The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii


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Securing Paradise by Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez

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Thomas, U. Fast forward years, and Guam is known for the warmness of its welcome. Its indigenous inhabitants are the Chamorro people. They are believed to have populated the island since around BC, when they moved into Micronesia from Southeast Asia. They brought the Chamorro language with them. Guam spent more than years as a Spanish colonial possession.

It was claimed by Madrid in although not properly colonised until , and remained so-tethered until , when defeat for Spain in the Spanish-American War — a tussle that also took in the status of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines — saw it occupied by US forces. Fragments of Spanish rule remain. The Fort Nuestra Senora de la Soledad is one of them — a stronghold that was built by Spain between and to help protect its ships as they crossed the Pacific from the Philippines to Mexico.

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Guam officially became American in the Treaty of Paris, which was signed on December 10 This was a pretty seismic moment, which effectively disbanded the Spanish Empire, and gave America a good shove down the road towards becoming a superpower. Its nationality has not changed since, although the island did enter dark waters between December 8 and August 10 , when it was occupied by Japan.

This was a distinctly bleak period for Guam — it is estimated that 10 per cent of its population died due to forced labour, execution and incarceration during the 31 months that Japan was in charge. Ever heard the one about the Japanese soldier who did not know the Second World War was over? There were several of these stubborn souls scattered around the Pacific Rim, and one of them was hiding in Guam. Tourists can visit his subterranean abode. Sort of. The original was destroyed by a typhoon, but a replica, reached by rope ladder, offers insight into his life.

It sits roughly midway along the north-west coast. It rings with echoes of the Spanish era — in the shape of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica, a bastion of all things Catholic.


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There has been a cathedral on this site since , when the new settlers constructed a first church from coralstone and ifil wood. However, this doughty building was lost to the heavy bombardment when US troops re-took the island in The present structure, quickly assembled, emerged in April According to local legend, this was the spot where a pair of entwined Chamorro inhabitants of the island — he a warrior, she the daughter of a local aristocrat — jumped to their deaths because she had been promised in marriage to a Spanish sea captain.

It is probably an apocryphal tale, but the sunsets visible from the top of the crag, with the Pacific roaring below, are seductive all the same. Come here for a week, and there is a reasonable chance that you will soothe your soul at one of the resorts along this long strip of sand.

The Lotte Hotel Guam lottehotel. Guam is the closest landmass to the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on the planet — which sinks all the way to 36,ft 10,m below sea level. Apra Harbor, on the west coast, is home to a number of accessible shipwrecks. Curiously, these two vessels touch on the seabed, meaning that underwater enthusiasts can explore them on the same dive.

PADI provides a list of Guam sub-aqua sites and accredited dive shops, at padi. All these attractions, and its fine weather, mean that Guam is pretty popular.

So much so that, according to figures from the World Trade Organization, there are almost eight 7. This is a similar ratio to the British Virgin Islands America has a lot of islands, and Guam is the 32 nd biggest of them.

The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii
The Purposes of Paradise: U.S. Tourism and Empire in Cuba and Hawaii

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