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tony speller

what about Guam?

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Everyone remembers Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but what about Guam? I'm sure no one on here is probably from there... but still, it's a nice place :)

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^Hi well not just Guam but American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands too! The U.S. also has a similar relationship with the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau the latter 3 are allowed to move and work freely in the United States without Visas or going through Immigration but they are not territories they are what's called "Freely Associated States" one or two of those countries were handed over to the U.S. by the UN or something like that (Palau was colonized and affected by Japanese rule during WWII not sure about the FSM they were colonized once too) as for the Marshall Islands they were extended the grant to move, work etc anywhere in the U.S. because Bikini atoll is where we denotated nuclear weapon(s) for practice and displaced a whole group of people from their islands, many of the people are suffering various health problems as a result of the nuclear testing and contamination. It's sort of like compensation but not exactly cause so many people have health problems because of what our government did. :(

Anyhow, Guam's in an interesting position, its very important strategically/militarily because of its close proximity to Asia and the US is beefing up its presence there. The Northern Mariana Islands just to the north proposed or is seeking to unify the two territories like they once were (The natives and indigenous language are Chamorro for both territories although the Northern Marianas also have another indigenous ethnic group called Carolinian) they and some want Statehood others don't. I think that for the most part they are pretty happy with their position but there are mixed feelings about the military build up.

:) Also Spain is trying to strenghten its ties with Guam and the Northern Marianas (as well as the Philippines) because its trying to reconnect with its former colonies.

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What is Gaum like i've never been. It must be touristy. are there any photos?

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I used to have an eFriend who lived on Guam, but we kind of fell out of touch.

Guam is very depedent economically on the military and Japanese tourism. If the Japanese economy has a problem, so does Guam's. Not many Americans from the mainland vacation there because it doesn't really make too much sense to go all the way to Guam when Hawaii is closer.

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MJLO, yeah Guam is quite touristy. There's also plans for a huge military build up there as most of the troops in Okinawa are supposed to be relocated to Guam in the next few years. My little God Brother is stationed out there now, i guess its alright because he can drink at 18 over there so he's having fun. The island has quite an interesting history though from the Japanese invasion to Spanish rule.

The Northern Mariana Islands to the north are quite similar to Guam (both share same language, culture) and are tourist dependent too, however their other main industry was the garment industry and have been exploited big time. I think the minimum wage for workers is like just over $3 dollars but the advantage of it is that the manufactures can use the "Made in the U.S." tag by having them there. However, quite a few of the 30 something plus factories have closed with others that might close as well leaving many people out of work. Most of which are foreigners from China, Philippines, Bangladesh, etc. Both Territories also have huge foreign born populations relative to their size mostly from places like the Philippines, China, Korea, Japan, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

I also think that Guamanians in general (indigenous and local born/raised) are a bit closer to U.S. mainlanders in terms of pop culture, influence, english language than Hawaii even though they are further away. Most Guamanians that i've known don't really have an accent or creole unlike in Hawaii, atlhough they do have their own unique forms of music, festivals and traditions they just don't seem to be as foreign as Hawaii is. However, there are some major similarities both places like to wave shaka signs (originated in Hawaii), have Bank of Hawaii's, Sam Choys, ABC stores etc they also love -> SPAM! don't laugh but so do Alaskans and some Southern States. :D

Here are some pics of Guam.

Tumon Bay *Guam's "Waikiki"

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Spanish Steps

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Pope John Paul II statue

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Agana

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...and although it is an island the youth are pretty urban in style, attitude, culture, etc Guam has nightlife (18+ are allowed to drink), street car shows, poetry slams, hip hop, etc.

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That's outstanding thank you for posting the pictures. I had no Idea how nice Guam is, I wonder how much it would cost for me to visit.

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^The beaches look really beautiful with clear water. As for the price i guess it all depends on where you are flying from. However, i heard that if you enjoy snorkeling Palau and perhaps Kosrae or Pohnpei are some of the best places in the world to do that.

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what is the city life in Gaum like? It sounds pretty modern. Is it pretty well to do? I cant imagine a place that has been so comercialized would be very third world.

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Wow - those pics are fantastic. Never been, but I can see it's a beautiful place.

I've always had this utterly uninformed opinion that the Guam/Marianas, Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and DC should all just be given statehood - just for the sake of streamlining and efficiency. It always struck me as silly to have 50 states, 2 non-state commonwealths, a couple territories - just make 'em all one thing and be done with it. All the congressional partisan wrangling would shoot it down, and our federal gov't would have to assume the same responsibilities for economic development and aspects of infrastructure as in the other 50 states, so I doubt we'd see it happen any time soon...

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is english the official language in guam? that's generally been the hangup for puerto rico anyway is that its mainly spanish speaking -- whats the different between a territory and a commonwealth?

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^Yes English and Chamorro are the official languages in Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands to the north it's English, Chamorro and Carolinian. But most natives are at least bi-lingual (English and one of the other native languages). BTW i have no idea what the difference is between a commonwealth and territory. However American Samoa is a territory but its citzens have some weird status if i remember correctly people born there aren't automatically U.S. citizens unlike Guam and the Mariana's but are able to freely travel and live anywhere in the U.S. without Visas and all that but if they want to become a citizen they have to be naturalized or whatever. I can't remember all the details but it's some weird thing like that and it's the only territory that's like that. So most of the citizens from there aren't usually included in the yearly immigrants admitted but are usually included in the naturalized statistics if they decide to become a U.S. citizen. confused? me too.

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