Tuesday, 21 October 2008 00:00 by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff
A GROUP of educators and historians gathered last week to discuss the influence of the Spanish not only in the Mariana Islands but alsoMarie Lourdes Joy Onozawa, environmental planner/architect from Cebu, Philippines, speaks before a group on Friday on the importance of gathering resources during the International Conference on Spanish Heritage in Micronesia.
Close to 100 people attended the International Conference on Spanish Heritage in Micronesia for three days last week and over the weekend to go over the historical impact Spain had for 400 years and how we as islanders can preserve that part of our heritage.
Co-coordinator for the conference, Dr. Judy Flores, said the conference is funded by a grant from the Spanish program for cultural cooperation and is from the Spanish government.
"Their idea is to help preserve, promote, publish materials about the Spanish heritage in the Pacific," Flores said.
The $20,000 grant was intended only for the village of Inarajan, which is still rich in history from the Spanish era. However, the grant has since been extended to include the CNMI and Micronesia.
On the first day of the conference, which was Thursday, representatives from the Philippines presented information about how residents can help preserve part of the Spanish culture.
Later on that day, representatives from Palau, Guam, CNMI, and the FSM discussed what resources their islands have.
On Friday, one of the speakers, Marie Lourdes Joy Onozawa, environmental planner/architect from Cebu, Philippines, conducted a workshop that would assist the participants in identifying their resources.
The conference concluded on Saturday with a tour and on-site workshop in Inarajan where participants had a chance to see how Guam is able to gather resources and document them for historical purposes.
Flores said all the information gathered from the conference will be put together and published in a few months.