As CHamoru month comes to a close, the non-profit organization House of Chamorros held a virtual event Tuesday morning to update residents on the first public structure representing CHamoru culture in the continental U.S.
Located at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, the cottage built by House of Chamorros is nearing completion.
The cottage will offer information and activities to teach visitors about CHamoru culture.
President of the House of Chamorros, Jeff Macaraeg acknowledged those who were involved and continue to support the project.
“Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and donors who have committed themselves through hours of community service and raising donations from the community at large and funding donations from the Mariana governments, major corporations, and local people who realize the impact and importance of a physical structure thousands of miles away from their native home,” Macaraeg said.
He added: “Our goal with The House of Chamorros is to have a house so that the diaspora of our community and the CHamorus of the world can visit a physical house in San Diego and learn about their culture through historical artifacts, activities, dance, entertainment, and delicacies they have maybe only heard about through their families or friends who have visited the Mariana islands.”
Though construction of the cottage is almost complete, the organization still seeks more monetary donations
Loling Cepeda, a member of the organization’s board, said: “From the start in 2016, new challenges face the project yearly. As construction dates drew near, the more than than year-old construction estimates need updating. Cost increased and doubled by 2018. We humbly seek your continued support and generous donation toward our new goal to finally complete our Guma. Our new goal is 80% fulfilled, we’re almost there but we can’t do it without you.”
The House of Chamorros center became a part of the 2020 expansion of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
The House of Pacific Relations International Cottages is a group of cottages in Balboa Park that were created to promote goodwill and understanding through educational and cultural programs
The expansion includes the Philippines, Mexico, Panama, Korea, Peru India, Turkey, and Palestine.
The virtual event also featured speakers from island businesses and government officials such as Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Payless President Kathy Calvo, Bank Pacific Board Chairman, Phil Flores and more
For more information on the project and how you can show your support, check out the House of Chamorro Website at houseofchamorros.org