The Yipao is a unique annual tradition in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle dedicated to the Willys Jeeps, the iconic American car the locals have been relying on since the 1940s.
For the people of Quindío district, Jeeps have been a source of livelihood and a significant part of daily life since the 1940s. The unpaved roads of the coffee mountains are filled with Jeeps that transport people and their belongings – including piles of coffee bags, livestock, harvested produce, and more. When families have to relocate, they often pile all their belongings onto one Jeep and move in a single trip.
Jeeps are such an integral part of life that they’re fondly known in Spanish as ‘mulitas mécanicas (mechanical mules). The country’s farmers use them to get to places that were previously accessible only by riding pack animals. Given how deeply Jeeps have impacted the life of locals, it’s only befitting that they pay homage to the vehicle during the annual Yipao parade.