Paisa (region)

  (Redirected from Paisa Region)

A Paisa is someone from a region in the northwest of Colombia, including part of the West and Central cordilleras of the Andes in Colombia.[1] The Paisa region is formed by the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío. Some regions of Valle del Cauca Department (north) and Tolima Department (west) culturally identify as paisas. The main cities of the Paisa region are Medellín, Pereira, Manizales and Armenia.

The fictional character Juan Valdez is a paisa stereotype.

The name Paisa derives from the Spanish apocope of Paisano (countryman), but they are also known as "Antioqueños" (those from the old Antioquia, which included the other Paisa provinces, which was a single administrative body until the creation of the Caldas State in 1905). Although many refer to Paisas as an ethnic group (raza antioqueña or raza paisa), they are a part of the Colombians and Latin American peoples.

Paisas can be found in other regions of Colombia and the Americas where they have migrated. They have such a particular way of speaking Spanish that some writers refer to as español antioqueño.[2]


The Paisas have been considered a genetically isolated population according to scientific studies.[3] As evidenced by the analysis of direct-line mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA (inherited from mother-to-child) and Y-chromosomal DNA or Y-DNA (inherited from father-to-son), the initial founding of the Paisa population occurred primarily through the admixture of male Iberians (mostly from various Spaniard ethnic groups, and a smaller Sephardic Jewish element) and female Amerindians.[4]

Subsequently, within the emerging Paisa colonial society, a continued flow of additional male Spaniards immigrating into the Paisa region in the following generations encouraged marriages of these males to the early established Paisa population. This increased the overall European component and resulted in the "racial whitening" of the founding mixed-race population by preventing the mixed-race individuals marrying among themselves and growing in numbers, as well as preventing further unions of either Spaniards or mixed-race individuals with unmixed Amerindians.

Ultimately, this led to the overall predominantly European ancestry of today's Paisa population according to testing of autosomal DNA or atDNA,[5] despite the asymmetrical sex-specific genetic markers that they inherited from the founding population which indicates their Y-DNA as being predominantly from European male forebears and mtDNA as being predominantly from Amerindian female ancestors.

The mountains played a large role in isolating the Paisa population until the end of the nineteenth century and the area's industrial revolution. The nineteenth and early twentieth century also brought further Spanish, European non-Spanish, and Middle Eastern immigrants to the region, notably from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. Most of these immigrants ended up intermixing with the Paisa population, further diluting the overall Amerindian atDNA.


The ancestors of the Paisa are primarily Spanish immigrants from Extremadura, Spain (sixteenth century). The first colonizers were Extremaduran like Gaspar de Rodas of Trujillo, who was the first colonial governor of the region. Several towns, cities and places in the Paisa Region are also Extremaduran: Medellín for Medellín of Badajoz; Cáceres for the Province of Cáceres; Valdivia for conqueror Pedro de Valdivia.


Some conquerors from Andalusia like Marshall Jorge Robledo of Jaén, came also with the Extremadurans during the sixteenth century. However, during the seventeenth century a group of Andalusian migrants is said to have settled the region.

Basque peopleEdit

The presence of Basque ancestry in the Paisa Region is exhibited by the proliferation of Basque surnames.[6] Some scholars point out that this may be one of the regions of Hispanic America with the greatest concentration of ancestry from the Iberian region.[7] The Basques arrived in Antioquia during the seventeenth century.[8]

The use of Basque language (Euskera) terminology in the present territory of Colombia goes back to the early exploration which occurred in 1499, during the third voyage of Columbus. It is said that from that time the territory experienced a strong influx of Basques including prominent figures such as the pilot and geographer Juan de la Cosa, nicknamed "El Vizcaino" (although some reputable sources claim that he was not a native of the Basque Country, but was instead born in Santoña, Cantabria).

Thereafter, the Basques began to come regularly and distributed throughout the country. Due to this presence, the Colombian department of Antioquia has been considered a major point of Basque-Navarre immigration. This occurred mainly during the colonial era, when thousands of Basques migrated to be linked to the Spanish colonization companies.

To people interested in investigating the presence of Euskal Herria in the department of Antioquia, one of the questions that troubles them relates to the use and retention of the Basque language in the department.

