About Guam

Useful Guam Websites

Indigenous people: Chamorros (Chamorus), who first settled the island more than
4,000 years ago.


Capital: Hagåtña


Leadership: Governor Eddie B. Calvo, Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio, Congressional Delegate Madeleine
Z. Bordallo, Legislative Speaker Judith Won Pat


Political Status: Organized, unincorporated territory of the United States since 1950. Considered a U.S. colony.


Economy: Mainly supported by tourism particularly from Japan, Korea and the United States
armed forces. The military is the secondary economic force.


Slogans: Tano I’ ManChamorro (Land of the Chamorros). As the
United States westernmost territory: “Where America’s Day Begins.”


Villages: Asan-Maina, Agana Heights, Agat, Barrigada, Chalan Pago-Ordot,
Dededo, Hagåtña, Inarajan, Mangilao, Merizo, Mongmong-Toto-Maite, Piti,
Santa Rita, Sinajana, Talofofo, Tamuning-Tumon, Umatac, Yigo, and Yona.


Land Area: 214 square miles ( 549 square kilometers ) including outlying islands.


Location: Latitude 13.28 degrees North and Longitude 144.47 East, largest and
southernmost of the Mariana Islands in the Micronesian region of the Pacific.


Official Languages: English and Chamorro


Time: Chamorro Standard Time (Greenwich Mean Time +10)


Population: 178,000 (2009 census update)


Currency: U.S. Dollar


Climate: Between 75-86 degrees Fahrenheit (26-30 degrees Celsius) Averaging 81 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius)


Seasons: Dry season between January and May; Rainy season between October and December.


Rainfall: Annual average is approximately 80 inches (2,509 millimeters)


Guam Territorial Bird: Ko’ko’ or Guam Rail.


Guam Territorial Tree: Ifit or Ifil (Intsia Bijuga).


Guam Territorial Flower: Puti tai nobio or Bougainvillea.

 


 

People and Culture

Guam of today is a truly cosmopolitan community with a unique culture, the core of which is the ancient Chamorro heavily influenced by the Spanish occupation and the Catholic Church. Strong American influence is also evident in the celebration of many public holidays, the form of Government and the pride in being U.S. that is displayed by the populace. Guam 's culture has also been influenced and enriched by the Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Micronesian immigrants each group of whom have added their unique contributions. The present population of Guam, 2006, is approximately 171,000 of whom roughly 37% are Chamorro, 26% Filipino, 11% other Pacific Islander with the remaining 26% primarily Caucasian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, all of whom bring their cultural heritage and customs and contribute to Guam 's unique culture and appeal.


The core of Guam culture, the Chamorro, is characterized by a complex social protocol centered upon respect, caring, accepting and helping one another. Inafa'maolek, or interdependence, is a central value in Chamorro culture which depends on a spirit of cooperation. Historian Lawrence Cunningham in 1992 wrote, "In a Chamorro sense, the land and its produce belong to everyone. This is the armature, or core, that everything in Chamorro culture revolves around. It is a powerful concern for mutuality rather than individualism and private property rights." The culture is visibly manifested in the kissing of the hands of elders, passing of legends, music, dance, chants, courtship rituals, handicrafts, burial rituals, preparation of herbal medicines, and requesting forgiveness from spiritual ancestors when entering a jungle. Glimpses of Guam culture are evident in local legends and folklore such as the taotaomona (ancient spirits), doomed lovers leaping to their death off Two Lovers' Point (Puntan Dos Amantes), and Sirena, a beautiful young girl who became a mermaid.

 


 

Economy

Primarily, the island’s economy depends on tourism, Department of Defense installations, and locally owned businesses.  Guam is a popular destination for Japanese tourists.  Its tourist hub, Tumon, features over 20 large and modern hotels, a Duty Free Shoppers Galleria, Pleasure Island district, indoor aquarium, Sandcastle Las Vegas-styled shows and other shopping and entertainment venues.  It has a wonderful all year long summer weather at about 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (26 to 30 degrees Celsius), but mostly averaging at 81 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).  Compared to Hawaii, it is a fairly short flight from Asia or Australia.  Guam has hotels and seven public golf courses accommodating over tens of thousands to over a million of tourists per year.  Although more or less 75% of the tourists are Japanese, Guam also receives a considerable number of tourists from South Korea, the United States, Philippines, and Taiwan.  Substantial sources of revenue in clued duty-free designer shopping outlets, and the American-style malls such as Micronesia Mall, Guam Premier Outlets, the Agana Shopping Center, and the world’s largest Kmart.

 


 

Military Build-up

Guam is the Tip of the Spear for our country's mission in this part of the world, where emerging threats and growing American interests rest. Just as the people of Guam have answered the call of duty fighting in every war and conflict of the past century, Guam stands ready to support our country in this strategic mission to help improve the security of the nation.


As the military expands its presence on our island, Guam is strengthening its infrastructure and making every effort to ensure this growth is sustained well into the future


The population of Guam is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next four years. That's because the U.S. military plans to redeploy thousands of Marines and their families from the Japanese island of Okinawa. The move could bring an economic boom to the Pacific island but it threatens to strain Guam's infrastructure.


The US and Japan agreed to the troop transfer three years ago, to reduce US troop presence in Okinawa.