The way to keep Guam's culture alive




The late governor Ricky Bordallo said many times that the way you keep the CHamoru culture alive is to keep CHamoru people on the island. One of the main things that drive people away from an area, besides lack of employment opportunities, is the rising housing prices. And right now, housing prices here are through the concrete roof.


According to an analysis presented by Cornerstone Valuation at an April symposium of the Guam Association of Realtors, the median price of a home on Guam has reached a high of $375,000 so far this year. Last year the median home price was $333,500, and 10 years ago, it was $206,000.


This new asking price of $375,000 puts Guam’s housing affordability index at 5.3. That’s “severely unaffordable,” according to the 2021 Demographia International Housing Affordability study used in the Cornerstone analysis.


I bring up housing affordability because, with regard to preserving our culture, all these protests about preserving the ancient remains buried around the island (especially, it seems, on military bases) are focused on the past.


As a former reporter, I cannot tell you how many stories I have done over the years about bones in boxes — first at the old Guam Museum, the tiny one at the Plaza de Espana. Then I did stories about boxes and boxes and boxes of bones dug up from various sites around the island and stacked on shelves in a building at Tiyan.


Those boxes still haven’t been cataloged and studied because there are not enough historians, a