Guam is a territory of the United States of America but it is not incorporated but is fully organized. It lies in the southernmost island of the archipelago, Marianas located in the western Pacific Ocean and is near the way from Hawaii to the Philippine Islands.
Fact 1 About This Island Territory
Located in the Mariana Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean this southernmost island is divided into a northern part that is a coralline limestone plateau and a southern part which consists of volcanic hills. Guam is the largest island in the Mariana chain of islands and covers an area of 212 square miles. The most populated village is Dededo which has approximately more than 45000 people. This territory belongs to the U.S.
Fact 2 Capital Of Guam
The capital of Guam is Hagatna. It was previously called Agana. It is a very small village and is said to be the second among the smallest villages of the island in terms of population and area. The village is however the main commercial area in Guam. It is the seat of the government of this island.
Fact 3 Information Regarding Its Discovery
It is believed that Ferdinand Magellan, the famous Portuguese navigator explored this island of Guan while sailing for Spain in the year 1521. Spain initially claimed this island around 1565 and forced the people to convert into Roman Catholics in the early years of 1668. However, after the war between Spain and America in 1898, Guam was handed over to the United States. Since that time till 1949, Guam was administered by the U.S. Navy but not during the time when Japan occupied it from 1941 to 1944. The American military forces liberated Guam during the summer of 1944.
Fact 4 The System Of Government In Guam
The people of Guam are U.S. citizens from 1950 and they have representatives in the U.S. Congress since 1973 via non-voting delegate. But they are not allowed to take part in the Presidential elections of the U.S. However, the executive branch has a governor who is elected according to popularity and he serves for a four-year term. But the 21-member unicameral legislature changes its members every two years.
Fact 5 Livelihood Of The People Of Guam
Guan has a dry season during the months of January to May while it rains from October to December. The people earn their livelihood through cultivation of fruits and vegetables, poultry farming etc. The main natural resources are fishing and tourism. Since the U.S Naval air force is based here and occupies nearly 1/3 of the land, Guam’s economy is greatly based on military spending apart from trans-shipment services, printing and publishing, textiles, construction and food processing industries.
Fact 6 Education System in Guam
The education system in Guam is like that of the U.S. methods. Education for children between 5 and 16 years is compulsory. All the Public Schools (37) are affiliated to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. There are about 22 independent or private schools that are run by Catholic and Protestant organizations. Some are operated by other groups. For imparting education to the children of the military personnel who are posted in Guam, there are separate schools run by the Defense Department from 1998. These schools namely one high school, two middle schools and two elementary schools are located on the military bases.
Fact 7 The Ethnic Groups In Guan
The total population of Guam is around 178,000 people and among them 37% are the native Chamorros. The rest of the population comprises of people from other ethnic groups namely the Filipino, Whites (Spanish and American ancestry, Japanese, Chinese and Korean ancestries). The official languages spoken by most of the people living in Guam are English and Chamorro.