Guam shares a vibrant story of rich local tradition and unique Chamorro culture; and it is for this reason why the Guam Island Fiesta Tour (GIFT) has been a continuous success for the past years. Inviting visitors into the homes of local families for fiesta celebrations, GIFT provides a glimpse of Guam’s history and culture, encapsulating centuries’ worth of tradition through a day of local festivities.
The program is sponsored by Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) in partnership with the Mayors Council of Guam and LamLam Tours to offer an immersive and intimate experience to tourists and residents. GIFT occurs in correspondence with local fiesta celebrations to honor a Catholic patron saint, allowing visitors to join the festivities with local residents.
Participants are greeted with shell leis and Chamorro dance performances, invited to participate in interactive cultural activities like coconut husking, talaya throwing, and tuba drinking, and are treated to large tables laden with authentic Chamorro cuisine.
“We are not just telling our visitors about Guam’s history, our food, or the way we celebrate with song and dance – we’re showing them and inviting them to experience it first-hand,” said GVB General Manager Joann Camacho. “We have received outstanding feedback from everyone involved. Our visitors love it, our families enjoy teaching about our Chamorro culture, and our industry stakeholders have begun packaging GIFT as an optional tour with airlines and hotel stays.”
For 2012, GIFT will happen in fiestas in Barrigada, Inarajan, Merizo, Tamuning, Santa Rita, Agat, Talofofo, Mangilao, Yona, Agana Heights, and Dededo, kicking off with the Barrigada celebration of San Vicente Ferrer on April 15.
For reservations, visitors may contact their tour agent or Kiyoko or Rex at LamLam Tours at (671) 649-5314/5. For $30 per adult or $20 per child, LamLam Tours will pick up visitors at several hotels in the morning, transport them to the host family, and return to hotels at 2 p.m.