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We the Chamorro People

I spent a few days on the Island of Yap recently, or the State of Yap, I should say… the State of Yap of the Federated States of Micronesia. I was so impressed by the Yapese quiet and gentle way of life and how they’ve held true to their culture in this day and age. For example, our group wanted to film a particular area of the island and our young guide told us he would check with the elders to be sure it was ok. Checking with the Yapese elders…I really loved that.
Traveling teaches me life lessons and this is what I learned from my trip to Yap: We are a close-knit community on Guam, but we are not nearly as close as we should be. I’m proud Guam is known as a cultural melting pot and that people from all over the planet call it home. I would not be familiar with so many different ethnicities had I not lived among them. However, at the end of the day, Guam is still tano y Chamorro…land of the Chamorros. Yap reminded me that it is extremely imperative for we the Chamorro people to know our history, our traditions, our language, and most importantly, each other, if we want to hold on to that claim. I think that if we the Chamorro people were bound together more tightly and were more in tune with our culture and traditions, then perhaps we might not have some of many problems our community is dealing with today. If we the Chamorro people do not know or respect our own culture and environment, how can we expect any different from someone who moved here from another country or neighboring island? The thing is, if Guam is truly tano y Chamorro, then Chamorros should be responsible for collectively setting the example on how to live on their land and in harmony. We the Chamorro people should not expect this from anyone else.
I’m only slightly embarrassed that it took a visit to another island for me to realize this.

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3 Responses

  1. Aguarin Iriarte says:

    Amen, che’lu-hu. 🙂

  2. Paul Torres says:

    As a fellow Chamorro.., I could not agree more with the assessment that the Chamorro People in Guam have lost that of which makes us unique on this planet… I remember growing up.., we the Chamorro family and neighbors would look out for one another… We were very cordial and respectful of others…
    Slowly I watched as these simple ways eroded to what we call today the “Modern Ways”.., I describe the new way as very distant, impersonal and lacking in community…
    We have forgotten that the simple things in life is what truly matters, at the end of the day all these modern things and ways will fail us all…
    “I miss the days when life was much simpler”.
    “Si Yuus Maase”


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