What is a Checa?
For many, “La Checa” or “The Czech” may be a country (The Czech Republic) or a last name (Checa is also used as a last name in Spanish) but for a person in Barranquilla Colombia is the Royal Crown Cap used in soft drinks and beer bottles to prevent the escape of gas in them.
While this revolutionary invention was created by an Irishman William Painter in 1892, was in Czechoslovakia (Checoslovaquia in Spanish) were the first battle caps were imported to our city and that’s where they got their name “Checas”(instead of Tapas or Bottle Caps).
Crawn Bottle Caps or as we affectionately call them “Checas” are part of our city culture (Barranquilla, Colombia) because it derived multiple uses.
One of those uses is a game call “Chequitas” or “The Bottle Crown Cap Game” which is a typical sport in the city where it can be easily related to a “Baseball Game” where the rules are virtually the same, except that instead of a bat we use a broomstick and instead of a ball we use “Crawn Bottle Caps” or “Checas”.
We have also used them as musical instruments where people group several “Crown Bottle Caps” or “Checas” into a bunch of nails and then nail them into a stick so they can use it as maracas for Christmas songs.
They have served as props or accessories to our craftsmen to create beautiful necklaces and bracelets.
In the early 60’s, where today is “El Banco de la República” (the Bank of the Republic in Barranquilla Colombia), was one of the best dance halls called “Jardin Aguila” (Garden Eagle) later known as “The Czech” or “La Checa” by its architectural form, where people used to dance Pachanga, Salsa and Tropical Music among many others.
There is a famous saying in Barranquilla about “Pissing Someone Off”, if you don´t want to make people angry “Do not Blow their Bottle Caps” (No les Vueles La Checa).
And what better way to give honor to a “Checa” (Czech), but opening a website on her name www.lacheca.com where you can find what to do in Barranquilla every day.