Guam History and CHamoru Heritage Day commemorated

Officials and village residents help commemorate Guam History and CHamoru Heritage Day. (PNC photo by Isaiah Aguon)

Island residents celebrated Guam History and CHamoru Heritage Day differently this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today is Guam History and CHamoru Heritage Day and the people of Humatak, the US Navy, and the Spanish Navy unveiled a revised plaque to accompany the original Magellan monument.

The Magellan Monument was erected to commemorate Guam’s first documented contact with Western civilization.

It is located in Humatak which was Guam’s original capital under the Spaniards.

This year is like no other because the annual reenactment did not happen today due to the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The reenactment shows the historical events that happened during the first landing at Humatak Bay and the narration of the life of the CHamorus prior to Western contact.

Guam Preservation Trust Chief Program Officer Joseph Quinata says although the reenactment did not take place today, they plan to start a new tradition next year by laying the wreath out on the water to honor those who have gone before us.

“The new tradition is set to begin this year and will recognize, acknowledge, and reflect on the people that died before us under the Spanish rule and American rule,” Quinata said.

Quinata added that most of the plans for Mes CHamoru have been cancelled also because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr.Robert Underwood, a member of I Kumision I Fino’ CHamoru’, says this is a historic day.

“This was the original capital of Guam under the Spaniards, this was also the day the first Manila galleons used to come in. There is a lot of history behind this and the historical imagination allows us to participate in it and certainly, that’s what we are trying to bring honor to,” Underwood said.