Congratulations are due to those responsible for the successful launch of the Sakman Chamorro last week. The project took years of research and work. Those involved in the project were obviously committed and displayed a great deal of determination to complete the construction of the vessel and to oversee its delivery to Guam.

It seems particularly fitting that the sakman be launched in Guam not only in time for the upcoming 12th Festival of Pacific Arts which will begin in 12 weeks, but also that it be in Guam waters as the community prepares to celebrate Chamorro Month. Chamorro Month has become a time when Guam celebrates its unique indigenous culture and traditions. The launch of the sakman complements local efforts to construct and sail other traditional Chamorro ocean vessels.

The launch of the sakman last week took place a short distance from the soon-to-open Guam museum and the under-renovation Guam Congress Building, both structures designed to celebrate and promote Guam history and traditions and to facilitate education about them.

During Chamorro Month, we anticipate that Chamorro culture will be celebrated in Guam, as it has been and should be. During FestPac, community members will have the opportunity to share the culture with visitors from throughout the Pacific who will come to Guam for that purpose. The sakman, the museum, the work of artisans, artists and cultural performers will provide for a rich range of experiences for those involved – spectators as well as participants. We commend and encourage all of those involved.

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