Yoraizi Mercedes Piñero Peña


Yoraiza is an example of a young adult who works as a legal associate in the public sector, and also works with the municpality as well as the neighorhood baker. Sociologists would call her work schedule the triple time, working three jobs, and managing family errands plus her work with UEF. She is a neighborhood daughter who makes Diablos de Yare masks for their May 29th National Festival. 


Her work began for her love of a good celebration. She loves to use her manual dexterity to create, and she chose mask making as her venue through which to explore her creativity. The Diablos de Yare is a folkloric dance and festival that comes from the story of a devil that appears to a young man in Venezuela and haunts this young man with bad ideas until he finally prays to the town's priest who through exorcism takes out the devil and banishes it (see above picture 7, left to right).


The festival replays this folkloric tale that was used in Colonial times to have the African slaves coming from the Caribbean want to convert to Catholicism, hence the tale of a young man haunted and being saved by the town's priest. The festival though is colorfully impacting with amazing masks of devils, red, and big, with flaring tongues and drums with an African Brazilian style beat, fast and accompanied by the rolling swing of the festival-goer's hips...yelling "wueppa!"


Apocalypse piggy back rides on the symbolism of bible passages. It ironically uses the image of the Apocalypse to bring some flare to the civil associations, which right now amounts to a total of 13. Her group of members design the festival with the archdiosces, cultural department of El Hatillo, the town's two churches, the Calvario residents and a long list of other stakeholders.


Yoraiza's civil and diplomatic attitude has broken away with strained relationships between the competing 13 organizations that lie within this chronic zone. Each 13 organizations use their time to create an entirely different yearly festival such as: June 13th Virgen del Carmen, Holy Week, Puertas Abiertas, Carnaval, and a few others. She single-handidly convinced all 13 leaders to come together for each festival with unity and help and not disjunctured sabbtoaging. She is a believer of the power of healthy governance and team work, as well as community involvement.