Tukuda Jessie Hurani Marrero

Director of Language Preservation

Miyari, da traha Tukuda Jess Hurani.

Hello, I am Tukuda Jess Hurani.
I serve as both a Council person and as the Director of Language Preservation for
Higuayagua. For the past few years, I had the honor and privilege of working with
Kasike Jorge on reconstructing our Taino language and creating the Hiwatahia-
Hekexi Taino language (English/Taino) dictionary.

I aim to promote a solid and accurate knowledge base of the Taino culture,
practices, and traditions to wa luku, our people. I believe language plays an
important role in indigenous identity, pride, connection and awareness. In my efforts to strengthen and spread the use of our language, I am engaged in many
ongoing language projects all centered around language development and
language education– like presenting language classes (both language practice and
language theory), producing the upcoming Spanish/Taino language dictionary,
working with the uwabaya (fabulous) language team on creating varied and
engaging learning and teaching tools, and that is just the start…

I am fluent in Spanish and English; I have studied linguistics, as well as Latin and
French. I am certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and
(TESOL). I was a bilingual/dual-language, elementary school teacher in the NYC
public school system; and I worked with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of
the American Indian in New York City- as a volunteer in the Resource Center and
as a contractor for children’s programs.

As an undergraduate, I majored in Psychology and minored in French; in graduate
school, I earned a Master’s degree in Experiential Health and Healing and
Integrative Medicine.

My roots and my soul are in Boriken; I was raised on Lenape land, and I currently
reside on Kumeyaay land.