm SO glad my neighbor has a copy of Romancing the Stone! Now I must watch that again...

fargon  Wednesday Dec 30 10:47 AM

All I could think of when I First read this was the Philippine Jeepney.

Gravdigr  Friday Jan 1 05:49 PM

Jeepney! I thought of them, too, but, couldn't come up with the name Jeepney.

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