The southern municipality of Ponce voiced its support for the creation of the "Vejigante Mayor" Museum, an effort spearheaded by the Organization of the Carnival of Vejigantes at Ponce Beach.
The organization, chaired by Gilberto Limardo Rodríguez, recently acquired the property of property of Miguel Ángel Pérez Santiago, an artisan of vejigante masks, in order to turn it into what will soon be the Museo del Vejigante Mayor.
The house museum will keep his legacy alive through tours of the space that for years was his workshop and will be exhibiting his collection of indigenous masks from the Ponceño carnival.
"Both our Cultural Development office and this server will be supporting Mr. Limardo hand in hand with this project that, without a doubt, will be a new tourist attraction for the city. In addition, we will be collaborating in documenting everything that is inside the house and what will be part of the museum," said Ernie X. Rivera Collazo, director of the Office of Cultural Development.
Ponce Mayor Luis M. Irizarry Pabón added: “my congratulations to Mr. Limardo for his efforts to keep culture alive and for all his excellent work that he does every day for the well-being of Ponce Beach. Thanks to such an excellent initiative, Don Miguel's legacy will be perpetuated in the pages of Ponce's history."
Vejigantes are demon figures from medieval Spanish folklore introduced in carnivals, now a staple in Puerto Rican culture. The masks themselves are called "caretas" and are typically made with coconut or paper mache, with regional variations.
The museum will be located at Arias #10 St. at Ponce Beach. Its opening will be announced in coming months.