Taino Celebrate Spring Equinox in Las Piedras
Thursday, 26 March 2009

Las Piedras, Boriken/Puerto Rico (UCTP Taino News) – Representatives of the United Confederation of Taino People’s Boriken Liaison Office participated in a Spring Equinox celebration sponsored by local community organization, Liga Guakia Taina-Ke on 21 March, 2009. The ceremony was held on a sacred mountain-top batei (ceremonial ground) in Las Piedras.


The UCTP delegation included Office Liaisons Roger Guayakan Hernandez Moyet and Eva Tona Lazu along with Melvin Waracatua Anamu Gonzalez of Escencia Tabanuco. The CUPT delegates were also joined by the families of Wanda Batu and Evelyn Castro. A leader of Liga Guakia Taina-Ke, Yarey Melendez led the ceremonial activities. 


The Las Piedras batei includes a number of unusually large boulders making up a cluster of sacred caves overlooking the fertile valley leading into the Ceiba/Humaco floodplain below. This mountaintop watershed is part of the foothills between the Yukahu range on the east and the San Lorenzo/ Juncos range to the north - an area that housed hundreds of indigenous villages on Boriken’s North East coast. Local tradition maintains that Taino traditionally traveled by canoe from the islands of Vieques, Culebra and the Virgin Island archipelago, and overland from Canovanas via the river Rio Grande de Loiza.


The celebratory mood of the event was tempered by news of large scale development project that is planned for this fragile fertile area known to be one of Boriken’s largest agro-cultural districts for thousands of years. Numerous streams are being diverted to accommodate the development plans while the P.R. Department of Natural Resources registers no opinion on the environmental impact to the watershed. Residents have questioned the permits obtained and do not accept the validity of the developers construction building paperwork and the municipality’s support of the project.


The Spring Equinox event in Las Piedras concluded with a night time visit to the cave entrance where the assistance of the ancestors was requested during these precipitous times.


UCTPTN 03.25.2009







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