The Chamorro people are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands.
The people of the Mariana Islands are commonly believed to have come from Southeast Asia at around 2000 BCE (Before Common Era – formerly known as BC). They were expert seafarers and skilled craftspeople familiar with intricate weaving and detailed pottery-making. The ancient Chamorros populated what is now known as the Mariana Islands.
See the map below for a description of the Mariana Islands.
Thousands of current-day Chamorros still call the Mariana Islands home. However, thousands more make the world their home. Chamorros live not only in the mainland United States but also in various countries, especially as so many Chamorros are stationed abroad in the U.S. military services.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
The House of Chamorros (HOC) is a club program of the Chamorro Optimist Club San Diego which lends its programs the expertise and infrastructure of the Optimist International organization and the Optimist International Foundation.
The House of Chamorros enjoys affiliation with the Uno Hit cultural education program that is also a program of the Chamorro Optimist Club San Diego. The group of 35-40 youth are cultural practitioners that assist in the House of Chamorros outreach efforts. Uno Hit participants are among the Chamorro diaspora that the House of Chamorros impacts by its efforts to represent, preserve and share the cultural heritage of the people of the Marianas.
The House of Chamorros enjoys a cooperative relationship with the Guam Visitors Bureau that has included GVB annual grant funding for the Hafa Adai Festival in Balboa Park and support to bring cultural practitioners to present the Chamorro culture in San Diego, California.
The House of Chamorros has a memorandum of understanding with the University of Guam to develop educational programming to fulfill the organization’s mission to represent, preserve and share the cultural heritage of the people from the Marianas.
The House of Chamorros is a member of the House of Pacific Relations (HPR) which is the governing body for the International Cottages in Balboa Park. Membership in the HPR allows HOC access to Balboa Park resources and opportunities to participate in major San Diego city events.
The House of Chamorros is a member of the New International Cottages Committee (NICC) that is responsible for managing the expansion of the International Cottage campus to include the nine houses represented in the NICC. Membership in good standing allows HOC the opportunity to build a House of Chamorros that HOC will utilize to fulfill its mission and increase visibility for the Chamorro culture, people and islands.