Hafa Adai! Welcome to Currents 671



Buenas, yan hafa adai!

We are Guampedia, Guam’s online encyclopedia. We operate out of Deans’ Circle on the University of Guam Campus in Mangilao with our awesome view of Pago Bay–somewhat blocked by the overgrowth of weeds and tangantangan, but awesome, nonetheless.

Those who are regular users of Guampedia.com know that although we are a small staff, we work hard to provide a resource that teaches people about Guam history and culture. To date, we have over 900 entries and over 3000 images featuring various aspects of Guam history, culture and society. And we’re still adding new content every chance we get. We’re hoping this year to include new entries on the environment and Spanish era, and are working on new projects all the time. We’ve got lots of stuff piled high like a 5-choice fiesta plate. Continue reading




Guampedia launches new section!

Guampedia has just launched a new section entitled, Voices of Our Elders, which presents stories and perspectives from our Chamorro elders on Chamorro folktales, religion and two periods in Guam history. Through this project, Guampedia has been able to add several new entries and produce new video vignettes that enhance previous sections of Guam history including the Spanish and Early Naval Eras.

The Voices of Our Elders project was partially funded by a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency.

There are four components of the project:

Chamorro Folktales Retold: Oral historian Toni “Malia” Ramirez and Tan Antonia Degracia Castro share some of their insights and important life lessons about the beloved folk tales of Sirena, the Maidens that Saved Guam, and Santa Marian Kamalen.

Hinenggen Chamorro: Join Pale’ Eric Forbes on a tour of his exhibit, Hinenngen Chamorro: Chamorro Faith in Pre-War Guam. You can view the tour in with Chamorro or English.

La Nao de China/Manila Galleon Trade Route: A Legacy for Guam: New entries and insights shared by Toni “Malia” Ramirez on the impacts of the Manila Galleon Trade Route on the people of the Mariana Islands during its 250-year run and on Chamorro culture today. Read the overview here.

The SMS Cormoran II: (launched earlier) New entries and insights shared by Toni “Malia” Ramirez on the impacts and stories of the 2-year 4-month internment of the German cruiser SMS Cormoran II from 1914-1917 in Apra Harbor until its scuttling and imprisonment of the 300+ crew members at the start of World War I for the United States. Find the list of entries here.

Explore the new Voices of Our Elders section. Watch the video vignettes here.

Si yu’us  ma’ase to our manaina who helped with this project, including Malia Ramirez and Tan Antonia, our filmmakers Tom Tanner and Burt Sardoma, the young talents who appear in the Sirena story, our many writers, historian friends and researchers, and community supporters.

Antes, Pa’go yan Mo’na: Chamorro weaving art exhibit

Flyer-internetMark your calendar!!

Antes, Pa’go yan Mo’na, an art exhibition featuring the weaving of the Chamorro people will be opening in January 2016. Featuring the work of four weavers–James Bamba, Mark Benavente, Jose Cruz, Jr., and Thomas Torres, Jr.–the exhibit promises to “showcase weaving at a whole new level.  This is not your standard static display of woven goods with descriptive placards.” The weavers will take visitors on “a journey across the millennia”…sharing stories of the Chamorro people and using traditional techniques passed down through families over generations to create woven works of art.

Opening reception is on January 8, 2016 from 6:00-9:00pm ChST at the Guam Council of the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) Art Gallery, located in the 1st floor of the Terlaje Bldg, in beautiful and historic Hagåtña, Guåhan.  The exhibit will open on January 8, 2016, and continue till the 29th of January, 2016 and is open during CAHA Art Gallery hours of operations, 8:00am – 5:00pm ChST!

