The Simón Bolívar municipality (San Francisco de Yare), in the state of Miranda, is getting ready to celebrate the 273rd anniversary of the first Dance in honor of Corpus Christi, on June 16. Opportunity to get to know its tourist attractions, which captivate local and foreign visitors who come to this genuine town, the cradle of artisans, plastic artists and cultivators.
Located in the Middle Tuy Valley, 70 kilometers from Caracas, San Francisco de Yare preserves its colonial spaces and reflects the mixture of diverse cultures. Yare was founded between 1714 and 1718. Its inhabitants are considered the "most gentle, kind, of good faith and great hospitality", which is expressed in their arts, their dances, the celebration of their festivities and their innate entrepreneurial character. .
Yare contains attractions that make it a multi-destination, due to its stories, beliefs, culture and art. Its people work to maintain their traditions and customs, as well as to promote the economic development of the town. This city still maintains its narrow streets and historical sites, typical and normal of the Tuyera region.
One of the most outstanding sites, which you cannot miss, is the San Francisco de Paula parish church, on Bolívar street, in the heart of Yare. It was built in 1714 (XNUMXth century) and the aborigines of the Kirikire ethnic group, descendants of the Caribs, whose chief was the Yare Indian, were catholized there.
The temple is the oldest construction in the municipality, declared a National Historical Monument on August 2, 1960. It is the starting point and arrival point of the Yare Dancing Devils every Corpus Christi festivity. Its altarpieces date from 1785 and represent the images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Tourists cannot miss out on walking along Ribas street, built in stones, and visiting the monument to the Bolívar Palacios family, where our Liberator Simón Bolívar once spent the night, who lived in the house in 1808, when he was a lieutenant of the Mayor of Yare. . It is currently the Simón Bolívar Museum and still retains its colonial architecture. Inside it has a carved stone, with a marble medallion with the image of the Liberator, which was placed there on December 17, 1930 and has been a National Historic Monument since August 1980.
The Casa Museo Expresion del Santísimo Sacramento de los Diablos Danzantes de Yare is another of the places that are visited on Simón Bolívar street. There they make the masks for the promisers and it stands out for its red color, representative of the Dancing Devils. The Cacique Yare square is another historic site, between Raúl Leoni and Los Mamones streets, which was inaugurated on July 28, 1983. A curious fact: materials from the Lagartijo Reservoir were used in its construction, including reinforced concrete for the benches and walkways. , as well as for the bust of the cacique.
Other sites that can be visited are the Manuel "Mocho" Sanoja House of Culture, which has been founded for 43 years. This character had a workshop where he made the masks of the promeseros, a trade that his father taught him when he was 10 years old. He was foreman of the Devils of Yare. Today the Gumercindo Palma amphitheater works in that house, in honor of the man who was the Mayor Devil.
You can also visit the Monument of La Cruz del Calvario and the Plaza Monumental de los Diablos Danzantes de Yare, both in the Altos El Batismo sector.
From San Francisco de Yare you can go to contemplate nature and take a dip in the Embalse Lagartijo recreational park, located 4 km from the town, via Tocorón, and is protected and managed by the Quiriquiri commune.
The Danzantes de Yare among the great brotherhoods of the world
The manifestation of the Dancing Devils is celebrated in the states of Aragua (Cata, Chuao, Cuyagua, Ocumare de la Costa and Turiamo), Cojedes (Tinaquillo), Guárico (San Rafael de Orituco), La Guaira (Naiguatá), Carabobo (Patanemo and San Millán-Puerto Cabello) and one of the best known is San Francisco de Yare (Miranda).
This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation since the year 1620 and is celebrated every Thursday of Corpus Christi to pay tribute to the Blessed Sacrament. The Yare Dancing Devils are one of the best known in Venezuela and one of the largest in the world, with more than 2.500 promeseros. They date from 1780 and along with 11 of these brotherhoods were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 06, 2012.
