He composed a little Christmas carol for his town, which turned out to be an anthem. He is like the Venezuelan Miguel Hernández. Luis Mariano Rivera, the poet of petty things, continues being the greatest exponent of Sucre state culture.
Canchunchú Florido, a village where he was born in 1906, is something more than a point in the map, thanks to the composer. His exploit -making a difference between the llanos music and the rest of the Venezuelan music, and succeeding in disseminating nationwide Christmas carols and folk songs of eastern Venezuela- is particularly noteworthy, taking into account that Luis Mariano Rivera wrote nothing until he was 48 years old. The anecdote of a child calling him "dumb old man" is already a legend. He had miswritten "depocit" instead of "deposit" on a ban. Out of shame, he would educate himself.
"I could not go to school, because I was grown up, but a teacher started to lend me books, including Don Quixote. I educated myself in this way," Luis Mariano recalled.
The illegitimate son -when that really mattered- to Alberto Font, a member of the ruling class of Carúpano, and María Rivera, a washerwoman, he completed the third year in primary school only before taking up the farm work.
Just to please his buddies, he composed his first verse, partying out on the town. Thereafter, he would not stop. Venezuela discovered him in the mid fifties, with his Alma Campesina ensemble. Then fame and tributes came, together with Caracas, and all the things which praised and annoyed him; because he would rather live near the sea. Music for his verses came on its own. The seven-year-old boy would play the cuatro (four-string guitar).
The following songs remain as evidence of his love and grief: Cerecita (Little strawberry, famous in the version of Jesús Sevillano); Canto a Bolívar (A song to Bolívar); El sancocho (The soup), La taparita (A round, hard shell fruit grown on the taparo tree), and La Guácara (The snail). The latter was made popular by famous folk singer Gualberto Ibarreto.
He died in 2002, very close to the place he was born.
"Everything I say, I perceived it when I was a little boy; not fully understanding yet, I was able to grasp the beauty of certain things," he said in an interview shortly before his death.