The Guam Preservation Trust offers Ekungok i Estoriå-ta (Listen to Our Stories), an online resource for teaching about Guam’s historic sites. These 10 treasured stories of significant historic sites on Guam are told in CHamoru, both in narrative and song, as the goal of this project is to provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of teaching methods for place-based learning. 

A group of CHamoru language teachers learned about several sites on Guam and wrote stories about them in a CHamoru narrative.  Musicians then wrote songs about the sites based on the narrative provided by the teachers.  

Making historic preservation a community responsibility

This project is a part of the Guam Preservation Trust’s vision and mission to make historic preservation a community responsibility. The Trust collaborated with the Richard and Julia Moe Family Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Guam Department of Education CHamoru Studies and Special Projects Division to create the project.

As all historic sites have treasured stories behind them, the goal of this project was to bridge CHamoru culture with historic sites and provide a place based learning aid to be taught in the CHamoru language as a means to perpetuate the native language of the Marianas.  This project reinforces the use of  the CHamoru language as the CHamoru language was historically passed down orally. Using the indigenous language is also an innovative way to transmit these stories.

The inaugural group of teachers received training in history methods during the Summer of 2019 before they conducted original research on their respective sites. The teachers then created a narrative, aligned the subject matter into CHamoru language curriculum standards, and created lesson plans and sample activities for in-class use as well as at the sites.

The musical talent, found within the staff and friends of the Guam Preservation Trust, used the narratives written by the CHamoru language teachers to create original songs and melodies.

The initial core group of CHamoru language teachers have also been asked to teach the remaining CHamoru language teachers to use the digital tools created by the project, including DVDs, video, and on-line resources. The goal is to have many future generations know about Guam’s historic sites using the CHamoru language and to have them transmit that knowledge to the entire community.

Lesson Plan Authors

  • Acho’ Fouha, Umatac, Tinige’ Garcia B.W. Rodriguez
  • Kampanayon Malesso, Merizo, Tinige’ Rufina Mendiola
  • Fuerte Nuestra Señora de la Soledad yan i Sengsong Humatak, Umatac, Tinige’ Mae Nowell
  • Guma’ Kongresu/Liheslaturan Guahan, Hagåtña, Tinige’ Rufina Mendiola
  • Guma’ Jose Pangelinan Lujan, Hagåtña, Tinige’ Julie Taitague Garcia
  • I Sengsong Litekyan Ritidian, Yigo, Tinige’ Maria Agulto
  • Kombento gi iya Malesso, Merizo, Tinige’ Julie Taitague Garcia
  • Påle’ Diego Luis de San Vitores, Tumon, Tinige’ Grace Rodriguez
  • Plåsa de Espåña, Hagåtña, Tinige’ Barbara Manibusan
  • I Sengsong Inalahan gi iya Guahan, Inarajan, Tinige’ Julie Taitague Garcia

The Stories in Songs

  • Vocals, lyrics, and music composed by Jesse Bais and Ruby Santos
  • Studio engineer and musical arranger: Zachary Quinata
  • Musicians: Zachary Quinata, Kameron Quinata, Les Aquiningoc, Ruby Santos, and Jesse Bais and mastered by Roberto Aguon
  • Recording were made in September 2020 at the Historic Lujan House. The lyrics and guitar chords for each song are found on the back page of each respective lesson plan. 

Click here to access the project: Ekungok i Estoriå-ta (Listen to Our Stories)