Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs


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Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

© Centro de la Diversidad Cultural, 2016/Jhon E. Moreno Riaño, 2016/FUNDASET

Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs are a practice of vocal communication consisting of tunes sung individually, a capella, on the themes of herding and milking. The practice emerged from the close relationship between human communities and cattle and horses and is in harmony with the environmental conditions and the dynamics of nature, forming part of the traditional animal husbandry system of the Llanos. Transmitted orally from childhood, the songs are repositories of the individual and collective stories of the llaneros. Llano work songs have been gradually affected by economic, political and social processes that, modifying the llanero cultural universe, have significantly weakened the practice. For example, ambitious government plans conceived from a developmental perspective have led to profound changes in the use of the land and in ownership systems, and the modification of the social, cultural and natural sites of the songs have resulted in a loss of interest in the values and techniques of llano work. Llanero work songs thus face various threats to their viability. Efforts to safeguard the element are nonetheless widespread, including a pedagogical strategy involving more than twenty meetings for bearers and young people in the region, training projects for schoolteachers and a proliferation of festivals.

Periodic reporting

Name of State Party

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)


Name of element

Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs

Inscribed in


Submitting State(s)

Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

15-12-2017 - 15-12-2021

Mapoyo oral tradition and its symbolic reference points within their ancestral territory (2014)

This process began as the result of a research based on the participatory action methodology. The purpose of this research consists of keeping a record of the current status of the safeguarding of the element: Llano work songs. In this regard, among the positive impact indicators accepted after its registration in 2017, it is reported that the oral tradition linked to this activity is remarkably strong. Among tradition bearers, the recognition of the importance of speaking to youngsters about work songs and their relevance in the llanero lifestyle has become stronger. Tradition bearers now understand that this is the best strategy to safeguard their ancestral knowledge, and especially its relevance for the future.
It is well known that the Llano (the Plains) work songs safeguarding plan contemplates the participation of different community schools and government institutions related to the process of knowledge transmission and promotion. These alliances between tradition bearers and the abovementioned institutions are now more evident since they became a vital tool to safeguard the element, including as well other traditional cultural practices. For this, the main focus of attention is the visibility of the collective memories around work songs, a practice that today is mainly threatened by very active transculturation agents and processes in the llanos.
Organization and joint efforts have become essential elements for llano singers and teachers from different community schools regarding the transmission of knowledge from the bearers to new generations. Thanks to this formula, it was possible to incorporate the teaching of llano work songs in the school programs through lectures in education facilities.
Other activities regarding the transmission of knowledge have taken place outside the classrooms -in traditional contexts associated to llano tunes just like cattle ranches. In this case, the strategy was to strengthen the theoretical knowledge learned at schools through practice processes associated to bovine and equine cattle handling. During this work period, it was possible to identify the existence of radio shows - local and regional - to foster the promotion of work songs, which is another of the goals set in the Safeguarding Plan. Thus, some of the bearers participated in different radio interviews to make the element known. Likewise, activities such as cattle drive practices in short distances, photographic and ethnographic exhibitions in galleries and social centers also took place in some of the llano states.
It is important to highlight that during the last two years corresponding to this report, the COVID-19 pandemic was declared; this interfered with some of the scheduled activities. In this regard, it was not possible to complete some of the actions related to the safeguarding process linked to the research and documentation of llano work songs. Even though it was possible to record some videos with the help of university students, it was not possible to complete the Cabrestero Route project. It was not possible to complete the bearer census either, planned as a platform to better organize the activities in favor of the safeguarding of the element in the future. Thus, these actions are proposed be included and completed in the second work period, taking into account one important aspect: the protagonist and active participation of bearers and their relatives.

Title (Ms/Mr, etc.)


Family name


Given name



Coordinador de la Oficina Técnica


Centro de la Diversidad Cultural; Qta. Micomicona; Av. Zuloaga con calle América, Los Rosales, Caracas-Venezuela.

