500 Aňos (Our Journey, 500 Years)
By Manuel Cruz, Artemia Perez, Lazaro Quinata, Juan San Nicolas, Kumision Estoria-ta/ Guam Preservation Trust.
The challenge of reading history is most heavily felt by those whose stories were written for them. Magellan’s circumnavigation was the beginning of documented histories of the people of the Mariana Islands. For generations, those words dictated the perception of not only how the world knew the CHamoru people, but how the people of the Marianas learned of their ancestors as well. On the 500th commemoration of Magellan’s circumnavigation, the people of the Marianas are eager to share with the world a holistic picture of our history by engaging the written history with indigenous stories and sources of knowledge. We live in an exciting time where learners aren’t satisfied with simply “reading between the lines.” Now more than ever, the desire to engage with a history that represents us is pushing us to complete the narrative. I Hinanao-ta Our Journey, is a testament to the power of perspective. It is a step towards the world knowing who CHamorus are from CHamorus themselves.