Today in Puerto Rico, elders are taking back the Taino sacred site known as the Caguana Ceremonial Center. Currently, the NPS has closed the site to perform renovations, without any consultation with the Taino community. Elders have decided to camp out at the site, against the NPS closure order.
After numerous requests for meetings with Puerto Rico's governors -- past and present -- and witnessing their indifference to the lack of cooperation between the NPS and the Taino communities, these elders have decided to make a stand for what is right, with or without the approval of the government.
The Caguana Ceremonial Center is the site of many ancient Taino petroglyphs (stone carvings) where ceremonies have been held for many centuries. The Puerto Rican government has ignored repeated pleas for cooperative efforts to preserve what is left of this sacred site and others.
In an effort to stop the desecration and bring attention to the issue, these elders are out there TODAY... Tuesday, July 25th making their voices heard. It is very likely that there will be police involvement. For this reason we need your help to make sure their statement is heard.
You can show your support by calling Governor Vila in Puerto Rico @ 1(787)721-7000 (English or Spanish is fine) and saying you support the effort of these elders, or you can e-mail the governor a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don't let these elders' efforts be fruitless because of our silence.
DeAnna M. Rivera
United Confederation of Taino People
Director, Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange Program
UCLA School of Law
Location: 1609 Hershey Hall
Phone: 310-794-5216Fax: 310-825-3108