Telephone number

+58 212 6939845/ Fax +58 212 6935655

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Other relevant information

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There is a rooted feeling related to the work in the llanos, and bearers care for sharing their knowledge with their neighbors and many of them -since they are children- voluntarily learn the knowledge associated to the work in the llanos. Bearers also lecture at schools, and among their relatives they strengthen the oral tradition by teaching young people the traditional knowledge without the interference of other cultural practices. They share their knowledge about how to crate verses during their rest breaks, when creativity emerges. Then, anecdotes become songs, always related to the traditional praxis of what it means to be llanero.
Thus, bearers make an effort to help new generations remember anecdotes associated to the endangered practices negatively affected by the changes and risks around the element. This is why -from a very short age- appreciation for local music is promoted among people in order to counter the big influence of foreign music genres, especially those that promote anti-values in their lyrics.
The element keeps fostering a constant interaction with the animal. Llaneros show youngsters the gentle treatment to animals, especially to cows and horses; a spirit that is consonant with the universal rights of respect towards living beings, which represents an explicit concern for the UN Millennium Goals. Bearers show children how to approach an animal, and this configures a pedagogy that results in a unique teaching awareness based on the respectful treatment of the environment and its different components.
Intuitively, bearers have learned the cattle psychology, becoming experts on how to establish a respectful connection that allows them to tame the animals; and work songs are their main tool. Thus, the human-animal approach is achieved while fostering an experiential teaching, which is still the main social function of the element. It has to do with the positive transformation of the lives of the young people linked to those social-productive contexts; in parallel, they observe, value, and enjoy the virtues of their work and their songs.
Despite the presence of mechanical milking processes that negatively affects the feasibility of the element, the social function of work songs is still present through a system of values that depicts the ethos of llaneros, with their charisma, joy, passion, responsibility, willingness, and creative way to transform the everyday life into songs while building the continuity of their own existence, and local development.
To bearers, the importance of the element lies in the fact that “it’s something sentimental about the work” which includes loving the land. That is the origin of the songs and the expressiveness brought by the protagonists of this manifestation. Bearers agree that, today, the llano work is not well-paid; however, they love what they do because they were born with it; it is the heritage from their parents, and their grandparents; a way to strengthen that sense of belonging and llanero pride that moves them to teach their kids the anecdotes and traditions behind.

Among the vulnerable aspects found during the development of the report it is possible to mention: transculturation, loss of oral memory, and inequality in land distribution. Regarding the two main vulnerabilities, bearers -in alliance with local teachers- have dedicated themselves to pass their traditional knowledge to youngsters for their lives as a way to guarantee the feasibility of the element.
Transculturation answers to three processes: the mechanization of work, foreign music, and loss of traditional costumes. The bearers have understood that these agents are the consequence of modern social-productive dynamics; for this reason, they have built and/or strengthen spaces for the continuity of the element. The objective is the safeguarding of the oral memory through theoretical and practical exercises. The youngsters learn how to handle the cattle by incorporating the work songs in those activities. Thus, love and respect for music and traditional custom gets deeply rooted. The idea is making youngsters recognize themselves in their own characteristics and become promoters of the positives values behind the way of life in the llanos, and the work songs. Likewise, this contributed to curb the spreading of a false image of llaneridad in some sectors of the national society. This image, viewed from different perspectives, tends to blur the values inherent to the element and its social-cultural system.
Since 2019, they have been working on the sanction of a regulation to formally include the teaching of work songs in elementary schools. These actions are expected to contribute to youngsters in different levels specifically in the transmission of values and other aspects linked to work songs. Unfortunately, this process was interrupted by the pandemic; however, the bearers pretend to continue with this plan and sanction the regulation in 2022.
Llanero identity and the vitality of the element are in a disadvantaged position regarding the productive sector of the llano and its distribution in the territory. Today, there are very few initiatives from ranch owners in favor of traditional milking, besieged by mechanical milking process. In this regard, and even when the mechanical process is gaining ground, since 2017 -with the support of some land owners- it was possible to establish spaces for production and for the practice of work songs, ensuring its safeguarding to certain extend.
During the drafting of this report, lack of communication between bearers and institutions was identified as another thread. In order to overcome this obstacle, there is a proposal to expand successful experiences through Training schools, supported by the State. Thus, the intention is to expand the reach of the element, and also improving the relationship between the institutions and bearers. Another proposal came up: creating effective communication channels between bearers and government institutions, taking advantage of new available means of digital communications.

