Catholic church: St. Francis of Assisi
Fiesta: First weekend of October
Yona is the first southern village on the eastern side of Guam. Its boundaries stretch for six miles, from the south side of Pago Bay to the north side of the bridge at Jeff's Pirates Cove in Ipan, Talofofo. The village also extends west on Route 17, or Cross Island Road, from Route 4, or Chalan Kanton Tasi, to Tarzan Falls, near the Naval Magazine overlook.
Its jurisdiction also includes the area from Pulantat and Manenggon Valley to Lonfit Bridge in Chalan Pago. As such, Yona is one of Guam's largest municipalities in area and is divided into ten sections: Baza Gardens, Windward Hills, Ylig, Manenggon, CampWitek, Pulantat, Triangle, Central Yona, Tagachang and As Namo.
Yona's history dates back to ancient times. Pulantat, one of the village's ten sections, was a prominent interior district before the Magellan arrived in 1521. Many latte stones and an ancient burial site have been discovered in this area. Another ancient burial site has been discovered about 100 feet north of Ylig Bridge along Route 4 along the Ylig Bay. Latte were also discovered and destroyed during the development of Baza Gardens along Route 17. Tagachang Beach Park, along the coast, is also believed to have been the site of an ancient Chamorro village.
From ancient times until after World War II Yona was a rich farming area with fertile soil, good water, and abundant fishing grounds. People lived in scattered ranches. Only two buildings in the entire area were built of wood before the war with the rest being thatch. The village's first public school was built in 1915.
Yona remained a relatively peaceful farming area during the war until the last few weeks of the Japanese occupation of Guam.
On July 12, 1944 the Japanese command ordered the relocation of people from their homes to camps in various parts of the island. The Japanese Imperial Army forces knew United States forces were approaching. Even the sick were forced to leave their homes and march from one concentration campto another, until they reached the largest campsite in Yona's Manenggon Valley.
During those last days of war, Manenggon Valley became home to about seventy-five percent of the island's population which is about 18,000 people. People used the Manenggon River's waters to wash themselves and their clothes and for cooking. They built shelters of wooden frames and coconut leaves. Terrible rains came and flooded these temporary homes. As more people crowded into the two-square-mile valley, conditions worsened. Many people died of malnutrition and other illnesses.
Every day groups of men were taken from Manenggon to various worksites. Some were killed by the Japanese soldiers. Others will killed by U.S. air raids or from shells from naval vessels that were bombarding the island. Many victims were buried in the riverbanks. Some of the remains were later exhumed and given a proper burial.