It is estimated that for Antioquia, a region where tens of thousands of Spaniards arrived, of which a good portion were Basque, limited aspects of the Basque language were brought over. It has been difficult to track the use of Euskara in Antioquia and Colombia because the Basque language was always an outcast, which apparently left no written evidence in Antioquia.[citation needed]

This is likely because the Spanish crown, to maintain the monopoly of its overseas companies and to restrict those people not belonging to Spanish rule, did not allow languages other than Castilian to be spoken. This meant that those invited to participate in the colonization of Indian companies, and foreigners in general, had to learn the official language, i.e., Castilian, hence the prevalence of Castilian-Basque-speaking bilinguals.[citation needed]

Despite these restrictions, it is still possible to trace the history of Colombia's ties to the ancient language of the Basques. A reference that has use of Euskara in Colombian territory occurred in relation to Lope de Aguirre, a native of Gipuzkoa nicknamed "The Madman". Aguirre's rebellion defied the Spanish empire, carrying out acts against the subjects of the Spanish crown. Pedro de Ursúa, a Navarrese faithful to the Spanish king, who was also the founder of Pamplona in eastern Colombia, said that he could persuade the soldiers to be part of Aguirre's revolt, if they spoke in Euskera.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth century Basque families from Northern Spain settled in the Aburrá Valley where Medellín and Envigado are located, as well as small towns in eastern Antioquia, such as Marinilla, El Retiro and El Santuario. This part of Antioquia reminded these families of northern Spain.

Sephardi JewsEdit

There is debate about Jewish ancestry in the Paisa people.[9][10]

It was known that some Spanish and Portuguese New Christians of Sephardic Jewish ancestry (some of whom continued to practice Judaism secretly, and were also known as marranos, Spanish for swine) fled the Cartagena de Indias Inquisition and took refuge in the Antioquian mountains during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Some Colombian authors like Jorge Isaacs and Miguel Ángel Osorio have claimed that it is indisputable that Paisas have Jewish ancestry. Several Paisa surnames are known to have been prevalent among New Christian conversos of Sephardic Jewish origin, for example Espinosa, Pérez, Mejía, and many others.[citation needed]

Some scholars state that the presence of Sephardic Jews among the ancestors of Paisas is a fact, but it does not mean that all Paisas descend from them, nor that it is the only or predominant element among those that do, as is proven by the Paisas' descent from other groups like Basques, Extremadurans, Andalusians and Catalans.[11]


There are records also of presence of some Canarians and Canarian families, at least some of them known to be from Lanzarote, who settled in Cáceres, Antioquia, in the second half of the 16th century.[12] Others emigrated in 1678 by the terms of the Tributo de Sangre to Santa Marta.[13] In 1536, Pedro Fernández de Lugo led an expedition of 1,500 people, 400 of whom were Canarians from all the different islands that make up the archipelago[14]), for the conquest of the area around what became Santa Marta.[12] This contingent pacified the warring tribes on the coast and penetrated into the interior (including Paisa region). On the way, they founded several cities, two which, Las Palmas and Tenerife, still exist.[14] In addition, Pedro de Heredia led 100 men from the Canary Islands to Cartagena de Indias.[15]


Although the facts of the presence of Catalan people in the origins of all Colombians have been a matter of studies, the Catalan genetic and influence in the Paisa Region has been also of particular analysis, especially in the way Paisas use their Spanish language and elements of the traditional customs as well as surnames.[16]


Although the expression "Paisa" is of popular use as apocope of "Paisano" (person from one's own country; fellow countryman), the origin of the expression goes back to a separatist movement that brewed through the region in the mid nineteenth Century. Those politicians that secretly supported secession would refer to the new country as "País A", short for País Antioquia. The moniker eventually was fused to create the word "paisa". [verification needed] Consequently, "Paisa Region" is the region where the Paisa people live. A more ancient expression is Antioqueño (Antioquean; one from Antioquia). This one is more official, especially during the Colony (16th - eighteenth centuries) and the nineteenth century after the Independence of Colombia. All the region made a single body as "Province of Antioquia" first and "State of Antioquia" after. In 1905 the Caldas Department was created from the southern part of Antioquia, rendering the word "Antioqueño" remain only applicable to those of Antioquia, while "Paisa" became a more cultural one for both the new Antioquia and the former Antioquia and the rest of the Eje cafetero.


