Our Mission at the House of Chamorros is to provide cultural and historical knowledge of the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands and to share our diversity with trust, understanding, and thoughtfulness.
Sharing culture and historical knowledge, from thousands of miles away with over 5,000 years of history, to all across the world.
The House of Chamorros is a validation of the Chamorro culture for generations of Chamorro diaspora that want to recognize their heritage and more. It represents a physical connection to a culture over 5,000 years old, to a people that traversed thousands of miles to colonize remote Oceania, and to the Mariana Islands.
The journey toward this grand opening has been one of serendipity, hard work and quite a bit of optimism. The Chamorro Optimists, part of Optimists International, inquired into opening their own space in 2016 when they were informed that nine cottages were to be built but had already been spoken for.
As fate would have it, one country could not finance the construction of their cottage. The committee offered it instead to the Chamorro Optimists, who set to work making a miracle, raising over $500,000 over the last five years.
The financial hurdles were considerable — the group was on a tight timeline and the total amount required was twice what they expected. Undeterred, they called upon the CHamoru diaspora and community at home to support their mission.
President of the House of Chamorros, Jeff Macaraeg acknowledged those who were involved and continue to support the project.
“Thanks to the hard work of volunteers and donors who have committed themselves through hours of community service and raising donations from the community at large and funding donations from the Mariana governments, major corporations, and local people who realize the impact and importance of a physical structure thousands of miles away from their native home,” Macaraeg said.
He added: “Our goal with The House of Chamorros is to have a house so that the diaspora of our community and the CHamorus of the world can visit a physical house in San Diego and learn about their culture through historical artifacts, activities, dance, entertainment, and delicacies they have maybe only heard about through their families or friends who have visited the Mariana islands.”
As the project faced new challenges, construction costs doubled by 2018.
The House of Chamorros center became part of the 2020 expansion of the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, a group of cottages in Balboa Park that were created to promote goodwill and understanding through educational and cultural programs.
Through the work of so many, from all over the world, the House of Chamorros Cottage became a reality. It continues its mission of providing cultural and historical knowledge of the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands and to share our diversity with trust, understanding, and thoughtfulness.
One of the major ways, this mission continues, as part of the international cottages, the House of Chamorros puts on holiday events, ethnic food fairs, and art exhibits.
“Our cottages belong to the CHamorus of the world, whether you are of CHamoru descent or born there while your parents were stationed in the Marianas, or decided to make the Mariana islands their home,” Macaraeg said.
The Mariana islands form a crescent-shaped archipelago between the 12th and 21st parallels north and along the 145th meridian east. The islands from north to south are; Farallon de Pajaros, Maug Islands, Asuncion, Agrihan, Pagan, Alamagan, Guguan, Sarigan, Anatahan, Farallon de Medinilla, Saipan, Tinian, Aguigan, Rota, and Guam.
With events like the Hafa Adai Festival, the House of Chamorros is able to promote multicultural goodwill and understanding through cultural programs. Festivals often feature guest speakers, cultural food, live performances, information booths, and demonstrations.
The House of Chamorros brings the community together and offers a chance for the thousands of Chamorro diaspora to reconnect with the culture, the islands, and each other.
We hope that you will join us in furthering our mission.
Become a Member
If you have a special interest in spreading the Mariana Islands cultural awareness with others in the community, then you should be a member!
Become a Volunteer
Every great program or project cannot be done alone. We need your help to make our House of Chamorros great! Join us and become a volunteer and let’s share our love for the Chamorro People and its islands in the Marianas!
Donate to the HOC
We welcome all levels of donations and any amount will be accepted and recognized. We strive to provide new and innovative ways to engage local communities through activities, programs, and projects.
Find An Event
Connect with music, food, entertainment, and more with great events held throughout the year. Check out our Calendar of Events and upcoming news for updates and never miss out on a cultural celebration again!