Didem Doğan

La Pola: from the name of a rebel to a beer brand, chichi vs beer

Walking along the streets of La Candelaria is taking a history class about Colombia. La Pola, or with her full name Policarpa Salavarrieta. She was born in 26 February 1795 in Guaduas, was executed in 14 November 1817 in Bogota. This statue at the corner of a street by the Journalists Square (Plaza de los Periodistas) shows us who was La Palo, a prominent lady of the independence movement. She is one of the heroes of this fight. When she was 14 she joined the cry for independence; took an important role in youth groups, carried the mission of passing secret messages and she became an expert on this- a female spy! When she was arrested she was put in this prison, the white building which is the first law faculty of Colombia… Another interesting story, about hundred years later when the first beer factory was founded by a german migrant in Colombia, as the local drink was the chicha, they could not find a way to make people consume this newly introduced drink which was the Bavarian beer. So they used the name La Palo as a beer brand, because it associated with a rebel in people’s minds, a name of respect. Capitalism is always capitalism, any part of the world.