My life experience in a little town called Tauramena Casanare
January 1, 1970
Great to be there!!
Tauramena is located on the Colombian Eastern Plains. A few years ago, this was the richest municipality in Colombia due to the oil royalties. This royalties caused it to go from a small town, with electrical energy generated by portable power generators, without pavement streets, without adequate water supply system, to have tall buildings and a great infrastructure.
When I moved to Tauramena, in 1996, its streets were dusty and sun-dried. At the same time, it was full of many people coming from different parts of the country. They all came looking for the opportunity to work in oil companies which got there for the “black gold” oil. These companies generated many jobs and progres for the municipality.
Before the oil season came, Tauramena had a low population density, which based its economy on agricultural activity, especially livestock, rice and, in an incipient, oil palm. With the oil bloom, its population tripled. Over time, the development was noticeable all over the town the streets were all paved and health and education were improved too.
The climate’s town is hot, its average temperature is 26 degrees and can reach up to 36 degrees. The advantage is that by being away from mountains, there is a lot of breeze; this helps bear the heat. On the village sidewalks, people are used to take out their chairs and rocking chairs at night to refresh themselves with all their neighbors. The town plains are bathed by dozens of rivers.
What to do in Tauramena?
I can say that this town is very folkloric for all the festivities it performs each year. One of the festivities is the International Rodeo Festival, which emerged as a need to take advantage of the great artistic talent that exists in the region. This became little by little one of the most important events in the region. In this festival you can see the following autochthonous activities of the region:
The joropo, which is what is called the music from the plains per excellence. The bandola llanera, a musical instrument. The contrapunteo, a musical expression that consists in that two singers improvise verses to the rhythm of the music. Couples dance. To clarify the joropo is a dance that has some degree of difficulty to learn, since I tried without success.
Afternoon of Coleus:
it is the main sport of the man llanero (man of the plains). It is conformed by the trilogy between man, horse and bull. The goal: the rider must knock down the bull by pulling him by the tail, not only the rider has to have the skills but also the horse so that its speed can exceed that of the bull. It tests the skill and strength of the llaneros to mount and dominate the cattle. This sport is practiced on a track called “Manga de coleo”
Night llanera with the best artists of Colombia and Venezuela, the voices set the pattern and announce that Tauramena forever will be the Folklore par excellence. Horseback Riding, Flatwork, Pyrotechnic Games, Orchestras and all that is necessary to make Tauramena the most visited by tourism
Other celebrations are the Celebrations Patronales in honor to San Cayetano, Patron of Tauramena, the Agricultural Fair and the Infantile Festival of Music Llanera: “The Rodeito”.
How to get Tauramena?
You can get to Tauramenta by airplane. The nearest airport is the “El Alcaraván” airport in Yopal, which is the capital of the department of Casanare at a distance of 40 minutes. Also, you can get by land from the city of Bogota, it is 5 and a half hours via fully paved roads.
Would you like to prepare Llanera?
The typical dish is the calf meat called llanera or “MAMONA”, This was born in the great routes that were made by the savannas of the Eastern Plains. To feed the cowboys the smaller animals that were still breast feeding (hence the name Mamona) were chosen, or those who had suffered an accident and were already useless. The process for the elaboration of this plate is the following: a calf of approximately of six months is killed; They remove the meat that later is plunged in big wood sticks, then, those are put around a fire to simmer, after being seasoned with salt.
It is not customary to put any condiment, the real roasted meat only has salt and candela. It is customary to serve the meat, with cooked green bananas, and cassava, on a table covered with banana leaves, so everyone can take their portions.
Plans to rest and relax in your tourist places.
There are a lot of tourist places with rivers. A tourist site to mention is the “Agua Blanca” Spa. There you can enjoy the river, take walks and have a picnic, it is easy to access and it is a very quiet place with beautiful scenery ideal to rest.
There is also the Spa in the “Cusiana River”, is one of the largest rivers in the department. It is surrounded by a large amount of vegetation. This can be reached by car, motorcycle or walking, It is 7 kms from Tauramena, and it is advised to get there in a group.
The “Rio Caja” is located 3 kms from Tauramena, you can enjoy the river, a hiking and parties usually made of sancochos and parties.
Most of the tourist sites are suitable for ecological tours, showing the great abundance of water that not only Tauramena but also the Casanare has. There are neither beaches nor sea, only beautiful rivers and great plains. It is possible to meet face to face with the typical fauna of the region as they are: chigii, herons, deer and all kinds of cattle. In addition to fishing the famous “cachama” and horse riding.
In general, it is a quiet town, which despite having gone through the era of the oil boom, still retains its traditions and immense cultural richness.
I can say that it was a great experience to have had the opportunity to live in this small city and to witness its growth and development.