In order to accomplish the transmission of knowledge regarding the element, bearers -in alliance with teachers in local schools- gave talks to children. During the term between 2017-2021, they completed the following activities:
-Meeting with children in order to teach them the characteristics and the importance of llano works (2017-2021).
-Recreating milking songs in houses and schools (2018)
-Teaching Joropo dance and other activities related to the llano, such as tying knots for Cabrestero. Llano work songs are alto taught with these activities
-Interviews between bearers and teachers from communities in order to accompany the teaching of the element at schools.
The transmission of knowledge also took place within the family of the same bearers, including their descendants, promoting a sense of belonging about the llano and the element. Through theoretical and practical exercises, the traditional milking process and cattle driving were recreated in some ranches.
In order to register content about ICH, between 2020-2021 audiovisual samples were collected in partnership with students from the Ezequiel Zamora National Experimental University of the Western Plains (UNELLEZ, in Spanish).
Likewise, the Center for Cultural Diversity (CDC, in Spanish) started a research process in its own documentary repositories about Cabrestero Route. The objective is to collect geographical, historical, and cultural components of this route and, of course, about the singing along this route. This first stage is conceived as the foundation that will later allow conducting a field research in partnership with bearers. The research will report the knowledge and historical facts related to such ancient journey.
In order to comply with the goal of promoting the element, bearers offered their support to different community museums about samples related to the llano and its activities. Likewise, interviews were made in radio shows during the drafting period of this report in order to communicate the element. Between 2018 and 2019, a radio show was produced, and its content was exclusively about work songs. In 2021 - through the National Radio System - it began the promotion of work song on daily basis.
Thanks to alliances between the Center for Cultural Diversity and non-profit civil organizations in favor of people with visual and hearing impairment, it was possible to adapt the video of the element to a more accessible format, in order to promote a society based on equity and respect, giving people access to the ICH and its importance.
In 2018, it began a music record project to collect work songs, with the support of the National Disc Center, in order to promote the singing.

1. Transmission of knowledge
Bearers -their sons and grandsons- are actively involved in the safeguarding of the element by promoting family and community activities related to work songs. Among the strategies used to facilitate the transmission of knowledge it is possible to mention meetings, especially those that involve senior members, to remember the llano activities. These spaces have been used to teach people about work songs composition and how they respond to inspiration in a specific moment, and to the feelings of llaneros during the milking process and cattle driving. In some cases, it was not possible to conduct some of the activities; however, resources such as imagination and props were useful tools to simulate llano activities, for instance, a wet sponge was used to simulate the milking process. Youngsters learned about social-productive processes linked to the element in order to put that knowledge into practice in the future.
In other cases -in partnership with ranch owners- some of the cows were separated from the mechanical milking process to start the practices with manual milking tradition. In communities where this solution was possible, bearers taught young generations about milking songs, through practical exercises with cows.
Even though cattle transportation is usually done with vehicles; since 2017, bearers created short cattle driving routes in order to practice the process. In these cases, they also involved young members of the community in order to pass the knowledge linked to milking songs.
It is important to highlight that all knowledge transmission activities were performed taking into account inclusion between the members of the community. Talks were given to children, men, and women, with no discrimination in order to pass all the element to the entire community to preserve the collective memory. Likewise, the inclusion of the entire community was accomplished, including respect as the right to have access to this community and ancient knowledge.
2. ICH Research
Between 2020 and 2021, in partnership with university students from UNELLEZ, video materials were recorded in order to register work songs for safeguarding and promotion of the element for future generations. During this process, local students participated in work songs; however, these activities were not only conceived to be preserved but they were useful to pass the knowledge, achieving then two goals set for such safeguarding.
The Center for Cultural Diversity started a documentary research on the Cabrestero Route; this research consists of finding information about the traditional route used for cattle driving. This study had ethnographic findings in the heart of the community in order to conduct the documentary safeguarding of the route, threatened by cattle transportation with the use of vehicles. However, this field research, just like a proposed Bearers Census, was interrupted by the pandemic. Both the bearers and the Center for Cultural Diversity pretend to continue with the research and the census in the next working period.
3. ICH Promotion
Between 2018 and 2019, an exclusive radio show was developed to specifically promote work songs and the live in the llano. The idea was to communicate the element locally, regionally, and nationally. Bearers also gave many interviews during this period to promote ICH. Since 2018, it began a project with the National Disc Center to register and promote work songs in the entire country. Also, since 2021 -and through the National Radio System- a new radio show was created to promote work songs nationally.
During 2017 - 2021, bearers were invited to different photographic and ethnographic exhibitions related to the element. In these exhibitions, bearers were asked about the names of the pieces, and about the strategies that could be used to improve further exhibitions.
In 2020, despite COVID-19, bearers were organized and carried out the Llano Work Songs Virtual Fest, where members from different communities participated in order to promote llano work songs.
In 2017 - 2021, activities were carried out with different communities separately; nonetheless, in 2021 it was possible to have the 1st National Meeting for the Safeguarding of Llano Work Songs, coordinated by the Center for Cultural Diversity and the participation of bearers from different llano states such as: Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa. Intellectuals and other specialists also participated in this event. This meeting was an opportunity to show the achieved goals during the working period, and participants shared thoughts about current and future goals. Additionally, it was possible to develop strategies to effectively continue with these projects and the Safeguarding Plan based on the leadership and the actions of bearers.
4. Education for Safeguarding
Since 2017, in partnership with teachers, meetings with children from different community schools have been taking place in order to teach llano activities. In these meetings, they learn about the activities related to the cultural elements associated to the lifestyle of llaneros. All those activities are focused on raising the awareness of young people about the appreciation of the element and the lifestyle in the llano. The aspiration here is these youngsters become promoters of the traditions from their communities for future generations.

