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May 24, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

Ep. 242 “Motherhood and Activism through Publication”

Ep. 242 “Motherhood and Activism through Publication” (hosted by Desiree Taimanglo Ventura and produced by Tom Maxedon with assistance from Alan Grossman) was recorded 4/29/16 and airs 5/6/16. 

In celebration of Mother’s Day (May 8), this episode features conversations with three creative Chamoru mothers who seek to preserve their indigenous language and culture through education, community action, and publication. They discuss the challenges of balancing motherhood and activism, their efforts in the classroom to promote awareness of local issues, and the inspiration behind their creative and published works.  

Our first guest is Moñeka De Oro, mother of 7 year old Ma’ase and a Master’s student in the Micronesian Studies Program at the University of Guam (UOG). Her academic and community work focuses on the traditional healing arts, cultural preservation and environmental protection of the Marianas Islands.  She is an educator who has been involved with Our Islands Are Sacred, the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice,  and We are Guahan. She is also an occasional guest host for Beyond the Fence.  

She authored Amot Famalao’an: Traditional Healing and Holistic Living for Women of the Marianas in March 2014, a publication made possible with a grant from the Guam Preservation Trust. She talks about the creation of this unique work, as well as the 2011 publication of  her poem Para I Lahi-hu (For My Son) in UOG’s Storyboard 11: Navigating Our Future

This is followed by a conversation with sisters-in-law, Dana Bollinger and Simone Eugenia Perez Bollinger, both language teachers who co-authored a new Chamoru children’s book, Ma Guaiya Yu’ si Nåna yan si Tåta (Grandma and Grandpa Love Me) published by Taiguini Books, a division of the University of Guam Press.  This book is  beautifully illustrated by Cielo de los Reyes, artist, educator and mother of three. 


Dana has been teaching Spanish at John F. Kennedy High School for over ten years and has two children, Amaya and Andrew.  Simone is an English instructor at the Guam Community College who has published numerous creative works dealing with local issues, cultural identity and teaching. She is a member of the Festival of Pacific Arts Literary Arts Committee and will be representing Guam as a delegate. She received the 2015 MagPro Award for Excellence in Higher Education and was listed in the AGA Who’s Who in the Government of Guam, 40 and Under. She has also been working to develop post-secondary Chamoru language curriculum for institutions of higher education in Hawaii, Guam, and the CNMI through an ANA grant. She has a two year old daughter, Ena Ramone. 

Music selection:  “Nanan Mami” by J.D. Crutch 

Guest host, Desiree Taimanglo Ventura, recorded the conversation with Dana and Simone in her Yigo home, where she and her guests could comfortably include their young children. Desiree is currently on leave from the Guam Community College. where she teaches English, to care for her son, Vincent, and new born daughter, Lilia Grace.

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