Exhibit Programming:
Opening Reception:  January 8, 2016
Guided tour:  TBA
Closing:  January 29, 2016

For more information, visit: http://ginen-guahan.com/apym/

MARC Seminar Series: War For Guam Screening and Panel Discussion


MARC Seminar to Feature Powerful Film About World War II on Guam

Date: THURSDAY October 15, 2014

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Location: UOG CLASS Lecture Hall

Film: War For Guam

Opening Address: James P. Viernes, PhD, University of Guam 

Discussion Panelists: Lt. Col. Esther J. C. Aguigui (Guam National Guard), Mary Cruz, PhD (UOG Political Science Department) and Joaquin Perez (Political scientist, Retired civil servant)


MANGILAO, GUAM – The Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) announces the next installment in its Seminar Series entitled “Re/Envisioning Tiempon Gera: Chamorro Wartime Survivors as Living Warriors for Guam.”  

The event will feature a screening of War for Guam, a documentary about the experience and impact of World War II on the island directed by Frances Negrón Muntaner and co-produced by Baltazar Aguon, Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua, and Christine Borja Sumbi.

The film tells the story of how Chamorros endured a three-year Japanese occupation only to be stripped of much of their ancestral lands by the U.S after the military recaptured the island.

“I hope this film conveys how much the Chamorro people lost, and how much more we stand to lose,” Co-Producer Aguon expressed. “This generation of elders were more than just victims, they were heroes. To be able to pick up and move on to create a life in the face of devastation loss is the epitome of the Chamorro warrior spirit.”

War for Guam aims to lend increased voice to the people of Guam and facilitate an urgent dialogue about the long-term effects of ongoing U.S. colonialism and militarism on the island, adding complexity to the dominant survivor narrative of the war that is widely accepted in Guam.  

The screening will open with an address by Chamorro historian Dr. James Perez Viernes, and will be followed by a discussion panel featuring a diverse range of participants, who will engage the audience in an open dialogue about the film and panel discussion.

For more information please contact LaVonne Guerrero-Meno at (671) 735-2150 or lavonneg@uguam.uog.edu.



Lt. Col. Esther J.C. Aguigui, Guam National Guard

Lt. Col. Aguigui made history becoming the first female to earn the highest rank of the Guam National Guard. She began her military career in 1985 and has served in both the US Air Force Reserve and the Guam Air National Guard. Lt. Col. Aguigui brings to the panel the perspective of a Chamorro woman who navigates two seemingly different worlds between her native identity and the career she has built in service to the US military.

Mary Therese Cruz, PhD, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Political Science, University of Guam

Dr. Cruz has teaching and research specialization in indigenous politics, identity theory, Micronesian/Pacific Studies, and US State and Territorial politics. She brings a diverse background to the panel with particularly useful insight on present-day political developments and movements which speak to the postwar issues that linger today, as well as the possibilities for Guam and its people to move forward in addressing them.

Joaquin P. Perez, Retuired Civil Servant and Political Scientist

Mr. Perez devoted over thirty years of service to the Government of Guam and US Federal government. He has worked alongside and advised the island’s political leadership through decades of the people of Guam’s ongoing effort toward self -determination. Mr. Perez brings firsthand, lived experience of Guam’s fight over the last several decades to address the post-World War II inequities and injustices that permeate in the present and that are highlighted in the film.

Opening Address:

James P. Viernes, PhD, University of Guam History Department and Chamorro Studies Program

James Perez Viernes is from the village of Santa Rita.  He is an adjunct faculty member in the History and Chamorro Studies programs at the University of Guam. Dr. Viernes obtained his PhD in History from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a Master of Arts degree in Pacific Islands Studies, also from UH Mānoa. Dr. Viernes has done extensive research into the history of Sumay in southern Guam and the destruction of the village and displacement of its residents in the aftermath of World War II. His dissertation focused on issues of Chamorro masculinities, notions of manhood and US military colonialism on Guam during the early American administration (1898-1941).  


Advanced screening of “Hasso'” and Dr. Mike Carson presentation on Ritidian latte site

Hila'an latte

Hila’an latte


The Micronesian Area Research Center is starting up its seminar series with a special presentation by visiting archeoilogy professor Dr. Mike Carson, who will be presenting a lecture on his findings at the recently discovered ancient latte site at Litekyan (Ritidian). The site is a unique find as it has remained virtually undisturbed since the Chamorros left the area hundreds of years ago.