The State, from different government institutions such as the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture, including the Center for Cultural Diversity, and the National Disc Center, has accomplished its mission of safeguarding the element by providing financial aid, and technical and intellectual support.
The resources available have been found through education programs specially to promote the element. In this process, the bearers who participate in Llano Songs have had a special role since they are protagonists and promoters of each and any of the actions taken. About this, one of the most important aspects found during the drafting of this report is the absolute awareness of many of the bearers about the significance of UN Convention 2003, and the importance of its ethical principles on the safeguarding of the immaterial cultural heritage for the administration of its traditional background. Every llanero who participated is completely aware that safeguarding is a complex process, and they are responsible for that. It is a right but also a duty and it is a “bottom-to-top” process in an organic and transparent way, far from any individual, petty, client-based, or proselytes intention.
Bearers have revitalized the transmission of ancient knowledge. Different generations -men and women- also participate actively in the actions taken. The safeguarding plan of the element has motivated the creation of the 1st National Meeting for the Safeguarding of Llano Work Songs; and, in this regard -in order to guarantee the continuity of this Intangible Cultural Heritage- digital communication channels such as WhatsApp and Telegram were created, allowing bearers from different states and other institutions share information. There is no doubt that this resource facilitates the contact between interlocutors, and contributes to the implementation of safeguarding actions established in the plan.
Community activities have the support of public academic institutions. In this regard, the Ezequiel Zamora National Experimental University of the Western Plains has followed the safeguarding activities through the creation of videos that register the llanero feeling and its work songs; this will guarantee the access to this knowledge to future generations. In this regard, students and teachers -always in a horizontal and committed position with bearers- worked together collecting data and stories that are part of the creation and recreation of work songs in order to strengthen the process of knowledge transmission to new generations -essential assets for the promotion of the element in the future.
It is important to highlight that some ranch owners who were in direct touch with bearers were also involved in the safeguarding process since they allowed the creation of spaces in their land to practice and promote the element.

1. In December 2021, the Center for Cultural diversity coordinated the 1st National Meeting for the Safeguarding of Llano Work Songs; the meeting took place in the same center. Bearers from Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa shared their experiences about the safeguarding measures implemented in their home region, and the short-term and mid-term challenges. Also, the meeting included academic dissertations about the element lectured by intellectuals, artists, and high-rank public officials liked to the culture sector.
2. During the second semester 2021, the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture has been working on a partnership project with the National Radio System to promote llano work songs early morning every day (currently in process).
3. In 2021, from the Center for Cultural Diversity, a public consultation was conducted in order to review and pass the recent Law for the Safeguarding of the Immaterial Cultural Heritage. This effort involved the socialization of the regulatory base text among 2,200 individuals involved in the creation and transmission of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Venezuela.
4. Between 2019 and 2021, researches were conducted using the documentary repositories from the Center for Cultural Diversity, mainly in its audiovisual collection for the project called the Cabrestero Route. Likewise, in 2021, new interviews were done to bearers from Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa. These testimonies will also contribute to this project, as defined in the Safeguarding Plan.
5. During 2010 and 2020, the Center for Cultural Diversity hired specialists to adapt the video with the registration of the element to an accessible format for people with visual and hearing impairment.
6. In April 2018, the National Disc Center, a branch of the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture, started a recording project (in process) about Llano work songs. This initiative involved a sound, photographic, and audiovisual record that started in El Cedral ranch, state of Apure, in Mantecal, Muñoz municipality, and also in La Estacada, Rincón Hondo municipality.
7. In March 2018, in the framework of the program Cultural Diversity. A Permanent Forum 2017-2018, Borders and Integration, took place the Llano Work Songs Meeting in Guanare, state of Portuguesa. Bearers and representatives from the Immaterial Heritage and Cultural Diversity Network, including authorities from the local government and the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture participated in the meeting.

