Guampedia Launches “Voices of Our Elders”

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The “Voices Of Our Elders” project features oral stories and perspectives about Guam history from the elders of Guam.

Guam – Guampedia is launching it’s “Voices of Our Elders” project which highlights the perspectives and experiences of the island’s elders.

 

 Guampedia is taking a unique look at the island’s history by having elders of the island give their perspectives of some historical events. “What we’re trying to do with this project is to basically highlight the perspectives and experiences of our Saina of our Manaina because sometimes their voices get overlooked or forgotten,” said Guampedia content editor Dominica Tolentino. Tolentino says that the “Voices of Our Elders” project allows them to take a look at specific historical events from the view of the native Chamoru people.

 Tolentino says that Tony Ramirez is their main consultant who is retelling some of these stories. “And giving a new way to understand them and to interpret them and learn from them because we might have the basic elements of the story but when tony retells them he points out all of these different things that we probably never thought of before,” said Tolentino adding, “He is an excellent source for ours because often times when you are dealing with speaking with older people or trying to collect oral histories that’s a real skill that a lot of historians or researchers don’t possess but Tony has a real gift for it and he’s collected a lot of stories speaking to so many different people and he has access to information that we as a group probably wouldn’t be able to have unless we had someone like Tony,” said Tolentino. Other contributors to the project include Tan Antonia Degrasia Castro and Father Eric Forbes.

 

 “We really hope that what this project will do is bring a greater awareness about the importance of our elders and the stories that they have to share with us and I hope it will also encourage young people to want to learn the stories of their elders and also to write down their own stories so that there’s a record of what they experienced and what they can leave behind and can pass on to their children and grandchildren,” said Tolentino.