Nestled in Guam’s capital city of Hagatna is a place where island residents and visitors gather for mouth-watering local and international cuisine, arts and crafts and novelty gifts.
The Chamorro Village is open every day of the week but is best known for its Wednesday Night Market. It is not uncommon to notice the smell of barbecue as you walk through Spanish influenced buildings that lead you to a center court where people of all ages dance the night away. You can also find farmers displaying local produce grown under their care and local dance groups entertaining the crowd. Fresh fruit juices are usually available to quench your thirst after a long, hot day. In addition, carabao rides and other cultural activities are simply a few steps away. The Chamorro Village is also ideally located near the Hagatna Marina, Paseo de Susanna and across the street from Skinner Plaza and the Guam Museum.
With a mission to maintain a place that encourages and promotes made on Guam products and small businesses, the Chamorro Village is the perfect place for visitors to experience being part of the island’s extended family. It is also a hub for the local community that perpetuates Guam’s culture and traditions.
I Sengsong Chamorro Village: Made in Guam
Although the vendors and shops in the Chamorro Village sell a wide range of items both made in Guam and made off island, it is one of the best areas to find items crafted by the hands of our local retailers and artisans. In fact, all over the island, there is a movement to “buy local” and help foster the creativity and productivity of island producers and retailers, as well as to encourage the use of the Guam product seal that proudly labels an item as being made in Guam. A product may say “Guam” on the packaging, but the seal provides a stamp of authenticity and assurance. Of course, many of the arts, crafts and jewelry are typically sold by their makers, so oftentimes the buyer will be able to purchase an item directly from the person who made it and can explain the significance of the product.
Some Chamorro Village shops are dedicated to our master woodworkers, who make stunning artwork and functional pieces from the tronkon ifit—or ifil tree. This durable tree is a symbol of Guam and yields a rich, dark red wood, which in the hands of artisans can be made into everything from jewelry, art and even furniture.
The Village also has many shops selling smaller accessories and gifts, with island jewelry strongly represented at both the shops and markets across Guam. Crescent shaped sinahi necklaces can be found nearly everywhere local jewelry is sold. The pendant comes in many sizes and can be made from a variety of different materials depending on the maker, including giant clamshell, whale bone and basalt.
Chamorro Village also has a blacksmith on premises and traditional Chamorro tools available that are used in places such as the kitchen, garden and field. Unique designs and patterns adorn the front of t-shirts, dresses and other clothing items that are locally designed and printed on Guam. Traditional artwork such as painting and photography showcase the beautiful scenery of the environment and the imagination of the artists.
Finally, any visitor to our island realizes quickly that the people of Guam love to eat, and our love for eating carries over into our local food products such as chocolates, pastries, cookies, jams and preserves, honey, sauces and spreads. Chamorro Village is full of such treats.
The Chamorro Village is not the only place to find locally made items. On Thursday nights, the village of Mangilao comes alive with its own night market. Located along Guam Route 10, it runs through the village near Saint Teresita Church. Many of the same arts, crafts, woodwork and food of Chamorro Village can be found in this market, however many vendors are exclusive to these grounds, so further exploration of this market is warranted.
Beyond the night markets, morning is the best time to go to Dededo on Saturday and Sunday, as the Dededo flea market opens for business along Marine Corps Drive and again a wide range of goods are on offer. The market opens at 6:00 A.M. on both days, and vendors from around the island set up stalls and sell both local and off island items, and usually everything can be had for a great value.
Festivals and fairs happen throughout the year around the island, and these are also good places to grab a one of a kind item made only in Guam. The island has several art and photography galleries, especially in Hagåtña and Tumon, where traditional heritage designs and stunning nature photography may be found. Moreover, many retail stores commonly sell locally made products such as naturally made bath products, jewelry, sweets and pantry goods. Always look for the “Made in Guam” seal, and when in doubt, our friendly local retail staff will ensure all questions are answered and a piece of the island leaves with you.