The previously list of activities count with governamental support through the funding of this activities. The funding was conducted through different governamental organizations.
The 1st National Meeting for the Safeguarding of Llano Work Songs, was funding with governamental sources through the Cultural Diversity Center and had a cost of USD 4.100.
In the case of the promotion of the llano work songs, a partnership between the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture with the National Radio System, started in 2021 and its currently in development for which the cost of this activity can't be estimated yet.
As for the public consultation in order to review and pass the recent Law for the Safeguarding of the Immaterial Cultural Heritage, was conducted by the Cultural Diversity Center and had a cost of USD 940.
The documentary researches conducted using the repositories from the Center for Cultural Diversity, and the interviews that were done to bearers from Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa, for the project called the Cabrestero Route, had a cost of USD 1.650.
The adaptation done by specialists of the video with the registration of the element to an accessible format for people with visual and hearing impairment, was done through the Cultural Diversuty Center and had a cost of USD 4.200.
The recording project (in process) about Llano work songs, carry out by the Cultural Diversity Center and the National Disc Center, both institutions depending of the Ministry of People’s Power for Culture, had a cost - until the moment of this report - of USD 2.570.
Finally, the 1st Llano Work Songs Meeting, that took place in the framework of the program “Cultural Diversity. A Permanent Forum 2017-2018, Borders and Integration,” had a cost of USD 3.080.

Over the period 2017-2021, bearers were focused on the transmission of their ancient knowledge through theoretical and practical exercises that, altogether, aimed to highlight the values from the llano, and fostering in children the love for traditions and for the land where they live. Many of these actions are focused on the transmission of ancient knowledge from elders, including activities such as milking and cattle driving songs, tying Cabrestero knots, teaching Joropo music and dance, and how to use the proper traditional custom from el llano. These experiences have allowed enhancing regional school programs in a very fortunate way.
The participation of bearers in community museums and galleries to safeguard the manifestation has increased. Besides the creation and participation in work song festivals, bearers also try to make the element known. Likewise, community participation has guaranteed the creation of some spaces to give continuity to the immaterial cultural heritage. In this regard, the possibility to continue with the manual milking process and cattle driving in short distances has favored the practice of the element and its transmission to new generations.
They all are successful processes that not always have had the necessary financial support. And even if many of these activities do not demand important disbursements, they can be always perfectible, especially if the objective is to expand the coverage. It is clear then that, in the future, these experiences could be improved, especially in terms of community participation, communication and promotion, with more financial resources.
On the other hand, over these years, efforts focused on spreading the work songs to the general population, also including people with visual and hearing impairment. About this, and in spite of the limited financial resources provided by the State for the development of this project, results have not only been unparalleled in the country but have shown an unquestionable technical quality. The value of this living heritage for people with abilities is the result of a remarkable social function; in this specific case, they vindicate a fundamental cultural right for people who historically have faced exclusion and vulnerability.
In short, the activities developed by communities have brought optimal results. Nonetheless, it is necessary to insist on the fact that this initiative in favor of safeguarding the traditions has come mainly from self-support and reduced funds from external bodies. In this regard, human resources -from the heart of communities- are the main source of the effectiveness for such safeguarding initiatives.
In accordance with the previous information, it is possible to consider that there is a lack of support from the private sector and non-governmental organizations linked to the culture sector. These bodies could participate more and better in these safeguarding processes the next period, understanding how important the Immaterial Cultural Heritage is for the construction and enhancement of local and regional identity, and for sustainable development.
Likewise, financial support from different government instances must be stronger. There is no doubt that this will bring better results. In this regard, fortunately, the signature of agreements between the central government and local governments in llanero states began. These agreements must be translated into more financial resources that favor the execution of the safeguarding plan.

