Independent Guåhan General Assembly to explore Hånom as an economic resource for an independent island
Independent Guåhan (IG) next General Assembly will take place on Tuesday, February 27th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM at the Main Pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña. The evening will focus on how hånom or water can be an economic resource for an independent Guåhan, and will also pay tribute to an economic pioneer in Guam History, the late entrepreneur and ice plant owner, Pedro Martinez.
On Guåhan we commonly feel that we have few natural resources and therefore could not survive economically as an independent nation. This is not true however, as the island’s natural resources supported life for thousands of years and if used responsibly can help support a prosperous and independent Guåhan. Our island is blessed with an abundance of water and a healthy amount of rainfall. Our aquifer can produce as much as 80 million gallons of water a day. An independent Guåhan can learn from other countries that have successfully transformed their water resources into economic engines.
Locally, a concerted community effort to collect, filter and bottle this water could result in a thriving industry. Imagine if this industry evolved through environmentally safe and sustainable practices, which could begin by replacing all bottled water that is imported to the island, and replaced them with reusable glass bottles. Such an industry would create jobs, lessen our import dependency, reduce our waste and provide economic growth.
At each GA, Independent Guåhan honors a maga’taotao or a notable figure whom has helped push the islands towards greater self-determination and sustainability. This month’s maga’taotao is Pedro Pangelinan Martinez, who was the island’s richest individual prior to World War II. Martinez, along with others from his generation pushed hard to develop Guåhan economically, at a time when the US Navy ruled, and economic prospects were limited. He made history in 1921 with the opening of Pedro’s Ice Plant, the first example of local manufacturing industry. In addition to this he owned car dealerships, retail stores, a construction company and operated commercial farms. Looking to the future, IG is proud to honor the legacy of Pedro Martinez.
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