Colombia/Colombian Character for Novel
Hello. I'm writing a novel that includes a prominently featured Colombian character and I'd like to know more about the culture of the country and the people. I know that you mostly answer questions about travel advise and things of that nature, but I saw that you live there and have lived in Colombia in the past so I thought you might be able to help me. To start with, the character's name is Isabel Diana Rojas y Martinez, so I'd like to know if that name would be something you would encounter in Colombia in this day and age. I'm not the best with Central and South American cuisine, so I'd really like to know what kinds of foods she would like to eat either as a treat to herself or on a daily basis since she lives in the States now and has for nearly ten years. If you can help me, that would be wonderful, but if you can't I understand since this might not play into your wheelhouse. Of course if you do and I get published, I'll give you credit in the book in the acknowledgements section. Thank you in advance.
Dear Mr. Joshua:
I thought that my account at Allexperts was turned off, but then noticed your message and some others.
In regards to the character you mentioned: the name is somewhat strange. I have not seen anybody with the name Isabel Diana. Maybe there are some named Diana Isabel. We normally look for names that when put together they sound natural, easy to go from the first to the second name. In regards to the last name I can say that we do not use the ¨y¨. Maybe in Spain they did that, but not us. We simply put both last names together: Rojas Martinez. Both last names exist in Colombia. Martinez is more common than Rojas. The character then could be named: Diana Isabel Rojas Martinez. The Zapata last name is common in Medellín. Some or many last names occur in some cities more than in others. It depends on migrations and who arrived where during the colony, settled and had children who inherited the last names.
Most people in Colombia eat chicken in several forms such as in soups, fried, or any other way you see everywhere in the world. Colombians cook rice, beef/meat or chicken, eggs, red beans, make soups such as sancocho (ajiaco less often), and for drinks they make aguapanela, coffee, or mazamorra con bocadillo or panela and eat arepas. They often buy the arepas already made from stores or from people who make them manually. You will be able to find many Colombian recipes on the Internet and see how they look like in pictures. Tourists go to restaurants (such as Mondongo´s in Medellín) and can order very nice meals such as the Bandeja Paisa in Medellín, rice with chicken, ajiaco, etc.