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Manaotao Sanlagu: Heidi Chargualaf-Quenga

By Manny Crisostomo

For the past 25 years Heidi Chargualaf-Quenga has been volunteering all her free time directing the Kutturan Chamoru Foundation in Long Beach, which she provides tuition-free dance, language, music and immersion classes on culture and traditions to CHamorus and non-CHamorus.

The 48-year-old Long Beach accountant seemed predestined at a young age to be a tireless champion of preserving and perpetuating the CHamoru culture.

She remembers that as a 4-year-old, a Nobenen Niño in Maryland where her mother started tearing up as they sang.

“They were singing the songs in CHamoru and I looked over and I remember my mom was tearing up. I wanted to know what that was, what made her feel that way when she heard those songs,” she said. “The earliest memory I have of feeling the sorrow, the longing, the mahalang feeling.”