A street corner in Guatapé
Many of the houses here are decorated with friezes along the lower portion, known as zócalos.
When the village was first established the usual building style was to have the first section of the walls made from rocks, for stability, and the rest of bamboo covered in mud. When building methods improved the rocks were dispensed with, but the tradition of a different lower section to the walls remained. It became the custom to decorate these with designs that reflected the owners’ occupation, beliefs or simply something they liked.