Although some sources argue that the American Indians that populated most of the Paisa Region were extinguished through European diseases and fights against the Spaniard conquerors, this has not been fully demonstrated.

Francisco César made an expedition in 1537 from Urabá to the Cauca River to the lands of Dabeiba, but his troops were rejected by the Nutibaras. In 1540 Marshall Jorge Robledo founded Cartago. In 1541 he founded Arma in what is today the south of Antioquia, near today Aguadas and Santa Fe de Antioquia, at the banks of the Cauca River. This last town would become the provincial capital in 1813.

The first colonial governor was Don Gaspar de Rodas (1518–1607).[17] The mountains of Antioquia attracted the Spaniards for its gold and lands for cattle, and the first towns were located near gold mines and rivers. Despite that, the region did not attract a population interested in creating important centers for the Spanish civilization like Cartagena de Indias, Popayán or Bogotá and it remained almost entirely isolated from the rest of the colony. This is the main reason for the cultural identity of the Paisas within the Colombian national context.

Since the seventeenth century and until the end of the nineteenth centuries, Paisa families moved to the southern regions of Antioquia, in what is today the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis or the "Viejo Caldas" (Old Caldas), though now most Colombian nationals refer to this region as the Eje cafetero. This constant internal migration is known in history as the "Colonización Antioqueña" (Antioquean Colonization). Most of the cities and towns founded in the Old Caldas (Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío and some towns of the north of Valle del Cauca and the west of Tolima) are from that time.

During the wars for the independence of Colombia, the most important Paisa figure was General José María Córdova. He was from Rionegro and fought important battles to free the region from the Spanish regime under the orders of Simón Bolívar, who never went to the region. During Bolívar's campaign to liberate New Granada, Córdoba participated in the Battle of Boyacá and was entitled "Lieutenant Colonel" by the Libertador, despite his young age (he was only 20). Then he was charged by Bolívar to defend the Province of Antioquia and in fact he defeated the Spaniards during the Campaign of Nechí between the end of 1819 and the beginning of 1820.[18]

In 1826 Medellín was declared the capital of the Province of Antioquia. In 1856 a Federalist Political Constitution created the State of Antioquia and it faced some civil wars among Liberals and Conservatives. In 1877 the president of the federal state was Pedro Justo Berrío, who was one of the most prominent political leaders of the region at the end of the century and developed an active politic in education, transportation (including connecting the region with the rest of the country by train in 1874) and economic development.

In 1886, with a centralized Political Constitution, the "Department of Antioquia" was created. Although the region was not affected directly by the Thousand Days War (1899–1902), one of the main characters of the fighting, General Rafael Uribe Uribe at the side of the Liberal Party rebels, came from the area.

The progressive government of General Rafael Reyes (1904–1909) was of benefit in the development for the region. One of his projects was the creation of new departments, including the Caldas Department to be taken from the southern part of Antioquia in 1905. During the twentieth century both Paisa departments (Antioquia and Caldas), would continue their development in industry, mining and agriculture. In 1966 the Caldas Department was divided in three parts: Caldas itself, Quindío and Risaralda.

At the end of the century the region faced the crisis of growing drug traffic mafias, paramilitary groups and guerrillas, especially in Antioquia with the Medellín Cartel and the north of Valle del Cauca. However, development has proved to be a Colombian model in regions like the Metropolitan Area of Medellín according to the Inter-American Development Bank.[19][20]


Although what is known as "Paisa Region" is a cultural entity and it is not defined by administrative divisions, it is possible to locate some areas as the natural space of the Paisa people.

Location of the Paisa Region in Colombia: In yellow the Antioquean Urabá, belonging to the cultural context of the Colombian Caribbean Region; in green the Paisa departments and in blue some Paisa areas of Tolima and Valle del Cauca.

Paisa TownsEdit

The amazing towns of the Paisa culture are full of hardworking peasants, of whom they will always have time to respond to your greeting with a smile, a greeting and a "good". Below is our 10 main towns of the Colombian paisa culture, located within the Colombian Andes.


