Cuatro is a four strings instruments of the guitar family. Its 15th-Century ancestor was the Portuguese Cavaquinho. The predecessor of the Venezuelan cuatro is the four-string Spanish guitar which disappeared in the 16th century after a short period of surging popularity. In the 1950s, Fredy Reyna documented the evolution of the renaissance guitar into the current Venezuelan Cuatro, and reinvented the cuatro as a solo instrument, equally capable of rendering traditional Venezuelan music as well as Renaissance pieces.
The cuatro is very popular in big part of Latin America especially in Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and Puerto Rico being part of the folklore and traditional songs.
The cuatro is an important part of "música llanera", belonging to the Venezuelan area known as "El Llano". The Cuatro of Venezuela has four single nylon strings. There are variations on this instrument depending on the country and models having five strings or even six.