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OUR MISSION

At Casa Areyto, we envision a world in which Taíno descendants know who they are and where they come from. To that end, we work to revitalize the Taíno language and culture (assumed lost for 500+ years). Join our efforts to bring back Taíno because together we can do it!

THE TAÍNO LANGUAGE AND PEOPLE

Taíno homelands
Taíno petroglyph of a bird at the Caguana Ceremonial Park

The Taíno are an Indigenous people of the Americas, and the original inhabitants of the islands of the Caribbean and certain parts of the southern United States. They were the first group of Native Americans encountered by Europeans in 1492.

 

The Taíno were thought to be extinct by much of society for hundreds of years, as many Taíno people were killed or hid from the government during European colonization of the Americas.

 

However, in reality, Taíno people never died out! Many of them lived on and passed down their culture through the generations, and studies have shown that a large portion of Caribbeans have Taíno ancestry. Now, in the 21st century, individuals and organizations, such as Casa Areyto, are working to revitalize the Taíno language and culture.

Reconstruction of a Taíno village in Cuba

OUR FOUNDERS

Priscilla & Ely Colón

Co-founders & Creatives

As Taíno Indigenous descendants, we have embarked on a journey of self-discovery, working to learn and share information about our Indigenous roots. Here's a little bit more about us.

As a writer, artist, teacher, and language nerd at heart, Priscilla has shared her passion for education, working on language programs for more than 20 years. Her experiences have led her to what she considers her life's mission: to bring healing to the Taíno Indigenous community by teaching and promoting the Taíno language and culture via free online videos, kids' books, and live events.

Born and raised in Borikén (Puerto Rico), Ely has fond memories of his grandfather's farm where he learned to care for animals and identify traditionally Indigenous crops and the different uses of herbs. Ely continues to use his love of land to nurture his own kunúku (veggie garden) in southern New Hampshire. He also enjoys creating handmade jewelry inspired by Taíno Indigenous pieces and sharing information about his Indigenous roots with the public at local events.

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OUR NAME

Casa Areyto

Pink hydrangeas

The name Casa Areyto has deep meaning for us. First, the name represents our Spanish and Taíno language backgrounds. "Casa" means "home" in Spanish, and "aréyto" is  a Taíno word for "ceremonial dance and celebration". During an aréyto, our ancestors gathered to sing songs, recite poetry, and perform beautifully choreographed dances as a way to tell our people's stories and pass on our traditions. The aréyto, in essence, is an act of remembrance. Through Casa Areyto, we hope to continue our Taíno ancestors' legacy by helping us remember our Indigenous language and culture.

Casa Areyto's konúko (garden)
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