To be rooted is perhaps the most important but least understood need of the human soul. Simone Weil, French Philosopher
What do you think of when you think of Guam? A tropical island? WWII? A beautiful tourist destination? Homeland of the Chamorro? A military base? While these things represent a fraction of the island’s identity, it is much more than that. Guam is not made up of only the physical elements like earth, sand and coral. It is also made up of intangibles that arise from its rich history, the environment and its diverse population.
But what gives it its “sense of place?” Is it this “sense of place” that causes the intense feeling that many experience when the island first comes into view when returning home on a plane from abroad? Or is it that feeling when thoughts of the island surface unexpectedly when you are away from it? How do you describe the feeling of connectedness to a place?
What is it about Guam that makes it special or unique? What about Guam fosters a sense of authentic human attachment and belonging? What about the island do long-time residents think best represents their island home? What does our past tell us about the present? Are there remnants of those who went before us still present in Guam?
Others have largely defined Guam’s identity. This book attempts to dispel stereotypical one-dimensional views of the island by revealing a multi-dimensional, rich and diverse society defined by its residents.