On April 20, we took the adult pottery classes to Taller Cabachuelas, owned by the Taíno potter Alice Chéveres in the town of Morovis. The potter lives, works and teaches there. The area has been home to several generations of the Chéveres family who identify as descendants of the Taino. The Taíno were a historic Indigenous people of the Caribbean. Alice’s mother, Evarín Chéveres, and archaeologists Roberto Martínez Torres and Daniel Silva Pagán founded Taller Cabachuelas in 1984. They were instrumental in teaching Alice the art of indigenous pottery making.

Visiting her Taíno pottery workshop was undoubtedly a moving experience. The students listened inspired as Alice talked about the process of extracting clay from the surrounding areas and creating an above-ground wood firing pit to fire her finished pieces. Alice does not use an electric kiln. She explained that everything she needs is provided by nature, including the materials to paint her pottery pieces.

After 35 years of working at Taller Cabachuelas, Alice remains motivated by her deep understanding that teaching others the process of making indigenous pottery is synonymous with preserving the Taino legacy left by our ancestors. It was a great educational and motivating experience that helped us better understand the importance of the Taino heritage as part of the history of Puerto Rican art. We hope to return. Enjoy the photos.