1. Transmission of Knowledge
Objectives: 1) Continue the efforts to strengthen ICH, with the materialization of theorical and practical school projects.
Expected results: Development of new activity programs for youngsters and children, in cooperation with bearers.
Project leaders: Ministry of People’s Power for Education and for Culture.
Allies: State Governments from Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa; Center for Cultural Diversity.
Activities: 80 forums aimed to strengthen the bond between children and the element.

2. ICH Research: from the community, for the community.
Objectives: 1) Recording contents related to llano work songs that could be used to develop materials such as The Cabrestero Route project, 2) Develop a census of bearers to have a better record about members of the element.
Expected results: The research on the Cabrestero Route, and the census of bearers were created to facilitate an effective implementation of the safeguarding actions, based on previous achievements.
Project leaders: Ministry of People’s Power for Culture.
Allies: State Governments from Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa, and the Ezequiel Zamora National Experimental University of the Western Plains.
Activities: 1) Research on the Cabrestero Route, 2) Census of bearers. For the Cabrestero Route Project three sub-researches are contemplated: a) Anthropo-historical study for the materialization of ethnographies based on the past, supported by the use of documentary sources; b) Implementation of the “Community ethnographic form" ; 3) Audiovisual record that includes bearers and symbolic geographies related to the Cabrestero Route.

3. Promotion of the ICH
Objective: 1) Promoting and safeguarding llano work songs in a regional and national level.
Expected results: 1) Record production based on llano work songs; 2) Exhibition: Venezuela wakes up with llano work songs; 3) Communications campaign to talk about the importance of the element and its safeguarding; 4) Promote the audiovisual material called llano work songs, in accessible formats for people with vison or hearing impairment.
Project leaders: Ministry of People’s Power for Culture, and for Communications and Information.
Allies: State Governments from Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa.
Activities: 1) Field research to produce the record; 2) Exhibition; 3) Development of communication spaces in different media; 4) Meetings to present the audiovisual material in accessible formats.

4. Education for safeguarding
Objectives: 1) Development of pedagogical instruments based on llano work songs in order to strengthen its transmission; 2) Annual meetings with bearers to contribute to their education; 3) the use of digital media to support and consolidate the bearers.
Expected results: Pedagogical instruments distributed in the llano states; annual meetings and workshops in order to safeguard llano work songs.
Project leaders: Ministry of People’s Power for Education, and for Culture.
Activities: Adapting contents to the local program; training teachers on how to use new materials, producing annual meetings; and creating digital media channels and educational content to favor the bearers.

All of the activities previewsly listed, will take place among the work years od 2022 and 2025.
The activities of the trasmission of knowlegde will take place every school year - from september to june - of all the years included in this safeguarding plan.
As for the research of the llano work song, it will be make in differents periods of work. In the year 2022, the research will continued to be with the use of documentary sources. In the years 2023 and 2024 it is expected to carry out the field research with the bearers. The census of beares will take place at the same time that the field research, in the years 2023 and 2024.
As to the promotion of the llano work songs, it's expected to continue with the communications campaign started in the year 2021, using traditional media and social media to talk about the importance of the element and its safeguarding. The field work for the record production based on llano work songs will take place among the years 2023 and 2024. Also in the year 2024, it will be perform the Exhibition: “Venezuela wakes up with llano work song".
In the case of the education for safeguarding, the development of pedagogical instruments based on the "llano work songs”, and the creation of digital media channels of communication with th bearers will be done in the year 2022. The workshop called “Towards the development of a code of ethics for llano work songs” will take place also in 2022. The rest of the activities will take place in the four years of this safeguarding plan.

The funds required for implementing the present safeguarding plan will be entirely of governmental sources. However, the Venezuelan State -through the Center for Cultural Diversity, focal core for the 2003 Convention, Article 20, paragraph a); and Article 21, paragraph g) of such Convention - already contemplates a request before UNESCO on international assistance to develop this plan.
Each point in this safeguarding plan has its own estimated budget for the total of all of it activities. Also, for each point, it's estimated some community resources, this with the objective of involve more the community and the beares in the safeguarding plan activities. The estimated budget and the estimated community resources will be:
1. Transmission of Knowledge
Estimated budget: USD 1,078,000
Community resource: Organizational capacity of bearers, and pedagogical skills of teachers.