Salento is a small mountain town located on a plateau above the Quindío river valley, within the department of Quindío.The most representative paisas of Colombia are in the Coffee Zone of Colombia, within its main cultural characteristics is the friendliness of the people.Maintaining a more traditional colonial architecture than many other cities, and much of its original bahareque constructions, the historic center was included as a world heritage site, as part of the “Coffee Cultural Landscape” in 2011.The most colorful street in Salento is Calle Real. It goes from the main square to the base of the 250 steps, which lead to the Mirador Alto de la Cruz. From here you can find a wonderful view of the Cocora valley far below, which is a 20 minute drive away. The Cocora Valley is also a very popular destination for tourism and is where the wax palm forest and the Acaime mountain range are located. Both desirable locations for day trips, as well as home to parrots and many other birds. These wax palms are the tallest in the world, can grow to over 70 m (200 ft) tall, and are also a national symbol of Colombia.


Just a 30 minute drive west of Salento and still in the department of Quindío, you will discover Filandia. Surprisingly, it is not as popular a tourist destination as Salento, it is full of beautiful colorful architecture and it is also a world heritage site, as part of the “Coffee Cultural Landscape”.

The name Filandia comes from the Quimbaya language (the indigenous one of this region) and they are 2 words united, “Filia” (daughter) and “Andia” (Andes). So, the translation of Filandia is "daughter of the Andes", since it is located on the western side of the Central Cordillera of the Andes.

This town is renowned for its gastronomy, its magnificently preserved architecture, the astonishing viewpoint (observation tower), with breathtaking 360 'views, and the Barbas River Canyon. Located on private land, just 15 minutes from Filandia, the Barbas River Canyon is a considerable Andean jungle nature reserve that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Accessible with a licensed local guide, you can discover not only a great diversity of birds and butterflies, but if you tread gently and quietly in this area, you can also find several herds of howler monkeys in the lush treetops.

Santa Rosa de CabalEdit

Santa Rosa de Cabal, located in the center of the department of Risaralda, is less than 45 minutes by car from Pereira, 1 hour from Manizales and 1.5 hours from Salento or Armenia.

Although agriculture remains the main livelihood of most of the inhabitants of this rural town, tourism has been growing here for many years. Known as the entrance to Los Nevados National Park, it is most famous for its thermal pools.

Santa Rosa de Cabal is also famous throughout Colombia for the quality and flavors of its chorizo sausages.


Marseille itself is a beautiful mountain town full of colonial-style architecture and lush mountain scenery. At the "Casa de La Cultura" you will find a living museum as well as a centerpiece of the Colombian Coffee Zone culture.

Two more locations stand out as a must-see during any visit to Marsella. The first is the Botanical Garden, created in 1979 for the conversation of flora, and a place to enjoy the tranquility of nature. And the 2nd being the amazing Jesús María Estrada Cemetery. With an extraordinary architectural mix of styles such as Gothic, Baroque and Corinthian.Salamina and San Felix

Known as the "city of light" due to the large number of musicians, writers, actors and poets produced here, Salamina is located in the department of Caldas and 2 hours by car from the capital of this department, Manizales.

With approximately 20,000 inhabitants, Salamina is one of the 17 heritage cities of Colombia and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2011. With wonderful colonial architecture, including wattle and daub houses, clay tile roofs, and brightly colored wooden balconies. It is easy to see why this not so well known city is growing in the tourism sector.

Salamina and San FelixEdit

Known as the "city of light" due to the large number of musicians, writers, actors and poets produced here, Salamina is located in the department of Caldas and 2 hours by car from the capital of this department, Manizales.

With approximately 20,000 inhabitants, Salamina is one of the 17 heritage cities of Colombia and was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2011. With wonderful colonial architecture, including wattle and daub houses, clay tile roofs, and brightly colored wooden balconies. It is easy to see why this not so well known city is growing in the tourism sector.

Cordoba and PijaoEdit

Located in the department of Quindío, Córdoba and Pijao are 2 more examples of typical towns of the Colombian coffee region. Located 25 minutes from each other and approximately 40 minutes from Armenia, both towns offer wonderful lush mountain landscapes, filled with coffee plantations along with many other crops.