Prior to Carson’s lecture, Guampedia will be presenting an advanced screening of its new documentary Hasso: Guinahan Guahan. Stressing the importance of recognizing, protecting and preserving Guam’s unique heritage and historic sites, Hasso features interviews with local scholar James Viernes and cultural practitioners Toni Ramirez, Ko San Nicolas, Ben Sinahi del Rosario and Tan Antonia Castro who share their stories and insights regarding history, Chamorro culture, identity and historic preservation. The film was funded in part by the Guam Preservation Trust and the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency. Local videographers Tom Tanner and Burt Sardoma helped with the filming and editing.

Please join us!!

Date: 09 September 2014

Time: 5:30 pm

Location: UOG CLASS lecture hall


Event: iniguai presents Ancestors Reflections, Friday 04 September 2015

Ancestors Reflections Ancestors Reflections 2

For Immediate Media Release: 

iniguai presents 

ANCESTORS REFLECTIONS Curated by Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho

Greeted by a sonic wall of ancient chants, Ancestors Reflections is a groundbreaking ceremonial installation guiding the public through thresholds where “land meets urban realities.”

Activated through chant, dance, spoken word, video installations, collectively built altars, reggae, folk, and hip hop music, the show offers healing prayers for our island, planet, and all living beings.

Staged at Guam Art Exhibit (GAX) at Agaña Shopping Center for a one night only interactive sacred performance, Ancestors Reflections is the culmination of a two-month workshop collaboration with Sagan Kotturan Chamoru and Our Islands Are Sacred.

Curated by internationally based performance artist, facilitator, and cultural advocate, Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho, a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, returns to Guahan to produce this work through Iniguai, an emerging artists collective of Guåhan-based artists, bringing integrated approaches towards contemporary cultural expression.

Ancestors Reflections questions how we might acknowledge our ancestors today, through collective embodiment of genealogy, values and responsibilities,” says Alcantara-Camacho.  

The public is invited to participate in the Chamorro traditional value of inafa’maolek by bringing a piece of their ancestor’s land — coconut, leaves, special rocks, branches, logs, flowers — and offerings of pugua’, pugas (uncooked rice), tinifok (woven goods), coconut, hard candies, or ancestors portraits.

Next, Alcantara-Camacho heads to Hawaii to perform a solo hip hop theatre work Guåhu Guåhan, before a journey to Aotearoa (New Zealand) to support internationally acclaimed Atamira Contemporary Dance Company’s new work Mitimiti, empowering Chamoru approaches to international collaboration and cultural exchange. 

Iniguai artists and special guests include musicians Primitiva Muña, Eva Aguon Cruz, Guam Massive Sound, Josh Dee (of Iyani) & Ian Catling; dance artists, Alethea Bordallo, Isla Rae, & poets Shannon Balannon, Ryan Leon Guerrero, Willa the Mic Killa, and creative space-makers Talagi,  & Ann Lizama. 

Ancestors Reflections premieres one night only

Location: GAX | Guam Art Exhibit  (2nd floor Agana Shopping Center)

Time/Date: 6-10pm | Friday, September 4th 

Admission by donation of inafa’maolek

For more information visit  tinyurl.com/iniguaiatgax

First Callout for Guam’s Delegation to 12th FestPac 2016


First Official Callout for Guam’s Delegation to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts 2016 

(July 6, 2015, Hagåtña, Guam)The Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) is pleased to announce that the first official callout for Guam’s Delegation to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts 2016 will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2015. 

The launch for the callout will be held in the Multipurpose Auditorium, Building #400, at the Guam Community College (GCC) in Mangilao.  CAHA as the lead agency responsible for the development and execution of the artistic program for the festival is also charged with the selection and coordination of the 500-member Guam Delegation.  Representatives from the 5 programming committees:  Forums, Workshops and Seminars; Literary Arts; Performing Arts; Traditional Arts; and Visual Arts; will be at GCC to provide information, distribute applications and answer any questions. 