2. ICH Research: from the community, for the community.
Estimated budget: USD 921,200
Community resource: Bearer’s skills to conduct registrations based on the element, in collaboration with partner researchers.

3. Promotion of the ICH: Work Songs
Estimated budget: USD 791,812
Community resources: Organization of bearers to participate in the activities.

4. Education for safeguarding
Estimated budget: USD 582,820
Community resources: Organization of the community and teachers in order to participate in the activities.

Communities have set new goals in order to guarantee the continuity of the Safeguarding Plan, especially taking into account aspects related to the element that face higher risk. The new set of goals involves elders, youngsters, adults, and children from the community. Participation of men and women occurs under similar conditions and opportunities.
Elder bearers wish to continue having a central role in the safeguarding of the element, especially when it comes to its transmission. On the other hand, teachers have had a key participation leading the activities related to education projects, including its local promotion. It is expected that these commitments continue during the next period, expanding its implementation in other educational institutions.
In the most recent meetings held between the Focal core before the 2003 Convention (Center for Cultural Diversity, and the bearers of the element) the bearers highlighted the urgency of having more territory in the Llano region in order to perform Llano work songs. From a marked willingness to work, and an always active community management, the bearers have the intention to make kinds feel more motivated to become a living part of the element and, to that extend, commit themselves with its safeguarding. In this regard, they have been in touch with farm owners in order to expand the area of the element for recreational activities and transmission. In this regard, it is important to highlight that this passionate and important initiative seeks the revitalization or organic places focused on the traditional social-productive practices, closely linked to Work songs. Its representation is never performed neither out of context, artificially nor forced.
Along the reported period, new institutions have been included; they became partners that now safeguard the element. The participation of Jesus Obrero Graduate Institute is taken as something very significant. Likewise, the permanent follow-up of the Ezequiel Zamora National Experimental University of the Western Plains is essential for the safeguarding process, especially since this university is the most important research and academic space in the Llano region, an ancient Work songs territory.
The State is committed to support the continuity of the Safeguarding Plan. For this, it will work on the research, documentation, and promotion of the element. Nonetheless, and as it is clearly stated for all the stakeholders involved, the bearers will continue leading the safeguarding process, just like they do today. Paraphrasing some of the bearers, the registration of the element in the list of Immaterial Cultural Heritage that needs to be protected, made them understand that they are responsible for such safeguarding, and they also know the importance of oral transmission, and the importance of the practice of traditions associated to Llano work songs for llanero communities.

Organizations that have contributed to the Safeguarding Plan:

-Center for Cultural Diversity. MPPC.
-Cultural Heritage Institute. MPPC.
-Ministry of People’s Power for Culture.
-Government of the state of Apure.
-Government of the state of Barinas.
-Government of the state of Cojedes.
-Government of the state of Guárico.
-Government of the state of Portuguesa.
-National Disc Center (CENDIS).
-“Corazon Llanero Multimedia” Foundation.
-National Museums Foundation.

Venezuelan Heritage and Cultural Diversity Network.

Bearers of the element from the following states: Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa.
Persons with disability, those who validate the adapted audiovisual material.

Regarding the monitoring process related to safeguarding, it is important to mention the implementation of different work methodologies, always including active participation of communities. In this regard, in 2018, the following instrument was used: Manual for safeguarding llano work songs. In 2019, this monitoring process was less frequent due to the financial crisis in the country. In 2020, the monitoring process was difficult too due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since bearers were at risk because of their age.

However, and after complying with the recommended biosafety guidelines, in 2021, the 17th National Forum for Cultural Diversity: Management and Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2021-2022), allowed the bearers to get closer. To be more specific, the 1st National Meeting for the Safeguarding of llano work songs was the occasion that allowed drafting this report, with the active participation of bearers from Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa. Different strategies and instruments such as the Manual for safeguarding llano work songs, including The problems and solutions tree for llano work songs, were used in this activity.

Even though the spokespersons from the state of Apure could not attend the Meeting, they did collaborate with the activity, providing information through digital networks. Lastly, this report is the result of 4 years of work; an effort that -in spite of the natural conflicts- was marked by commitment.


Benito Irady






Benito Irady