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Guatape, Colombia

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Guatapé is a town and municipality in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia. It is a part of the subregion of Eastern Antioquia and is located 79 kilometers (49 mi) from Medellín, the capital of the department. Guatapé is bordered on the north by Alejandría, San Rafael to the east, and Granada and El Peñol to the south. This town is the gathering place for Las Vegas, referring to the small farms of the area.

The town is a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers from Medellín. El Peñón de Guatapé, a large rock that visitors can climb, and the famous zócalos (murals) that adorn several buildings attract many tourists.

Before Iberian conquistadors reached the area in the 16th century, this territory was inhabited by indigenous groups, some controlled by a cacique named Guatape. In his honor, the town was named after him. The name “Guatapé”, comes from the Quechua language, related to “stones and water”. Another name that the town had in the past was “La Ceja de Guatapé”.

In 1714, the indigenous people under Guatapé of this region were grouped into a shelter known as “San Antonio de Remolinos Peñol”. Traces of their existence come from clay urns found in the town of Alto Verde, and several archaeological sites not yet studied in the villages of La Peña, La Piedra, El Roble, and El Rosario.

Guatapé was founded 4 October 1811, by the Spaniard Don Francisco Giraldo y Jimenez. It was declared a municipality in September 1867.

Guatapé has undergone changes throughout its history. It was predominately a farming town that relied on livestock, agriculture, and mining. Empresas Públicas de Medellín built a large hydroelectric complex here in the 1970s. This megaproject produced large impacts on social, economic, political, environmental, and cultural development in the locality. With the construction of this dam, Guatapé became one of the most important electric production centers in the country. Wikipedia

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