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Guam. Author Luke Ma. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution
Guam. Author Luke Ma

Guam: an American military base in the Pacific

Guam (Guåhan) is an island which is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States of America, it’s located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, north of the Federated States of Micronesia. The island is geographically part of the Mariana archipelago, of which is the largest (541 square kilometres) and the southernmost island. The main city and capital of the territory is Agana (Hagåtña), which is in the heart of the west coast of the Guam island.

The northern part of the island is formed by a plateau of coral formation, while the southern, predominantly hilly, it is of volcanic origin. The highest point of Guam is the Mount Lamlam, (406 metres) which is located in the south of the island. A coral reef surrounds the island. Most of the population live in the central and northern areas. To the south-west of Guam, in the maritime area of Federated States of Micronesia, is the Challenger Deep, the deepest surveyed point in the oceans (-10 911 meters), part of the Mariana Trench.

Guam Map

Guam Map

The people of Guam are known as the Chamorros and profess in absolute majority the Catholic religion, the legacy of the Spanish colonization. The island was in fact discovered by the Spanish expedition led by the Portuguese Magellan in 1521 and was a Spanish colony until 1898. The official languages are languages are English and Chamorro, the latter is a Malay-Polynesian language with deep Spanish influences.

The economy of Guam is based on the presence of U.S. military installations, in addition to activities related to the military bases are developed the fields of shipbuilding and oil refining. Other highlights include agriculture (corn, batata, taro, cassava, vegetables, citrus, fruits, sugar cane, bananas, coconuts), farming (cattle and pigs) and fishing. The tourism industry is booming.

  • Area: 541 sqkm.
  • Population: 173,000 (2007 data) (Chamorros 57%, Filipino 25%, Whites 10%, Chinese, Japanese and Korean).
  • State Capital: Agana (Hagåtña).
  • Languages: Official languages are English and Chamorro.
  • Religion: Christian 95% (Catholic 85%, Protestant 10%).
  • Currency: American Dollar (USD).
  • Time: UTC +10 hours.

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