“It’s been 30 years since I heard live music and participated in such a joyful experience; I don’t know how to thank you for this gesture, ”one of the prisoners of the maximum-security prison in Pádua, Italy, told us with emotion after the concert “Venezuela, the people, the song, the work”. All the musicians, journalists, and friends present were shocked by an experience that did not fit in our hearts.

Who are Venezuelans, who live such a complex reality, and they are here offering a concert to some prisoners in Italy? The story is long. It goes through the panettones they make inside the prison thanks to the Giotto Cooperative (one of the top 10 in the world), the chocolates of the entrepreneurs in Venezuela, many visits and meetings, but above all one fundamental thing: work can change a person. This is a certainty that we share and is in the DNA of Trabajo y Persona, but to that, we must add the fact that a friendship has been born which crosses the Atlantic Ocean and all the walls of a prison.

“A change to improve structures must start from man, from the existence of man, from the substantial reconstitution of his position in the world, from his relationship with himself, with others, with the universe. The birth of a new economic and political model is something that can be configured only as of the expression of a life that changes. ”These words of Vlaclav Havel pronounced in 1989 (after the fall of the Berlin Wall), take to another level the importance of putting the person at the center of any social, economic and political initiative; in a world that bets on great changes from political or economic power and belittles each person’s role from their individual responsibility

What impact can a life change have on a person in the face of the great challenges we have in Venezuela? How much do personal responsibility and its involvement in family or community areas weigh to generate change?

The person who performs his work freely, creatively, participative and in solidarity, seems fragile and disproportionate in the face of the crisis we are living in Venezuela; However, just as a concert of Venezuelan music inside an Italian prison may seem something simply sympathetic and emotional, we cannot underestimate its transformative power.

Just as Dostoyevsky states that “beauty will save the world,” each of us is called to verify whether it is possible that a person’s change can have a greater impact. I saw it in the faces of the prisoners of the jail and I see it in many young people and women who now live from their work in Venezuela, and you?


Alejandro Marius
Carúpano celebrates the first Cohort of Emprendedoras Gastronómicas (Gastronomic Entrepreneurs)

On August 9, and after several weeks of training, 16 participants demonstrated their talent in culinary art and became the first cohort of Emprendedoras Gastronómicas of Carúpano. The graduation ceremony was held at the facilities of the Hotel Euro Caribe Internacional, attended by representatives of the Diocese, Cáritas CarúpanoFundación San JoséRon Carúpano and Trabajo y Persona.

Carúpano has its first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Entrepreneurs of Chocolate)

On August 9, the graduation ceremony of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate of Carúpano was carried out at the facilities of the Hotel Euro Caribe Internacional, within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project . The event brought together several actors and collaborators to honor the work of the new 19 entrepreneurs; among them: representatives of CAVENITFundación San JoséCecal Madre AlbertaDiócesis de CarúpanoRon CarúpanoFe y Alegría, and Trabajo y Persona.

Carúpano enjoyed the Gastronomic Fair

On August 10, various local and national civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, businesses, and the Diocese, joined together to offer the Carupaneros a cultural and gastronomic program that extolled the traditions of this beautiful land with the first Carúpano Gastronomic Fair. The event was attended by graduates of the Emprendedoras Gastronómicas and Emprendedoras del Chocolate program, of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, who exhibited and shared authentic oriental food and their exquisite artisanal chocolates

Accompaniment (Lara): Leadership skills workshop

On August 15, at the KPMG offices in Barquisimeto, Lara state, the Leadership skills workshop was held, facilitated by Emir Chávez and Josmarys Flores, who are volunteers of KPMG and offered basic knowledge about leadership, differences between a leader and a boss and some tips for i development

Trabajo y Persona presented new music and work project in Italy

On August 20, Trabajo y Persona shared the experience of carrying out the project “Venezuela. Il Popolo, il canto, il lavoro” at the Meeting di Rimini, Italy. It is a book-cd coordinated by José Francisco Sánchez and Aquiles Báez, which shows the beauty of the tradition of Venezuelan work songs and in which different actors participate, including completely different ideologies, demonstrating that beauty can be a meeting point in Venezuela. This project is possible thanks to the alliance between Itaca Edizioni and  Trabajo y Persona.

