By Tecpatl Kuauhtzin

In class, we learned about a movement on Guam to protect a sacred site known as Litekyan. The local Chamoru community is trying to raise awareness and seize the destruction of the land by the United States Marines. The Marines plan to use a segment of Litekyan, which is currently open to all, to serve as a firing range. Although they will not use all of Litekyan, their environmental impact will damage the area and if they build their range, the entire land mass will not be available to the public, including the indigenous Chamoru people that have taken care of the region for thousands of years.

We were fortunate enough to engage in the demonstration and meet members of the community that were passionate about protecting their sacred sites. Being these reminded me of home and our Protect The Sacred rallies on the mainland.

I came across Amber, a Chamoru woman who was holding up a familiar sign. I introduced myself and my communities, explained what I am doing in Guam and asked her if I could take her portrait. Telling this story is important to me because it hits very close to home. Constantly, we are struggling against desecration of our sacred sites as Indigenous Peoples all over the world. Furthermore, we are constantly having to be at the forefront of environmental protection because it impacts our communities first.

It was beautiful to see families and youth demonstrating together. The signs the community was holding up were very thought provoking, and I was surprised to see that many cars passing by honked in support. The movement is growing.