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Mau and Segundo Ceballos, Turning Barquisimeto into a Square Full of Stories with the UNO/ES

Mau and Segundo Ceballos began together this dream of turning oral storytelling into an instrument for changing realities. Since 1989, through the reading encouragement with an artistic and entertaining perspective to children, young people and adults were able to consolidate an institution that has been recognized internationally and which education style has been replicated throughout the world.

Mau de Ceballos says that ”La Unión de Narradores (Storytellers Association) was consolidated in 1989; however, since 1987 we were giving oral workshops at the Colegio de Médicos, along with the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado and the Centro Cultural El Cardón.”

Starting from a purely educational base, the narration was a tool for the reading stimulation of many children and teenagers, broadening their knowledge as they start to read frequently, begin to know authors and create a critical sense. From that moment the character building and text adaptation begin.  

Mau also emphasizes that they carry out activities in the communities to teach that there are rich characters within those little universes. They do exercises to create texts aiming at the strengthening of the young people’s sense of belonging in their usual spaces: “The word is a communication element, and through the discipline that strengthens the narrative, values such as solidarity and responsibility are taught.”

In deeper terms, Segundo Ceballos speaks of culture as the mirror in which men are reflected and learn to know themselves. Although it is considered as a “part in the processes of orality” he believes that within the Guaro culture, the most outstanding thing is the music and its quality as a perfect and indispensable complement to create new narrative shows.

“We’ve always liked the theater since we were 18 years old. We were able to set up a theater group that we called Community Spontaneous Theatre. When I was in my third year of medicine I married Mau, we went to Caracas and established many relationships from the cultural and artistic point of view,” says Segundo.

In 1977, with a group of medical friends, Segundo began to put together the “Cultural Fridays;” activities never seen before. “We were able to present everything. We became great friends of Aquiles Nazoa, Pedro León Zapata with his sharpness and impressive intelligence,” and along with them, an endless number of people from the Venezuelan culture that allowed Barquisimeto to become an example of talent and entrepreneurship.

Currently, and after the mutation of these different theatrical groups that were formed over the years, the experiences of this iconic couple from Lara and Venezuela are set in the formation of great international artists, as well as in the creation of the International Orality Festival as an outstanding Guaro event.

With 23 uninterrupted editions and on the eve of the twenty-fourth, they seek a broad cultural education through social work, in addition to continuing with the “Cultural Mondays” at the Colegio de Médicos of Barquisimeto, which aim to brighten the week and start it in a different way.

To learn about La Unión de Narradores Orales y Escénicos (The Oral and Scenic Storytellers Association) you only need to follow them as @uno_en on Instagram, and as Uno Es Vzla on Facebook.


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