The Origins of Higuayagua were not easy. After all, Nothing good, ever comes easy. Our people having many origins from many islands all bring different things to the table. However,much not all things are meant to fit together. Thus, we have lost
some of the original members, but we gained many new members as well.
Cacike Jorge Baracutei Estevez, is one of the pioneers and architects of the Taino movement which began in 1989. By "Pioneer" we mean being present at the commencement
of the modern Taino movement. There are many such individuals, all still active in the struggle, however, the collectives foci is quite varied. thus, the birth of many different groups with many different intentions. All are good.
began taking shape in 2011, Mr. Estevez at the time was helping organize an event for the Caribbean Indigenous Legacies project at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian where he was employed. Already a member of a Taino cultural group founded
in the DR, Guabancex Viento y Agua, he felt that the group needed to be more inclusive and supportive of all native expressions originating in the Caribbean and the Diaspora. The advent of Facebook helped tremendously.
However, there were certain challenges
that needed to be met and overcome. For one, what would be the group focus? Would the group be an umbrella for other groups or fall under an umbrella of an existing entity. It was decided that as membership grew, these questions would arise and answered
by the group itself. And so it was.
Individually the members have many years of experience, collectively thousands of years. It is important to understand we are still an evolving collective. 500 years of colonization certainly has had its toll on individuals.
We encourage members to find their "niche", to find what it is they are good at and contribute to the whole. Some of us are craftsmen , some aer Historians/academics, etc We need them all. We only ask that the individual try to be the best at what
they do best, for the group and for themselves. We do not support half efforts which lead to full complaints.
Through workshops, lectures, documentaries and Areito (festivals) we hope to inspire the next generation of Taino descendants.