Forever Chamorro – Remembering Who I Am

There is something about cultural identity that is so powerful.  I am from the island of Guam.  I was born there and grew up there most of my life. I am a descendant of the native people called Chamorros.

There is no pure native left, as the result of  colonialism and the intermixing with the conquering nations.  Today, Chamorros include in their ancestry Spanish, Portuguese, German, American , and various Asian nationalities.

It has been a culture sustained by oral history and also the traditions that have been muted with some foreign influence , but at its core is the native heartbeat.

The number of Chamorros is small.  Most don’t even live on the island of Guam and the Northern Marianas.  They are now scattered mainly in the USA and abroad.   It is a culture that is disappearing in some ways and has been the center of vigorous attempts by certain sectors of  island leadership to promote and preserve.

Personally, it has been the source of identity and pride. I belong to a tribe of humans whose culture has survived the onslaught of exterior forces.  I find that being a Chamorro is part of who I am.  It is a culture that is rich in a tradition of strong familial ties which continue to be followed today.

Remembering who I am includes remembering that I am Chamorro.

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