Guam first became a U.S. territory in 1898 when the U.S. won the island from Spain, and its residents have held U.S. citizenship since 1950. Guam became a vacation destination after 1962 when the U.S. Navy lifted travel restrictions for the island. The 212-square mile island has a long and multicultural history with influences from American, European, Micronesian and Asian cultures. English is spoken throughout Guam, but one of the island’s main languages is Chamorro, a language unique to the Pacific Islands. Learn more at www.guam.gov.
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Add some local history to your cultural exchange experience by visiting a nearby historical site or tourist attraction when living and working in the U.S.
Umatac is a small village located on the southwestern coast of Guam and home to ruins from the Spanish colonial era, including Fort Soledad and the San Dionisio Church, a church originally built in the late 17th century by Spanish missionaries. Visitors can also see an obelisk marking where Ferdinand Magellan landed in 1521 and the Guam Veteran’s Memorial. And the area is a popular spot for surfing, too!
Visit the Hagatna Historic District, including a historic walking trail, in the capital of Guam. Learn about the history of Hagatna and see 17 different historic sites along the 1.6-mile trail.
The War in the Pacific National Historical Park honors veterans who fought in the Pacific during World War II. Unlike other national parks, this area recognizes veterans for many countries other than the United States, including Japan, France, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Australia and others. Visitors can see former battlefields, trenches, caves and historical sites at the park.
Experience Chamorro culture at Lina’la’ Chamorro Cultural Park. The park recreates what life was like 500 years ago in a Chamorro village, including traditional clothes, cooking methods, homes and other cultural activities.
For more historical sites and attractions, browse this online brochure of historic sites in Guam.
The United States offers a wide variety of cultural learning opportunities through the arts. Dance, music, theater, opera, art museums and festivals are just some of the options available to international visitors who wish to learn more about the U.S. and its culture.
The Guam Museum of Culture, Art & History has been setting up exhibits on Guam’s history and Chamorro culture in temporary locations since the end of World War II, but the museum is finally due to have a permanent location in 2014. Visit the website to learn more about the future of this museum and to read more about the culture, history and art of Guam.
Other art and cultural events and organizations include:
- CAHA Art Gallery
- Cantate Community Chorale
- Guam Gallery of Art
- Guam Symphony Society
- Isla Center for the Arts
- KPRG Calendar of Arts events
Look for educational and cultural activities surrounding "Chamorro Month", a monthly-celebration of Chamorro culture each March.
Get a glimpse into a part of American culture by watching or participating in a favorite U.S. sport or recreational activity in your local area.
Baseball is a popular sport in Guam. International visitors can see teams from the Budweiser Baseball League play at Paseo Stadium in Agana.
Guam also participates in the Pacific Games, a multi-sport event that is similar to the Olympics. The event is held every 4 years in a country in the South Pacific region. In 2015, the planned location for the Pacific Games is Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea from July 4 to July 18.
Check out the Guam Sports Network for information on local sports teams, including volleyball, football, soccer and many others.
The United States is home to a variety of landscapes and climates to suit all types of outdoor activities. The courageous traveler can find extreme sports and outdoor adventure tours, while others may want to keep both feet on the ground in a national park or forest. Whatever your interests, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available during your time in the United States.
Guam’s tropical climate and beautiful scenery provide many opportunities to get outdoors.
Go on a hike, also known as a “boonie stomp” in Guam, with Guam Boonie Stompers. Every Saturday the group offers cheap hiking to beaches, waterfalls, caves, World War II sites, and snorkeling areas for only $2. Check this Events page to find the next boonie stomp!
Two Lovers Point in Tumon Bay has two lookout points, telescopes, refreshments and a picnic area for visitors to enjoy the beautiful views of Guam’s coast. Two Lovers Point gets it name from a Chamorros legend – read about it here then take a “virtual tour” of the area.
Guam is a great place to go scuba diving thanks to its many coral reefs and dive sites. You could see turtles, eels, reef sharks and all types of tropical fish! Check out this list of the 12 best dive sites in Guam, including a site with two shipwrecks from two different wars.
Check out Guam Guided Adventures for guided tours and trips, including hiking, snorkeling and diving.
One of the best ways to experience cultural exchange is through food and cooking. Visitors will enjoy exploring the regional specialties and local cuisine during their time in the United States.