Monica Guzman, CAHA Board Chair and Festival Programming Chair stated “The Festival Programming Committee comprised of artisans, cultural practitioners and experts in the various artistic disciplines have been meeting since 2012 working diligently on the artistic program to ensure that the rich diversity of the Pacific communities are highlighted and celebrated during the two-week event. Selection criteria and specific genre criteria for the Guam Delegation have also been established by the group.  Since the first festival held in Fiji in 1972, Guam has had representation at every festival thereafter.  With Guam’s hosting of the festival next year, compared to our showing at past festivals, we will have the largest contingency of the island’s best artists and cultural practitioners, 500 strong to take part in the celebration and to assert our uniqueness as a people.”

Guzman added “For the first time Guam’s official delegation will include members of the Guam Diaspora living overseas in the U.S. mainland.  As the Diaspora needs to fundraise to come to Guam for the festival, first round of auditions were held earlier this year in San Diego, California.  The first 41 Diaspora delegates were selected.  Final round of Diaspora auditions will be held in October on the East Coast.”

Auditions and selection of delegates will take place throughout 2015 with the final selection set for January 2016 for the Guam Delegation to the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts. Delegate application forms can be downloaded off the CAHA website,www.guamcaha.org after July 11.

For further information, contact Jackie Balbas, CAHA Program Coordinator IV at 300-1205 or via email at jacqueline.balbas@caha.guam.gov.

Explore Guam! with Taliea Strohmeyer

From Color Guam Art by Taliea Strohmeyer

From Color Guam Art by Taliea Strohmeyer

Scroll down for information on the Color Guam Historical Tour and Book Launch, this Saturday May 9th!


A few months ago, Guampedia had the chance to work with artist/author Taliea Strohmeyer on her recent publication, Explore, Learn and Color Guam, a children’s interactive activity book. It was something right up our alley, featuring Guam history, historic sites, Chamorro culture, fun drawings, interesting factoids and things for kids to do with their parents and learn about Guam at the same time. And what kid doesn’t enjoy a coloring book? With Taliea’s impressive artwork, kids can color some of Guam’s most well known sites from around the island. Information about each site is provided in both English and Chamorro (courtesy of Toni “Malia” Ramirez from Department of Parks and Recreation).  There is also an informational website that parents and kids can visit (http://www.colorguam.com/) or use the QR codes to access audio clips describing these historic sites.

Congratulations to Taliea and her husband Thomas for a truly a unique and creative experience!!

From the Color Guam website:

Explore, Learn & Color Guam would like to invite the public to it’s first Historical Tour and Book Launch on Saturday, May 9th at the Plaza de España. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. It’s FREE and open to the public. We’ll be giving  away 25 books to the first kids, crayons, postcards, and bookmarks to the first 75 kids. The tour will include the Azotea, the Chocolate House, the Spanish Walls and the Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Latte Memorial Park. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to learn about Guam’s history and spend time together. It gives children a chance to socialize and be creative in a beautiful environment and enjoy Guam’s historical sites.

Featuring Don Pascual Artero y Saez

don pascual artero

Don Pascual Artero y Saez (1875 – 1956)

Don Pascual Artero y Saez was a prominent Spanish businessman, rancher and patriarch of the Artero family on Guam. Born in Mojácar, he served with the Spanish military in the western Pacific, married on Yap and settled in Guam at the turn of the 20th century. With his young family he created two large ranches with pasture lands for cattle in Upi and Toguag (Dededo and Yigo) and provided meat to the island. He also ran a saw mill that provided lumber and wood. Artero built up his wealth during the early naval administration of the island, only to lose most of it during the Japanese occupation of Guam in World War II. Known as a prayerful, devout Catholic, a generous individual and a man of character, Artero left a legacy for his many descendants of business savvy, a hardworking attitude, a willingness to dream big and a loyalty and devotion to the island and its people.