Accompaniment (Aragua): Workshop of calculation of costs and minimum sale price

On August 21, the graduates of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate of Aragua state from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, reinforced their knowledge in the Workshop on cost calculation and minimum sale price of their products. The training was carried out in the spaces of Casa Morgado, located in Consejo,  Aragua state and was facilitated by Gustavo Castillo.

Accompaniment (Lara): Basic cost accounting workshop

On August 22, the graduates of Emprendedoras Gastronómicas and Emprendedoras del Chocolate of El Tocuyo attended the Basic Cost Accounting Workshop, facilitated by KPMG. In the training they learned about the definition and classification of costs, differences between costs and expenses, and made different practical exercises to reinforce their knowledge.

First concert of “Venezuela. Il Popolo, il canto, il lavoro” was held in Italy

On August 22, the Meeting di Rimini provided the opportunity for Trabajo y Persona to present the project “Venezuela. Il Popolo, il canto, il lavoro”, a Venezuelan repertoire composed of traditional work songs and pieces of modern composers that help deepen the consciousness of these workers. In this adventure, those present enjoyed the music of Venezuelans Yma América, José Francisco Sánchez, Yrvis Méndez, Julio Alcocer and Aquiles Báez.

Beauty Friday with Yany Colmenárez 

On August 23, the point-to-point and pigmentation eyelash coloring workshop took place directed to Emprendedoras de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneurs) by facilitator Yany Colmenárez, a participant of the Formación de Formadores (Training of Trainers) program that Trabajo y Persona conducts together with L’Oréal Venezuela. The training is carried out as part of the series of workshops “Beauty Friday with …” planned for graduates of Trabajo y Persona between the months of August and September.

Venezuela brought joy and hope to the Padua Prison in Italy

On August 23, Trabajo y Persona together with Itaca Edizioni shared the traditional work songs compiled in the book-CD “Venezuela. Il Popolo, il canto, il lavoro”, with the prisoners of the Padua Prison in Italy. This act was carried out thanks to the collaboration of the Giotto Social Cooperative, which promotes work in this center, and the Meeting di Rimini. In the concert, the inmates were able to enjoy the good music of Aquiles Báez, Yma América, José Francisco Sánchez, Yrvis Méndez and Julio Alcocer. Without a doubt,  we can transform realities from love.

The common good: Testimonies of Venezuela in Italy 

On August 24, the meeting The common good: testimonies of Venezuela took place in the Meeting di Rimini in Italy. The businessman and cocoa producer, Carlos Franceschi; the director of ONG Clinic, José Manuel Colmenárez; and the president of Trabajo y Persona, Alejandro Marius, shared the testimonies of men and women who work for the common good in Venezuela. Monica Polleto, moderator of the meeting, shared: “Venezuela is a land that wants to continue living in spite of everything… the heart of man is irreducible and our friends are witnesses of that.

Let’s talk about chocolate bonbons!

On August 27, the practical theoretical workshop Let’s Talk about Chocolate bonbons was held in Invecapi, El Rosal, Caracas. It was pesented by Violeta García, co-founder of Nirvana Cioccolato and directed to graduates of Emprendedoras del Chocolate. Graduates of El Consejo, Aragua state, from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project also joined and learned tools to make chocolates at home.

– The Emprendedoras Gastronómicas of Carúpano: Mariannys Lárez, Astrid Mesa, Yajaira Cedeño, Orgelis García, Genisabel Torcatt and Maikel León, presented their products at the Gastronomic and Artisan Fair, held by the Tourism Directorate of the Bermúdez Municipality, within the framework of the 50 years of the patron saint of Carúpano Santa Rosa de Lima.
– The graduate of the short course of Bombonería Artesanal de Barquisimeto, Dolores Gómez, participated in the First pastry contest, held by the College of Administrators within the framework of its 37 year anniversary. She obtained 1st place with her chocolate marbled cake and 3rd place with her banana chocolate cake. The activity was carried out with the intention of collecting food for the Divine Pastora Parish of Barquisimeto.
– The graduate of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate of Petare, from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, Thais Vivas, began internships on August 12 in the Bitácora Cacao laboratory.
– The graduate of the Guatire Emprendedoras del Chocolate program, from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, Claudia López, began internships on August 13 in the Mantuano Chocolate laboratory. This entrepreneur will be supported and supervised by Zuleima Velásquez, who is also an Emprendedoras del Chocolate and had done internships there.