The First Annual Valley of the Latte River Festival Kicks Off with GVB and the 600th Hafa Adai Signing

GVB Kicks Off First Annual Valley of the Latte Adventure Park Festival

  • Written by: Roselle Romanes

That's how the Guam Visitors Bureau celebrated their 600th Hafa Adai Pledge.

GVB General Manager Nate Denight says, "I can't think of a better location to have our 600th Hafa Adai pledge signing than right here at the Valley of the Latte. I couldn't have chosen a better location."

The Hafa Adai Pledge program is the cornerstone of GVB's local community branding campaign to promote our island's culture to visitors. Denight says it's more than just greeting visitors with "Hafa Adai". "It starts as something as simple as saying 'Hafa Adai' but then it goes deeper into incorporating our very unique Chamorro culture into every part of our daily routine and now you can see with us hosting FestPac this year and our launch with our new museum, our culture is really a key part of what Guam is all about, our destination," says Denight.

Here are how a couple of businesses and organizations plan to promote our culture through their work.

Project Inspire Director Niel Romero explains, "For us, we feel we're artists that want to promote the Hafa Adai spirit through the arts and production, through song, dance, in any way we feel that we can, we want to offer Guam in that way because Guam has so much to offer."

Marquin Karetan Karabao Owner John Raymond Aguon says, "We have business in PIC, Chamorro Village, and schools. Everywhere we go, we promote the culture by saying Buenas and Hafa Adai!"
And to continue the celebration of Chamorro Month, we went on a tour of Valley of Latte Adventure Park, one of Guam's most popular eco-friendly destinations.

Inarajan Mayor Doris Flores Lujan says, "As you all know, Inarajan is rich in history, where we continue to showcase our culture and language."

Today, the Inarajan Mayor also announced the kick off to the annual Valley of the Latte River Festival

Lujan invites residents by saying,"On behalf of the community of Inarajan, we would like for you to join us from April 2 to 3 from 11 am to 5 pm, for the first Annual Festival of the Latte Park. Let's invite all our friends, neighbors and families. There will be a lot of activities on those two days for everyone to enjoy themselves."

600th Hafa Adai Pledge Signed in Talofofo

  • Written by: Isa Baza
Chanting, song, and dance graced the secluded Latte Village nestled along the Ugum River in southern Guam. It was here a ceremony was held to mark the 600th Hafa Adai Pledge - a milestone in Guam tourism.

"Just an amazing number," said Nate Denight, general manager for the Guam Visitors Bureau. "600 businesses have taken the pledge, businesses and organizations, so we welcome our pledge-signers here today and thank you for being a part of the 600th pledge signing." Created in 2009, the Hafa Adai Pledge Program aims to help businesses promote the island's spirit through language, arts, history, and culture. Almost a dozen local businesses took the oath today, including the Valley of the Latte Adventure Park Jungle Tour.

Assistant marketing and sales manager Hannah Kloppenburg said promoting the Chamorro culture is what they aim to do every day. "They learn the history about weaving, they learn about Yokoi being up river, they learn our fire making, we make fire out of wood and coconut husk, and just some smiling friendly faces all around," she explained.

Another local business, MacTech Guam, also made the plunge. Owner David Macapinlac said his business mirrors the hospitality and respectful nature of the local culture. "We reach out to the man'amko actually, because sometimes you need a young nephew to help you out with your computer problems and stuff. So it's really cool to see them come in because we try to be really welcoming to them and we really take time to listen to their problems so we can try to help them," he said.

During today's ceremony they also announced the upcoming Valley of the Latte River Festival, which takes place April 2-3.

The two-day festival will be filled with vendors and activities along the river park including kayaking and paddleboarding provided by another Hafa Adai Pledge participant, Lotus Surf Shop. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and up, and free for children and elderly. Denight said as tourism grows, it continues to promote our local culture, and vice versa, our culture supports tourism.

 

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