Although Don Pascual is a well known figure in 20th century Guam history, like other historical figures from Guam, there are few biographical sources available about him. However, we were able to produce this entry with the generous assistance of Department of Chamorro Affairs president (and great grandson of Don Pascual) Joseph Artero-Cameron, who provided Don Pascual’s memoirs and, with his mother,  filled in some of the blanks. 

Read more about Don Pascual here

Just in time for Valentine’s Day–Check out Guampedia’s Gift Shop!

giftshophomeHuzzah!! The Guampedia online Gift Shop is Now Open!

Looking for something special for that special someone?

Nothing whispers sweet nothings to your sweetheart better than a gift from the Guampedia Gift Shop!

Now re-opened for business, the Gift Shop offers a selection of Guam-themed books and gifts for people of all ages and interests. Learn to speak conversational Chamorro or create tropical art! Read about adventures in World War II Guam, or rediscover new adaptations of beloved Chamorro folk tales!

Teachers, find resources for your students to learn about and appreciate Chamorro history and culture!

Ladies, find a selection of exquisite jewelry pieces designed exclusively for Guampedia by Chamorro Master carver-Body Ornamentation artist, Jill Benavente!

All items are produced by local authors or artists, or are books with stories that take place on Guam. We will continue to expand our offerings and products in the Gift Shop, so be sure to check back often!


Shipping and Handling

Most items can be picked up locally from our office at House #3 Deans Circle, University of Guam, Mangilao. Please call or email us first.

Shipping to US addresses is via USPS Priority flat rate, unless other arrangements are made. Jewelry purchases are online only. International Orders must be placed with us directly.


Support Guampedia and local artists/authors

A portion of the proceeds from sales at the Guampedia Gift Shop help support our continuing mission to educate people and promote knowledge and appreciation of Guam’s culture and history!

For inquiries about the Guampedia Gift Shop, please contact us.


December 14, 2014: 100th Anniversary of the Arrival of the SMS Cormoran II on Guam

cormoran II


In East Hagatna, near Padre Palomo Park, the US Naval Cemetery can be seen located right along Marine Drive. Now that the chain link fence is gone and the stop light actually turns red to enable traffic coming down from Route 8 to turn left onto Marine Drive, your car might possibly stop in front of the cemetery. Keep your eyes on the road, of course, but if you can, steal a glance toward the cemetery and look for a small obelisk-shaped stone among the other headstones. You will have quickly located the marker memorializing the seven German sailors that died during the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran II.

On December 14, 1914, the German raider SMS Cormoran II, made its way into Apra Harbor, weather beaten and low on fuel after traveling back and forth around the south Pacific, using evasive maneuvers to escape from Japanese warships during World War I. Commanded by Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt, the Cormoran arrived on Guam and the captain disembarked to request from the naval governor, William Maxwell, enough fuel for the ship and 30-days provisions for the tired and weary crew. Due to tensions between the United States and Germany at the time, however, the governor refused the request and interned the ship and its crew for three years. During much of this time, the crew was treated as friendly guests who were able to socialize and interact with local military personnel and island residents. It was a unique opportunity for cultural exchange for the Chamorro people with the largely German crew, which also included individuals from China and German New Guinea.

When the US finally entered World War I on April 7, 1917, naval Governor Roy C. Smith, ordered the surrender of the Cormoran to the US. Captain Zuckschwerdt told the governor he and his crew would be willing to surrender, but he could not surrender the ship. The crew proceeded to scuttle the vessel–a large explosion causing the Cormoran to sink within minutes. Seven men died and the Americans rescued the crew, declaring them prisoners of war and sent them to various POW camps throughout the US. After the war they returned to Germany.

There is at least one family on Guam that are descendants of one of the Cormoran crew members–the Grays.

Guampedia recently received a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities to create some new entries and possibly an exhibit about the Cormoran and its three-year stay on Guam. We are also interested in learning more about stories others may have that were passed down to them from their grandparents or great grandparents or other elders. Please contact us at the Guampedia office if you have any information that you would like to share about this historic visit.

More to come….