The National Research Center for Bamboo and Guadua in Córdoba was established in 1986 to study and promote new uses of guadua (thick bamboo). Within the city itself, you will discover family-run shops, where many artisans have designed and produced a variety of guadua products, such as vases, lamps, kitchen utensils, musical instruments, and furniture.

Apía and SantuarioEdit

Located in Risaralda and just 40 minutes from Viterbo is the wonderful coffee town of Apía. Like most of the towns of the Eje Cafetero (coffee region of Colombia), most of the economy is based on agriculture, with coffee being the main source of income in this area. Tourism is also a growing sector with excellent paragliders, walking trails, and bike tours to and around this mountainous city. With 415 species, bird watching is also a major attraction with many foreigners visiting to catch a glimpse of one of the 17 endemic birds that live in this area.


Located at the base of a valley, and just over an hour's drive from Pereira, is the true Colombian town of Viterbo. Although it is located in the department of Caldas, due to the mountainous environment, it takes around 2 hours to reach the capital city of this department, Manizales.

Known as the "Paradise of Caldas" due to the beautiful surrounding landscape, the local economy is largely based on agriculture. In all directions in this city, you will find plantations of sugar cane, corn, oranges, mandarins, avocados, pineapples and, of course, coffee!

The “Túnel de los Samanes”, at the entrance of the town and projects beautiful shadows and shadows across the road, the dead or dying trees are transformed into wooden sculptures. The resulting works are colorful sculptures ranging in size from 2 to 8 m (6 to 26 ft), and definitely a must-see. Like most cities in the Coffee Zone, the Willys Jeep is public transportation and a fun way to enjoy the drive through the driveway, with uninterrupted views as you pass the wooden art.

Often you will see valuable parking spots or half of the street itself is used to dry the coffee beans from the small local farms, before sending them to a local factory for processing.


Belalcázar rises along a narrow plateau at an altitude of 1,632 m above sea level. It is another rural city with an economy based largely on agriculture, and especially on coffee, it also features a giant statue of Christ the Redeemer with a height of 45.5 m (148 ft). Making it the highest in the world.

Belén de UmbríaEdit

A Its prosperous agricultural economy includes the production of plantain, corn, beans, lulo, passion fruit and, of course, the main employer in this region, coffee farms.

Another place that offers wonderful opportunities for bird watching, especially the Gallito de Roca, various eagles and some endemic birds such as the Multicolored Tanager.

Paisa diasporaEdit

Although they are very attached to their country land, Paisas have been always prompt to migrate in search of better opportunities. This fact has been of great benefit for the development of some regions in Colombia, first during the "Antioquean Colonization" of the Colombian Coffee Axis between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, and currently to other regions of the nation like the Llanos Orientales (East of Colombia). They keep their traditions and love for commerce, agriculture and mines wherever they go. In the Llanos Orientales, for example, several haciendas of cattle are owned by Paisa families. They are one of the main Colombian groups to migrate to foreign countries, especially to United States (including Puerto Rico), Spain and some Latin American countries like Panama, Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica.


Paisas are distinguished in Colombia for their natural love and abilities for business and commerce. The Paisa Region coincided with the important economic centers of Colombia like the Metropolitan Area of Medellín (textile, industries like appliances, automobiles and chemicals, services like health care and fashion); the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis in agriculture and other economic activities like flower growing, cattle, gold and coal mines, tourism and others.



The way Paisas speak Spanish, also known as Antioquean Spanish, is distinctive within Colombia. Paisas are said to speak Spanish fast and soft. They have many local and regional expressions that are opaque even for other Colombians. From the rural Paisa dialect, a popular urban version called Parlache developed.[23]

