The Senior Lunches that take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Guam Club are the primary opportunities that us students have had in engaging with the Chamorro community. In addition, they are one of the main ways that elders in the community can say hi to one another and check in to hear what each other and their families have been up to. Since the lunches have been dwindling in turnout, the program is in danger of being suspended. In an effort to bring out more seniors, an active member of the club Benni Benavente Schwab organizes live entertainment ranging from karaoke to local bands to line dancing!
During one of my first conversations with Bobbie Lizama, she told me that “Chamorros LOVE to dance,” a quality that I saw in the community nearly every time I visited the Sons and Daughters of Guam Club. For my art project, I wanted to capture both the stories in Bobbie’s oral history and the lively spirit of the Chamorro community through a choreographed line dance. Each of the 8-count steps represents different stories that Bobbie shared in her interview, from being the eldest of eight siblings, to joining the military, to flying across the world, to carrying on the Catholic traditions of her hometown. For the song, I asked Bobbie what she thought I should use, and since I felt that the Cupid Shuffle didn’t fit the mood I was looking for, she pointed me towards the Electric Slide by Radiants, performed by a band from Guam.
The Chamorro community is diasporic and scattered across the globe, but once you get a group of Chamorros in the same room, you know it’s bound to be a good time.