CHamoru Club debuts its first annual Puengen Kotturan CHamoru — “Night of CHamoru Culture”

By Tiffany Marquez Escobar | March 14, 2024 10:09am
Photo courtesy of CHamoru Club. Graphic by Kimberly Cortez.

Kieurstyn Camacho, president and co-founder of CHamoru Club, knew she wanted to make a cultural night when she initially began the process of reviving the club at UP. However, due to financial constraints that the club faced, it was uncertain if an event like this would be possible. 

But, with teamwork and dedication from the whole club board, the CHamoru Club will bring the UP community together to celebrate their first-ever cultural night: the Puengen Kotturan CHamoru, meaning “Night of CHamoru Culture.” This will be their first large-scale event as a newly revitalized club.

“My goal was just trying to reinvigorate the CHamoru Club because this is our first year,” CHamoru Night Coordinator Nico Mesa said. “I want to make a big impact to this campus and really show that we are here and we're going to stick around as well.” 

The Puengen Kotturan CHamoru will begin at 3 p.m. on March 16 in the Terrace Room of the Commons. The event will feature a buffet of traditional CHamoru dishes, a live performance from local CHamoru band Tokah and karaoke. 

Admission to the event is free and open to both UP community members and the general public. Attendees can also enter a raffle and win apparel from Guam-owned companies. Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 and can be purchased on the night of the event.

The goal of the event is to immerse the UP community in CHamoru culture with a night that resembles a traditional CHamoru fiesta. The theme puts a unique spin on traditional cultural nights, bringing a vital piece of life on the Mariana Islands to campus. 

“I just really hope that it inspires people to actually just check us out and know more about us and just get more curious about what CHamoru culture is,” Mesa said.

A traditional CHamoru fiesta is nothing short of extravagant — they take weeks of planning, canopies are usually set up days prior to the event, dishes such as roasted pig, red rice and barbeque are abundant and the night is full of dancing and music with traditional CHamoru performances. 

However, what really makes a CHamoru fiesta so extravagant is the community that comes together to celebrate. 

“It was just, ‘Invite everyone from around the island, from the north all the way to the south,’” Vice President of the CHamoru Club Santino Manglona said. 

With the club just being revived last semester, the board members faced the challenge of planning a cultural night from the ground up. However, this offered them the opportunity to bring in new ideas on how they could spotlight CHamoru culture. It also served as a learning experience to better coordinate and establish what their cultural night will continue to look like in the coming years. 

“I think the fact that we're here now and like we promote our event and we're gonna pull through this event is super rewarding for all of us to see,” Camacho said. “There's just a lot of things going on, but we're doing it because of the people who are helping us, especially our board members.”

More information about the Puengen Kotturan CHamoru can be found on the CHamoru Club Instagram page

Tiffany Marquez Escobar is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at