  • Voseo (using vos instead of ): In colloquial speech, Paisas use vos as the second person singular informal pronoun (instead of ) and usted for formal address, although it is common to use usted even with relatives and friends. However, vos is restricted to colloquial use and, unlike exclusively voseo regions that use it for official purposes like the press and government, vos in the Paisa Region is rarely used in official documents. Several Paisa writers (such as Tomás Carrasquilla, Fernando González Ochoa, Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Fernando Vallejo, and Gonzalo Arango) use vos in their works as a distinct marker of the Paisa identity. However, the use of is well known due to the immigration of Colombian groups like the Costeños.
  • Seseo (lack of distinction between /θ/ and /s/): As with most American dialects of Spanish, Paisas do not distinguish ‹s› from ‹z› or soft ‹c›. While seseo is dominant, the Paisa /s/ is articulated as an apicoalveolar [], a sound transitional between [s] and [ʃ], as in central and northern Spain and southern Central America. The apicoalveolar 's' was influenced by Basques, Catalans, and Extremadurans, and seseo was influenced by Andalusians and Canarians.
  • Yeísmo (merger of /ʎ/ into /ʝ ~ j/): Paisas pronounce ‹ll› as ‹y›, so that there is no distinction between cayó (it fell) and calló (became silent).
  • The voiced consonants /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are pronounced as plosives after and sometimes before any consonant, like other Colombian dialects (rather than the fricative or approximant that is characteristic of most other dialects). Thus pardo [ˈpardo], barba [ˈbarba], algo [ˈalɡo], peligro [peˈliɡɾo], desde [ˈdezde] (dialectally [ˈdeɦde] or [ˈdedːe])—rather than the [ˈparðo], [ˈbarβa], [ˈalɣo], [peˈliɣɾo], [ˈdezðe] (dial. [ˈdeɦðe], [ˈdɛɦðe] or [ˈdɛðːe]) of Spain and the rest of Spanish America. A notable exception is the region of Nariño[24] and most Costeño speech (Atlantic coastal dialects) which feature the soft, fricative realizations common to all other Hispanic American and European dialects.

Land and inheritanceEdit

Paisas are very attached to their families and land. As their natural cultural space is on the mountains, it is also a symbol of their land. They give a great importance to surnames and ancestors. They even associate surnames to towns ("los Pérez son de San Pedro de los Milagros", the Pérez [family] are from San Pedro de los Milagros). Though the patrilinear character is very important for families, Paisas keep a strong matriarchal culture.

Paisas are well known in Colombia for their kindness and welcoming attitude to people from other regions and visitors. They are known to joke and exaggerate creating enjoyable conversations, though this can confuse those who are not used to their way of speaking. They speak proudly of their land, towns, cities, history, traditions and abilities in commerce. It is common that Paisas do not use their local demonym (for example, "medellinenses, manizalitas, etc), but they refer to themselves as "Paisas".


The Paisa cuisine is very influenced by their traditional rural background of the mountains. It belongs to the Colombian Andes cuisine with abundance of beans, rice, maize, pork and cattle meat, tropical fruits, potato and several types of vegetables.[25]


The Tiple, traditional instrument in the Paisa folklore in genres like the Paisa Trova and Pasillo.

The Paisa Region is center of different genres of music among traditional, modern and adopted. The most important instruments of music by tradition are the tiple and the guitar.

  • Traditional:
    • Pasillo: In the Paisa Region has had a great diffusion as it is proven by the annual National Festival of the Colombian Pasillo in Aguadas. Carlos Vieco is one of the best known Paisa composers of Pasillo for example with "Hacia el Calvario" ("Towards Calvary").
    • Rail Music: In Spanish Música de Carrilera is the Paisa "Country music". It was originated in Antioquia, especially along the Antioquia Railway. It is also known as "Música guasca".
    • Songs of Heartbreak: In Spanish Música de despecho. In Colombia this genre became identity of the Paisa region. The composer and musician Darío Gómez of San Jerónimo has been nominated "The King of the Songs of Heartbreak" (El Rey del Despecho). His song "Nadie es eterno" ("Nobody is Eternal") became one of the most popular song in Colombia. Other artists of this genre are El Charrito Negro, Luis Alberto Posada, Jhonny Rivera, Lady Yuliana, Pipe Bueno, Giovany Ayala, Grupo Tornado, Fernando Burbano, Bera, El Andariego and many others. The Paisa - American Lucía Pulido is the main artist of this genre in United States.
    • Paisa Trova: In Spanish Trova paisa. It shows the creativity, humor, mentality, and identity of the Paisas. The most important is to create new Trovas in every performance. Salvo Ruiz and Ñito Restrepo from Concordia are regarded as the fathers of the Paisa Trova.
  • Adopted:
    • Tango: This Argentinian and Uruguayan music became popular in Antioquia during the first part of the twentieth century, maybe due to Argentinian migrations to Medellín. In 1935 the King of Tango, Carlos Gardel, died in a plane crash in the Paisa capital. The Paisa writer Manuel Mejía Vallejo wrote "Aire de Tango" (Air of Tango), a work that shows the big influence of Tango in the modern Paisa folklore. The Tango Festival takes place in Barrio Manrique of Medellín where is the "Tangovía" and a monument to Gardel.
    • Vallenato: This music from the Caribbean Region of Colombia (Valledupar), has found in the Paisa Region its place. It was brought especially by young students from the north of Colombia who came to study in the Andean cities. There are several Paisa music groups of Vallenato.


