Let’s take a trip to one of the most historical villages on the island for Guam History and Chamoru Heritage Day in the beautiful village of Umatac.
Guam – As an annual reenactment of a significant part of our island’s history, dozens of residents and visitors alike have set up canopies or found a spot on the grass to witness the Guma’ Nina’en Acho Latte’s 3rd year reenacting Ferdinand Magellan’s landing on our island’s shores back in 1521.
Ray Lujan, I Fafanague gi Guma’ Nina’en Acho Latte shared with us the importance of the reenactment. “A lot of times we don’t understand, our students don’t understand where they come from. We have to educate them in the history of our island.”
The goal of the reenactment is to depict, through narration, the life of the CHamorus prior to Western contact and what happens when two cultures collide.
However, this year is unlike any other. No longer is it just Mes CHamoru – now the island can celebrate an entire year dedicated to our history and heritage, with I Sakkan CHamoru…
“Well I’ll tell you what, it should be every day. It’s a yearly thing and I don’t think that we should just concentrate on a month on this because this if of course our culture or heritage. We should observe that everday,” said Umatac resident Manny Aquiningoc.
“It’s really good because we get more activities to do. We got into the culture a lot and that’s how should be, we should be promoting our culture, promoting our practices, promoting everything that is CHamoru,” said Isaiah Jude Duenas Castro, a student of Southern High School who has played Magellan for 3 years.
So what does I Sakkan CHamoru mean?
“I Sakkan CHamoru, our theme, Man Hihita Marianas and what it is, is celebrating the CHamoru-ness if you would put it that way or the CHamoru-ness of the people of the Marianas coming together. You know, finally being one,” said Lujan.
Tonight’s festivities will go on through 11:30 pm with a fireworks display to start at 7:00.
If you happen to miss this week’s celebrations don’t you worry, they’ve got another weekend planned for residents and visitors to enjoy. Starting this coming Friday the 8th through Sunday the 10th, which will also be the very last reenactment of Magellan’s landing at 4pm.