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Trip Planner South Pacific  /  Mariana Islands  /  Guam  /  Umatac

Umatac

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Umatac, formerly called Umata, is a village on the southwestern coast of the United States territory of Guam. The month of March in the Chamorro language is "Umatalaf," or "to catch guatafi," which is believed to be the root word of Umatac. The village's population has decreased since the island's 2000 census.Nearby is Mount Bolanos, the 3rd highest peak of Guam.HistoryPrior to Spanish arrival on the island, an annual celebration was held north of the village at Fouha Rock where the first humans were created according to the legends of the Chamorro people, the native people of Guam.In 1521, the Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived on Guam while circumnavigating the globe. Umatac Bay is traditionally cited as the location of the Spanish landing. Another explorer, Miguel López de Legazpi, arrived in Umatac in 1565 and claimed the island of Guam for Spain.When Guam was colonized in the 17th century, the Spanish made Umatac a parish so the Chamorro people in the area could be converted to Christianity. Remains of two Spanish forts built on hills on either side of the village are still visible today.In 1898, Guam was taken by the United States during the Spanish–American War. Under the U.S. administration, the small village has grown gradually. Today, the Discovery Day festival is held every year in the village. While the holiday was first established in memory of Magellan's discovery of the island, it is now a celebration of Chamorro culture.
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