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Our fourth reading response will be Hacha by Craig Santos Perez. He is a poet from Guam and this is the very first book written in English by anyone from his Chamorro tribe.



Poem Reading Reflection





Poem Reading Reflection

Something that bothered me in the reading is the suppression of Chamorro’s ways of life by the colonist. The colonists were dominating almost every aspect of their lives, and the native system was slowly fading away. For example, “the colonial school system, on Guam, when I grew up there, did not teach written Chamorron in the schools” (Perez, n.d). The author blames this aspect of Americanization. This was a heightened desire for the new friends to dominate the island as its newfound land completely. It can be considered a high level of acculturation to control the Chamorros. I think depriving people of their language is the surest way of destroying their culture because they lack a sense of purpose and unity. English was supposedly the language that was needed on the island since Americans had the intention of controlling it as its territory. This was enforced using soldiers that were protecting the American’s mission.

The nation had interests in this island because of its strategic location between the U.S. and Asia. However, the interests of native inhabitants did not matter in the American’s objective. The Chamorros had to pay for the cost of their home’s strategic position through the dominance of Americans. Their cultural values were disintegrated, and American values were pushed into their lives. The fact that the education system emphasized written English rather than the Chamorros language indicates that their cultural values were eroded against their desires. I think the Americans could have helped the Chamorros promote their cultural values rather than trampling upon them for their advantage.

I would ask the poet, do you think there is something you could have done to save the situation?

How did you feel learning the cultural values of other people?


Perez, S. C. (n.d). From Unincorporated Territory (HACHA)