Roman Catholicism in Colombia arrived in the region with the Spaniard colonizers at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Franciscans settled along with colonizers and built churches and monasteries in the towns founded by the Spaniards. Perhaps Spanish and Portuguese marranos arrived in the region as well. Roman Catholicism became the predominant religion and Paisas remained devout and churchgoing. The 1991 Colombian Political Constitution that decreed freedom of religion opened the gates to other religious denominations, though Paisas are considered Catholics by culture. The theory of Jewish origins has benefited the Jewish communities in the region as well[citation needed]. The two first Colombian persons recognized by the Catholic Church as blessed or saints are from the Paisa Region: Laura Montoya (from Jericó) and Mariano de Jesús Euse (from Yarumal). A Paisa prelate from Tolima, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, was close to the Pope John Paul II.


Several Paisa personalities have been famous in regional, national and international contexts in every field of science, sport, music, technology, economy, politics and even crime. Some of the most notable in an international context:



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  5. ^ Bedoya G, Montoya P, Garcia J, Soto I, Bourgeois S, Carvajal L, Labuda D, Alvarez V, Ospina J, Hedrick PW, Ruiz-Linares A (2006) Admixture dynamics in Hispanics: A shift in the nuclear genetic ancestry of a South American population isolate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 103:7234-7239
  6. ^ Basque Families of Antioquia, Buber's Basque, link retrieved on 4 April 2009.
  7. ^ Etnias de Colombia: "Los vascos Archived 28 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine", (in Spanish). Link retrieved on 4 April 2009. Cite: "la profusión en Antioquia está por encima del promedio estadístico atribuible a la simple distribución casual de apellidos asimilados" (tr.en. "The profusion in Antioquia is above the media of a simple and casual surname assimilation.")
  8. ^ Etnias de Colombia: "Los vascos Archived 28 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine", (in Spanish). Link retrieved on 4 April 2009. Cite: "a partir del siglo XVII aumentó el acceso vascuence a América y a la Nueva Granada." (tr.en. "since the seventeenth century grew the migration of Basque people to the Americas and the Nueva Granada.")
  9. ^ Azriel Bibliowicz, «Intermitencia, ambivalencia y discrepancia: historia de la presencia judía en Colombia Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine», Amérique Latine Histoire et Mémoire, Numéro 3-2001 - Migrations en Colombie (original in French, this link in Spanish.) Link retrieved on 6 April 2009. Note: "Este autor también analiza la hipótesis del origen judío de los antioqueños, sosteniendo que hay un fundamento para dicha aseveración." (tr.en. "This author also analyzes the hypothesis of the Jewish origin of the antioqueans, holding that there is a foundation for such statement")
  10. ^ Horacio Calles: "How I discover my Jews background Archived 2 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine", Saudades. Link retrieved on 4 April 2009.
  11. ^ Jorge Guillermo Angel R.: "Los sefardíes, pequeña historia de una minoría" (in Spanish). Conference for the Antioquean Academy of History, on "HaBait". Link retrieved on 6 April 2009. Cite: " Claro está que el hecho de que muchos sefardíes hayan venido a Antioquia no quiere decir que de ellos desciendan todos los antioqueños, como a veces se exagera. Es indiscutible que aquí llegaron castellanos con raíces vascas, andaluces y extremeñas, así como también alemanes e ingleses, franceses y portugueses, rusos (son rusos el apellido Sanín y el nombre Adelaida), turcos y griegos, de quienes desciende una buena cantidad de personas y de formas