Catholic church, Asan: Niño Perdido and Maina: Our Lady of Purification
Fiesta: Last Saturday in December and Last Saturday of January
The district of Asan-Maina encompasses a large area, including the main coastal village of Asan, the community of Maina nestled in a valley between Nimitz Hill and Agana Heights, and most of Nimitz Hill (also known as Libugon) and land beyond it further inland.
The main village of Asan was redeveloped in the 1980s by the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA). The redevelopment changed the village's look from its more traditional Spanish flavor to a fairly modern-looking suburban appearance. The streets were straightened, sidewalks were added and the houses are nearly all concrete with many two-stories high. GHURA still owns many of the houses in the main village, houses that were all built exactly alike, and even painted the same color. Space was limited by the ocean to the west and the hills to the east, which necessitated the two-story structures and small yards.
The village sits partly on the hillside of Nimitz Hill and partly on the flat land below it, just in front of the sea. Many of the houses are built on steep roads going up the hillside, reminiscent of San Francisco. The Catholic church, Niño Perdido Y Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), sits at the center of the village, along with the community center and mayor's office.
Maina rests in a valley of lush vegetation, bamboo groves and colorful flowers that come right up to the houses and the main road. The small community is spread out along one small, winding main road, one end of which meets the road going up Nimitz Hill and twists its way to the back side of Agana Heights. The small Fonte Bridge at the end of the road is the site of the famous Guam legend of the "White Lady."
The village of Asan was predominantly a fishing village in pre-Spanish times that switched to farming with the settlement of the Spaniards. Villages grew taro, rice and sugar cane on the fertile flatland between the beach and the hills.
In 1892, Asan beach was the site of a Leper Colony, which was used for eight years until destroyed by a typhoon. Then in 1901 the area was turned into a prison camp for exiled Filipino insurrectionists, including Apolonario Mabini, a leader against the US takeover of the Philippines, who is today considered a Philippine national hero.
In 1917, when the US declared war on Germany, the enlisted men of the German cruiser SMS Cormoran, which had been docked in Apra Harbor for three years, were imprisoned at Asan Point by the naval authorities.
In 1922, Asan Point became a US Marine Corps camp with a quartermaster depot, a small arms range, and barracks, but the area, along with most of the island, was demilitarized in 1931.
During World War II, Asan beach played a vital part in the American recapture of Guam from the occupying Japanese forces. On July 21, 1944, the American invasion took place on the beaches of Asan and Agat, beginning with a bombardment of the island at 5:30 a.m. Japanese defensive positions were placed on top and on both sides of Asan and Adelup points. The United States Armed Forces had four battleships, three cruisers, and three destroyers just off of Asan.