Guam's close Rota connection ignites typhoon relief drive - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam's close Rota connection ignites typhoon relief drive

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 4:54 PM +10:00 Updated:

In just a couple of days, the response has been tremendous for two traditional activists groups collecting donations for typhoon ravaged Rota.

Prutehi Litekyan and the Haya Foundation are sponsoring the relief drive, which has already seen 19 packages sent to the neighboring island.

When it comes to being neighbors, Rota residents have proven to be more than just that, Zita Pangelinan, president of the Haya Foundation said.

The Haya Foundation promotes the revitalization of traditional Chamorro healing practices on Guam.

“The people of Rota have actually helped us in so many ways, in trying to revitalize our traditional healing practices but also to reconnect our youth to our roots and our cultural traditions,” Pangelinan said.

In July, the Haya Foundation held its Pineksai Haya program in Rota, where students from Guam, Tinian and Rota worked directly with island traditional healers. 

“It was an incredible experience for our 27 students,” Pangelian said. “But the love they shared and everything connected with them for 13 years since we reached out to them have helped us with our indigenous practices because we were struggling.”

Even before Typhoon Mangkhut struck, the organizations were in contact with friends and family in Rota.

“Now they don’t have power and they don’t have as many stores to access what they need immediately,” Pangelinan said. “The immediate need was towels and blankets because they have all these people in shelters.”

Haya Foundation and Prutehi Litekyan is seeking donations of toiletries, canned goods, blankets, towels, candles, diapers, wipes, and all other essentials, for the families in Rota.

“We have a very close relationship and we reach out to them often and they reach out to us,” Pangelinan said. “There’s connection and that bond and when this occurs, of course, our traditional practices are to reach out and take care however we can.”

With the fast response to the drive, she said it's been beautiful to see how people have given out of the goodness of their hearts.  

The 19 packages of collected supplies, for example, was flown to Rota thanks to Anita Myers of Star Marianas.

“We didn’t know how to send it,” Pangelinan said. “Some people gave us some money, cash. When I brought it up to Star Marianas, I was telling her the story, she said, ‘don’t worry, we’re going to comp the whole cargo.’ How incredible.”

The groups will collect donations through Sept. 21 for both Guam and Rota. They expect to charter a boat to carry the supplies to Rota.

You can donate at the Health Shack in Hagatna, Guma Yo'Amte in Tumon, or San Vicente Catholic School.

 

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