31 March 2007

A Voyage for the People

[Ed: this article was submitted by Jorge Estevez]

On August 1, 2007 there will be an historic event taking place in Boriken. Taino Almestica (Taino) along with David Mayoleth and Wendy Killoran will circumnavigate the island of Boriken, making stops in Vieques and Culebra.

Mr. Almestica will arrive in Boriken on July 29, 2007 and will be there until September 1, 2007. His hope is to inspire others in Puerto Rico to learn about the wonders of Canoeing and Kayaking. His vision is to see more people involved in this sport.

Our ancestors were master seamen who traveled the Caribbean islands in their canoas on a daily basis and it is in this spirit that Taino Almestica will travel around the island of Puerto Rico. Many times Taino has expressed that there is a certain spiritual awareness that a person comes to when Kayaking/Canoeing in the open sea, each wave different than the next yet equally persistent. This is reminiscent of our culture, despite 500 years after first contact, colonialism and acculturation, we as a people, with a unique culture, persist.

Taino is a son of Boriken and a member of Guabancex: Wind and Rain Society which is based in Kiskeya (Dominican Republic) and the USA. This organization is dedicated to researching/investigating and disseminating all aspects of surviving Taino cultural expressions including material culture, oral tradition and the rescue of cultural traditions that have disappeared with today's rapid western expansion on the Caribbean islands.

For Taino the ideal would be to have full support of all Taino people, groups or organizations. It would be a challenge for all to focus just for one day as a collective to celebrate and cheer Taino on this very arduous voyage.

Please keep this date in mind and let us pray for Taino"s safe trip and safe return home. For more information please visit:

www.tainokanoa.com and www.kayakquixotica.com

Bo Matum
Jorge Baracutei Estevez

Jorge Estevez (Taino)
National Museum of the American Indian
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004
(212) 514-3716

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