(ADELUP) – It’s Yoña Month. Gov. Eddie Calvo yesterday signed a proclamation with Yoña Mayor Ken Joe Ada witnessing the ceremony at the Yoña Mayor’s Office declaring October in honor of Yoña and her people.
The governor is encouraging the people of and from Yoña to come together and “celebrate the greatness of this village with pride that is centered on your culture, faith, and family.”
The proclamation of Yoña Month launched the governor’s My Village Project.
Calvo thanked Mayor Ada for agreeing and inviting the administration to bring services to the doorsteps of the people of his village.
The governor and Mayor Ada have coordinated the following activities with a number of government and private partners:
- Government door-to-door outreach of education, welfare, and safety services.
- Literacy outreach at MU Lujan Elementary.
- Trick-or-treat tips to students at St. Francis Catholic School.
- Launch of the governor’s anti-drug campaign in these schools.
- GPD outreach to neighborhoods to set up watch programs.
- Cleanup of the baseball field.
- Cleanup of an illegal dumpsite.
Yoña holds distinct historical value to the people of Guam because in the last few weeks of the Japanese occupation, Japanese soldiers forced residents out of their homes and into campsites. Every day, men and women were ordered to march the long distance to the largest campsite in Manenggon, Yoña.
Manenggon valley became home to 13,500 occupied Chamorros – many of whom died from substandard living conditions, starvation, and disease.
“Every year, we remember the memory of those who lost their lives and the strength and resilient spirit of the Chamorro people who lived to tell their story. With the guidance of the Chamorros who survived, our island has grown into the thriving paradise that it is today,” the governor said.
Yoña is also an educational and spiritual hub. It is home to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the St. Francis Catholic School, M.U. Lujan Elementary and Guam Adventist Academy. The St. Francis Catholic Church is the center of faith and is located at the center of Yoña – surrounded by schools, stores, recreational areas and the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
The scenery should also not be forgotten. Residents from Yoña and throughout the island are familiar with weekend activities at Yoña’s Tagachang Beach and Turtle Cove. Most visitors will travel down to take advantage of the LeoPalace Resort, the Windward Hills Country Club, and Hamamoto Fruit World for their scenic accommodations, golfing opportunities, and locally grown produce.
Yoña derives its name from the Chamorro word “iyo-ña.” In English: "To collectively possess something material, personal or spiritual." “Iyo-ña” illustrates the shared pride the residents of Yoña have for their community from the residents of Central Yoña to the residents of Windward Hills, they all call this village home.