culturales que prevalecen en lo cotidiano." (tr.en. "It is obvious that the fact that several Sephardic persons have come to Antioquia, does not mean that all the Antioqueans descend from them, as people often exaggerate it. It is indisputable that others who arrived here were Castillians with Basque roots, Andalusian people and Extremadurans, as well as Germans and Britons, Frenchmen and Portuguese, Russians (the surname Sanín is Russian and the first name Adelaida,), Turks and Greeks, from which there are large numbers of descendants and their cultural backgrounds prevail in our daily lives")
  12. ^ a b Francisco Hernández Delgado; María Dolores Rodríguez Armas (2010). "La emigración de Lanzarote y sus causas". Archivo Histórico Municipal de Teguise ( (in Spanish). Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands: Departamento de Cultura y Patrimonio, Ayuntamiento de Teguise. Archived from the original on 27 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  13. ^ Morales Padrón, Francisco. Canarias - América. Colección "Guagua", 1982. p. 49.
  14. ^ a b Colombia se conquistó gracias a un pequeño contingente de 400 canarios (in Spanish) "Colombia is Conquered by a Small Contingent of 400 Canary Islanders").
  15. ^ Manuel Hernández González (1 January 2005). La Emigración Canaria a América. Centro de la Cultura Popular Canaria. p. 24. ISBN 978-84-7926-488-8.
  16. ^ Xavier Colomer-Ribot: "Catalunya i Colòmbia: Català i Colombià" (in Catalan), link retrieved on 6 April 2009. Cite: Different references inside the document, especially related to Antioquia, for example in the way of speaking Spanish "paraules com cramañola, és a dir, carmanyola, en el mateix sentit, per guardar la carn; el nostre pernil; fuete –"hay que darle fuete" –, fuet, assot, xurriaques; un arriao en el sentit d'arriat;curiosos com a curiós, net; una persona embalada" (tr.en. "words as "caramañolas", it is to say, "carmanyola", in the same sense, to keep the meat; our leg; "fuete" (slash) - "hay que darle fuete" -, "fuet, assot, xurriaques" (slash, whip); "un arriao" in the meaning of hurry; "curiosos" as "curiós, net" (clean), "una persona embalada", a person in troubles")
  17. ^ Doña Soledad Acosta de Samper: Biografía de hombres ilustres, Don Gaspar de Rodas (in Spanish), Imprenta de la Luz, Bogotá, 1883. In Luis Ángel Arango Online Library of Colombia. Link retrieved on 7 April 2009.
  18. ^ Constancio Franco V: "Rasgos biográficos de los próceres i mártires de la Independencia: José María Córdoba", (in Spanish), Bogotá, 1880. In Luis Ángel Arango Online Library of Colombia. Link retrieved on 7 April 2009. Note: "Pacificado el territorio de Cundinamarca, el |libertador, conociendo las aptitudes del jóven guerrero, le confió la mision de libertar la provincia de Antioquia, para lo cual le dió un cuadro de oficiales i cien hombres de tropa." (tr.en. "When the territory of Cundinamarca was pacified, the Libertador, knowing the aptitudes of the young warrior, trusted to him the mission to free the Province of Antioquia, and then he gave him a patrol of hundred men")
  19. ^ Business News America: Medellín: Flying high, 6 February 2009. Link retrieved on 15 April 2009.
  20. ^ Colombia Law and Business Post: Inter-American Development Bank Meets in Medellín, 29 March 2009. Link retrieved on 15 April 2009.
  21. ^ DANE: Antioquia statistics 2005. Link retrieved on 7 April 2009.
  22. ^ a b c DANE: Coffee Axes statistics 2005, link retrieved on 7 April 2009.
  23. ^ CASTAÑEDA NARANJO, Luz Stella y HENAO SALAZAR, José Ignacio. El parlache, Medellín, Universidad de Antioquia, 2001.
  24. ^ Canfield (1981:36)
  25. ^ "Las recetas de la abuela" (in Spanish). Link retrieved on 8 April 2009.


  • (1993) "La Colonización Antioqueña" Santa, Eduardo. [Tercer Mundo S.A. Bogotá], ISBN 958-601-444-4

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