The Danzantes de Yare define their hierarchical structure by the size of their masks and the number of horns they have. The highest hierarchy has 4 horns that represent the cardinal points and the points of the Cross; the second foreman has 3 horns and is the one who organizes the development of the dance. That of the herder has 3 horns and a commander; the rest of the devils use 2 horns. The only woman (sayona) uses a mask with three horns and her function is to direct the new participants.
Naiguatá will dress in colors for the religious festival
From the Wednesday before Corpus Christi, Naiguatá is filled with colors and the sound of bells and maracas resound in the streets of this town in the state of La Guaira, marking the beginning of what will be the festival of the Dancing Devils.
At 12 noon, the box resounds calling the promeseros to do the first dance. They come down from Cerro Colorado and meet in the Plaza Bolívar in Pueblo Arriba.
Here begins the dance that runs through the town, visiting the houses of those who were once in the group and arrive at the cemetery to pay tribute to those who are no longer on this earthly plane, such as the Major Devil Robert Izaguirre who would have celebrated his birthday this past June 6.
They dance and then return home until Corpus Christi Thursday when they go down again to the sound of the cashier and the dance runs through the town until they reach the doors of the Coromoto church, where the promisers and the Major Devil pay homage to the Blessed Sacrament. Sacrament. It is a magical religious festival that liven up the stalls of drinks, sweets and food typical of Naiguatá.
Aragua, Carabobo, Guárico and Cojedes also celebrate the Santísimo
Among the eleven brotherhoods that were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO are: the Dancing Devils of Turiamo, Cuyagua, Danzantes de Cata, Patanemo, Devils of San Millán, Tinaquillo Dancers and San Rafael Dancers. of Orituco, who this Thursday 16 will go out to dance in honor of Corpus Christi in their regions.
Each one of these brotherhoods has its particularity. Those from Turiamo are called “the exiles”, because during the mandate of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez they were removed from their lands by the construction of the Turiamo Naval Base; That's why they dance in different areas of Maracay: on January 23, El Recurso and La Coromoto.
The Devils of Cuyagua settle on the shores of Aragua. Their costume is decided every year. The perreros, the oldest of the group, do not wear suits because they are a kind of companions. Those from Cata dance twice a year, on Corpus Christi Day and another day that they all choose. Their masks are made of metallic cloth with lots of ribbons and they wear long capes.
Carabobo has its two brotherhoods: the Danzantes de Patanemo, which is one of the oldest. It dates from 1721 and in its ritual they take a bath in the Paso de Belén river. Those of San Millán wear multicolored costumes as well as their masks.
The Danzantes de Tinaquillo, in Cojedes, date back to 1900. They do 7 consecutive Sunday dances; their costumes and masks are red and black.
Guárico has those of San Rafael de Orituco. They use four and tambora at the same time. Their outfits are red and black with large capes. It is one of the brotherhoods that allows women.
Where to stay in Yaré?
The Posada Corpus Christi, in the Raúl Leoni urbanization and the El Refugio del Tuy motel, on the Yare-Santa Teresa national highway.
Where to eat in Yare?
The inn also offers delicious cuisine. You cannot miss out on trying the Pollo al Diablo, a typical local dish. The Tourist Parador San Francisco de Yare offers cachapas with hand cheese, wood-fired sancocho and other typical foods.
How to get to Yaré?
By land: from Caracas take the downtown regional highway, en route to the Valles del Tuy. Take the Perimetral Charallave-Ocumare del Tuy highway until you reach Pampero, cross onto the Ocumare-Yare national highway. If you take the Ezequiel Zamora train to the Charallave Norte or Charallave Sur stations, leave the station and board a public transport unit bound for Yare.
If you prefer Naiguatá. Another option to enjoy this tradition is to get to Naiguatá, in the state of La Guaira. The festivity begins very early on Thursday of Corpus Christi. You can go by public transport from Caracas to the bus terminal in La Guaira and from there take a transport to the town of Naiguatá.
Aragua or Carabobo are other options. If you are in the center of the country, the devils of Cuyagua and Cata, in Aragua or those of Patanemo, in Carabobo, will celebrate their manifestation this Thursday.