Dominic DeBenedictis

Dominic DeBenedictis participates in the weaving portion of the Valley of the Latte summer camp on Guam.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — As children weave their baskets at the Valley of the Latte in Talofofo, they not only learn about CHamoru culture but get to experience it firsthand.

This summer, the Valley of the Latte is offering "Ke' Tungo I Kutturan CHamoru," a program that offers children a view into the past.

The children who participate in this year's summer camp will complete numerous activities surrounding the CHamoru culture. During their 10-day session at camp, children will engage in activities including kayaking, fire making, basket weaving, fishing and making their own coconut products. The camp focuses primarily on educating children on the culture and survival methods of the people who came before them.

Camp director Danielle Hagen said children gain fun, culture-rich experiences they will never forget. This includes eating local foods, meeting new friends and playing games.

"The main takeaway is for the kids to learn more about Guam culture and how the CHamoru used to live," said Hagen. "The camp dives deep into Guam culture."

CEO David Tydingco said the pandemic caused the business to "reinvent" itself and cater more to locals rather than tourists. Locals can now participate in activities including harvest tours, coconut oil-making and other cultural workshops. The Valley of the Latte hopes to continue creating these opportunities as restrictions continue to lift.

Valley of the Latte's summer camp "Ke' Tungo I Kutturan CHamoru" is for children ages 8 to 13 and continues through Aug. 13. Each session is two weeks and 20 campers will be accepted per session. The camp costs $325 per camper and the daily camp hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Campers will explore the island and participate in workshops and activities where they will learn about the CHamoru culture. Activities include kayaking, hiking, basket weaving and more. Campers will also be provided with a lunch plate daily. You can visit https://valleyofthelatte.com/valley-latte-guam-summer-camp-2021/ for more information and registration.

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