"Silebra I giput Chamoru pa'go na mes."
My Dear People of Guam,
Buenas yan Hafa Adai… from all of us at the Guam Legislature.
Minagof Minaolek para todu hamyo! Ginen hami gi Mina' Trentai Unu na Liheslaturan Guahan. Maila' ta silebra I giput Chamoru pa'go na mes.
The month of March is dedicated to the advancement of our knowledge about the history and culture of the indigenous people of the Marianas. As we participate in educational activities at school or cultural festivities at work, let us keep in mind that we do so in advancement of the Chamorro people, language, and culture. It is my firm belief that knowing one's past and where we came from as a people strengthens our cultural identity and solidarity as a people.
With experience as my teacher, I've come to learn that when we lose the land we live on, through sale or condemnation, it is a terrible thing. I've also come to learn that when we lose or relinquish the ability to govern ourselves (as individuals, as a family unit, or as a people) this too is a terrible thing. But when we lose our language, we lose what is the soul of our identity, culture, and traditional practices. Worst, when we lose our language we forever become disconnected from the wisdom of our ancestors.
Language is more than amedium of communication. Language is the identity of a people. It is a crucial element in the structuring of our thought process and gives meaning to our natural and social environment.
My Dear People, we are one generation away from the extinction of the Chamorro language if we don't act now. Chamorro month and the activities associated with it provide the opportunity and hope that we need as a People to stand in solidarity and protect our land, culture, traditions, and language.
The Chamorro language, culture, and the rich history of the Chamorro people are what tie us together as a Pacific people. As with our Pacific island brothers and sisters, and our Asian neighbors, there is solidarity through heritage. We must continue to preserve ours.