Many different groups, including Spanish, American, Filipino and the indigenous Chamorro culture, have influenced food in Guam. Browse a list of popular local and Chamorro foods like latiya (a type of cake), estufao and spam fried rice!
Guam-style barbecue is a local favorite and is connected to both Chamorro culture and more recent events in the history of Guam. Learn more about Chamorro barbecue – you can even try to cook one of the recipes for yourself!
The Guam Guide website provides a guide to markets and vendors in Guam to help you find the best places to find fresh produce every day of the week.
Skip the recipes and visit the Hagatna Taste Guam! Food Festival for samples of food and drinks, culinary competitions, live entertainment and more in May.
The Agat Mango Festival in June celebrates the many varieties of mango found in Guam with food vendors, competitions, family-friendly events, arts and crafts and much more.
For a unique and local perspective on American culture, be sure to check out festivals and events near your cultural exchange program location. These events are a fun and interesting way to interact with locals and to learn more about American culture by experiencing it firsthand.
Experience Micronesian culture at the annual Micronesian Island Fair. The October event features traditional arts and crafts, traditional cuisine, cultural performances like music and dancing, and the Guam Ko’Ko’ Road Race.
Malesso’ Fiestan Tasi, or the Merizo Festival of the Sea, is an annual October/November event celebrating Chamorro culture and its connection to the ocean. Visitors can enjoy water races, fishing, a parade, live entertainment, arts and crafts, Chamorro cultural displays and more.
It’s not quite a festival, but Ready Set Snorkel events are a fun way to learn more about the coral reefs and environment of Guam. Organized by the Environmental Education Committee, the event is open to Guam residents of all ages. Look for upcoming events on the EPA calendar.
The Guam International Film Festival in September celebrates independent filmmakers and Guam’s multicultural community with film screenings, workshops, fun events, awards and much more.
Browse the Guam Guide events page for upcoming local events throughout the area.
Employers may be able to assist with housing during your time in the United States, but this is not always possible for all participants. When looking for housing during your cultural exchange program, consider the cost of the accommodation, the distance to your work place and the amount of time you will be in the United States.
It's also important to avoid fraudulent housing. It is highly recommended that you secure short-term housing upon arrival (e.g. in a hostel) and conduct your housing search once you are in the U.S. Never give your financial information to a stranger over the Internet. Browse the Housing Information guides for InterExchange participants below for more tips and advice.
General Housing Information
- Housing information for Work and Travel USA participants
- Housing information for Career Training USA interns and trainees
Guam Housing Resources
Some examples of housing and accommodation resources for Guam participants include:
Accommodation resources for any participants traveling in other areas of the United States:
Public transportation options can be hit or miss, depending on your location in the United States. Buses are a common transportation option for short and long-term travel in the U.S., while some areas will also have trains, subways and other options.
Guam is a small island and it is easy to get to where you need to go by car, if available. Learn more about driving in the United States on the Work & Travel blog.
Public buses from the Guam Regional Transit Authority are inexpensive but they can be infrequent. Check the GRTA website above for more information on public bus schedules.
Public Transportation in the United States
Many of our participants spend time traveling in the United States. Here are some popular resources for inexpensive travel in the U.S.
Amtrak USA Rail Pass 1.800.USARAIL
Participants in Guam can use the following resources in case of an emergency or extreme weather event in their area:
- Guam Homeland Security - includes emergency weather updates, emergency preparedness information and more
- Updates on Twitter @GHSOCD
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov
- Guam FEMA updates on Twitter @femaregion9
Interact with others and expand your skill set by volunteering in your local community. Volunteer organizations are often looking for short-term volunteers or for individuals to help with a single event, making it a great option for InterExchange participants who wish to add to their cultural exchange experience during their time in the United States.
Browse a list of non-profits and charities in Guam to find an organization that matches your interests and skills! Search by issue/topic or location to help narrow down your choices.
A number of volunteer opportunities may be available at PBS Guam, including office work, helping out at events, and fundraising.
Volunteer at the Guam International Film Festival in September! There may also be volunteer opportunities at other events in Guam. Find one that interests you and contact the organizers to see if you can offer any help.
Help build homes for those in need with Habitat for Humanity Guam. Individuals and groups are needed for construction, fundraising, food preparation and other important tasks.