Governor Calvo Salutes Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos
A tribute to a Chamorro hero
By Eddie Baza Calvo
Hafa adai my family and friends,
Yesterday, there was a groundbreaking ceremony on a project to improve the Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Latte Memorial Park located in the heart of our island’s capital, Hagatna. It’s a fitting location and tribute for Angel who is a hero of our island and our Chamorro culture. The Park was originally called the Latte Stone Park for the lattes that were brought there and upon them our Chamorro ancestors built their homes.
Today, the acho’ latte is an icon of our culture. It symbolizes the strength and the ingenuity of the Chamorro people, and the love we have for our culture, our people and our land.
Before he became a senator, Angel was a young activist who fought for the rights of the Chamorro people. He protested, led a hunger strike, and he threw himself in front of the governor’s car to convince him to open the application process for the Chamorro Land Trust. He won that battle. He would take the crusade to the Legislature where he continued to promote land issues.
Much like the acho’ latte, Angel became a symbol of strength and love. He reminded us that we, the Chamorro people, are among the most blessed on this earth to have been given this beautiful island of Guam. He reminded us that we have a culture that goes back thousands of years – it’s an ancient culture that has weathered the storm of colonialism. He reminded us that it is our responsibility, our duty, our privilege to take care of our island and our people, and to teach our children that lesson as well.
The park is now part of a popular tourist trek for our visitors, which takes them through various points of Hagåtña, including Paseo Park, Chamorro Village, and Plaza de Espana. This project is just one of many that aims to improve our capital city so it better illustrates our rich culture and history.
For those who haven’t been to the Angel L.G. Santos Memorial Park, I would encourage you to visit. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about our island and one of the men who helped make it a better place to live.