In times past, knowledge, skills, family and village histories were passed down to the younger generations through different guma’ or houses, such as the guma’saga’ or the family home, or the guma’ulitao, the bachelor’s house. In these spaces young Chamorros, would be given the crucial knowledge of their family, clan and village genealogy, and also be imparted the necessary skills for tasks such as planting, fishing, navigation, debate and weaving. Through this inter-generational sharing, young Chamorros would be prepared to be productive, respectful and active members of both their clan and their village.
As Chamorros and their islands face uncertain futures due to various economic, health, environmental, military and social concerns, it is crucial that we come together to work towards developing progressive solutions to these problems. This year’s gathering hopes to continue the spirit of our ancestors by creating a guma’famoksaiyan, or a house where we can nurture each other, grow and strategize ways to continue paddling forward. We will do this by first, providing presentations and facilitating discussions about fundamental issues that are affecting our people and our islands, whether it be health and diet issues, the impending military buildup, the reality of Guam’s physical environment, the decolonization of Guam and the plight of the Chamorro language. Second, in the hopes of building a more progressive and critical Chamorro / Guam community, we will also convene working groups to discuss different projects and strategies to creatively and effectively confront the existing problems that face our island.
We are hoping to get as many Chamorros, people from Guam and other interested allies involved, so please contact me if you'd like to attend or like more info. Or you can head to the Guma'Famoksaiyan blog.
I'm pasting the tentative schedule below, and there are a few more details that we're looking to take care of, but most everything is already set and ready to go!! We are though looking for help in terms of funding the conference, and so please if you would like to help support us and this gathering, click on this link to make a tax-deductible donation through Paypal.
One more quick update, Famoksaiyan is now on Facebook!!! Check it out here, and if you're interested I'm always looking for people to be in charge of Famoksaiyan's online pages.
Tentative Famoksaiyan 2008 schedule
MAY 23-25, 2008
San Diego, CA
May 24th - Day 2 of the Conference @ Joyce Beers Center
8:00 – 9: 00 am: Breakfast, set up time
9:00 – 10:00 am: Introduction, Famoksaiyan and how far we’ve come since 2006
10:00 – 11:00 am: Language Ice-Breaker #1- Chamorro Speed Dating
11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Session 1 (Breakout)
Session A: Updates on the Environment in the Marianas
Session B: Updates on the Military Buildup in the Marianas
12:30 -1:30 pm - LUNCH
1:30 – 3:00 pm: Session 2 (Single)
Guam Feature Film Project
Presenter: Alex Munoz
3:00 – 4:30 pm: Session 3 (Single)
Guam Humanities Council – Guampedia
Presenter: Shannon Murphy
4:30 – 5:30 pm: Closing
MAY 25 - Day 3 of the Conference – Son’s and Daughters of Guam Club
8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast, Setup time
9:00 – 10:00: Second Day opening
10:00 – 11:00 am: Language Ice-Breaker #2: Learning Chamorro through songs
11:00 am -12:30 pm: Session 4 (Breakout)
Sessions A: Traditional Arts
Sessions B: Creative Arts
12:30-1:30 pm: LUNCH
1:30-3:00 pm: Decolonization Roleplaying (a group activity where people are divided into different camps on Guam or in the diaspora and must discuss with each other, and convince each other about the importance of decolonization)
4:00 – 5:30 pm:
Famoksaiyan Working Groups
Tentative List: Famoksaiyan website, Famoksaiyan Newsletter, Funding Movements on Guam, Setting up Fiesta Outreach Schedule, Making Youtube videos