Sanlagu CHamoru profiles, photos and videos

After his dream of a military ca- reer as an officer ended, Guam native Johnny Cepeda Gogo’s turned to Plan B — law school. Now he’s a Superior Court judge in California.

Pulitzer-winning multimedia journalist Manny Crisosto- mo chronicles Gogo’s journey in his ongoing visual documentary “Manaotao Sanlagu: CHamorus from the Marianas,” translated as “our people, the CHamorus, over- seas.”

Former Agat resident Albert Van Meter in his sanlagu låncho on the back end of his quarter-acre lot in the Southern California city of Cypress. The 66-year-old Van Meter has been for the last 25 years sculpting a vision of a supersize garden or a mini plantation filled with Guam specific produce.

Lyn Aflague Arroyo, photographed at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, California. “There’s something about talking story next to where my grandparents are laid to rest,” she said. “It was a place I often went to as a little girl with my grandma, my brother died as an infant and is buried there.”

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Peter “Pete” Gumataotao is now the director of Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. He is the part of Manny Crisostomo’s ongoing visual documentary, “Manaotao Sanlagu: CHamorus from the Marianas,” translated as “our people, the CHamorus, overseas,” featured weekly in the Pacific Daily News.

Columbina Camacho Nelson, 94, talks about life in Guam before she left the island in 1952 at the age of 21, aboard a ship heading for California. She is one of thousands of CHamorus from Guam who uprooted, moved off island and relocated to communities across the United States and around the world. 


Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Manny Crisostomo, has undertaken a new visual documentary: “Manaotao Sanlagu: CHamorus from the Marianas” — translated as “our people, the CHamorus, overseas.” The project, which is ongoing, will appear weekly in the PDN’s Lifestyle section. Through this photojournalism feature, Crisostomo has been connecting with other CHamorus who have been living away from home — and in the process, his longing for Guam has been transformed into a sense of belonging within a larger island community.