For the last decade, Hurao Academy has provided the people of Guam Chamorro immersion schools. After a short break, the academy is back and with a summer program that is truly a family affair -
Mantieni I Familia

Back by popular demand, Guam's first Chamorro immersion program is looking for interested families to participate in the project to get not just the kids, but moms and dads learning to speak the island's native tongue. Hurao's Ann Marie Arceo said, the title means "Hold on to the family", adding, "And that also links to our faith. Where is God in all of this today? And embracing that with
Minteani I Fino' Chamoru
- Hold on to our language."

Arceo says it's back to basics - that too often, in today's modernizing Western world, we lose hold of what it means to be Chamorro. The six-week program is looking for up to 30 families to participate and up to 40 children. "The focus is going to be not only the children come to camp from 8-5 but parents are also required to - and this is a commitment the parents have to make. We're actually interviewing families, we're not just taking in anybody. They have to be able to commit to two evenings a week for six weeks to learning with their children how to speak how to use it in the home. And then also three times a week during lunch time to come and sit with their children to spend time," she said.

Moms and dads won't just learn every day dialogue to converse with their children, but they'll also be equipped with the tools to keep the conversation going. "There's also the support curriculum where they're bring home labels to label their whole house and have prayers printed out to post in their dining room so they say grace in Chamorro so they say their prayers in Chamorro so they say angel of god in Chamorro, so along with faith and core values, teaching respect, inafa'maolek and all that comes with that - that's what we're ready to give this summer," she said.

Interested families must undergo an interview process to ensure their commitment to the program and Hurao's mission. "It's time to make a difference," she said. "It's time to hold on to what we have left. We only have a short window of opportunity of those who still speak Chamorro. We need to close the gaps."

The program starts June 15 and will run for six weeks. For more information on registration fees, call 472-5858 or visit their Facebook page at Hurao Guahan.