Office of Minority Health develops sex-ed curriculum for Chuukese and Chamoru communities

2017

According to Dr. Lisa Natividad in both cultures the subject of sex is taboo which is why they had to approach the subject as gingerly and culturally appropriate as possible.

Guam – New curriculum has been developed to educate the Chuukese and Chamoru communities about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The authors of the curriculum have partnered with the GALA organization to hold a workshop at the Guam Museum. The workshop began on Monday and ends on Friday the 22nd. The purpose of the workshop is to help train those who will be using this curriculum. The office of minority health resource center wanted to design culturally relevant curriculum which was then printed by the University of Guam press. Curriculum called “Navigating Personal Wellbeing and Sexuality: A Facilitator’s Guide for Working with Chuukese and Chamoru Communities” was authored by Dr. Timmy Delacruz and Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad with help from experts in the Chuukese and Chamoru cultures. Dr. Natividad says that in both cultures the subject of sex is taboo which is why they had to approach the subject as gingerly and culturally appropriate as possible.

“For example, in the Chamoru side of the curriculum we purposefully integrate the use of Chamoru legends so the beginning of the curriculum starts to talk about love and relationships and so we use the story of Puntan Dos Amantes for example. The same with the Chuuk side of the curriculum. We use a Chuukese legend for that component,” said Dr. Natividad.

“So that way we will be aligning everything that we are teaching regarding the sex and sexual well-being to Chuukese without infringing on our cultural background,” said Chuukese cultural advisor Juan Martin.

“Why is that we only really start talking to our kids about sex once they’re already pregnant or once they already contract sexually transmitted diseases? By then its already incredibly late. So, what this curriculum does is it gives us kind of this way to connect with our kids,” said contributor Francine Naputi.

The workshop includes lessons on culturally appropriate tools to address sex, human sexuality, sexual orientation, and personal well-being practices.