Governor Names San Diego Based Group “Ambassadors At Large” to Promote Guam History, Culture


Guam – A piece of our Chamorro heritage is now on display at the San Diego Maritime museum.

After more than a year of hard work, the group that constitutes the Sakman Chamorro Project, sponsored by the San Diego, CA based not-for-profit Che’lu Inc., completed construction of the single sail outrigger canoe named “Che’lu” which means sibling in the Chamorro language.  The Sakman was constructed based on the design drawings of Sir George Anson in 1742.  Master carver Mario Borja and his team used these materials as the basis to build the canoe. The vessel has already sailed in San Diego Bay and more trips are planned, according to Mr. Borja.  

“These men make me proud to be a Chamorro. They are all magnificent,” Governor Calvo said. “This sakman represents who we are as a people. It shows that if we know where we came from, we have a better understanding of where to go. Our history is rich with ingenuity, resiliency, and innovation. It should be preserved, promoted, and shared with the world.”

Che’lu Inc. led by Chairwoman Janice Waller, plans to build its relationship with the San Diego Maritime Museum to grow awareness of the Chamorro people and culture through the Sakman as well as partner with local Native American tribes and other Pacific Islander groups to promote seafaring initiatives.

[The Director for the Washington D.C. Office of Governor Calvo, Rick Perez, meets members of a San Diego Chamorro Culture group that constructed and sailed a sakman outrigger canoe. Pictured from left are Erick Borja, Lawrence Goldkamp, Ben Lizama, Mario Borja, Janice Waller, Rick Perez, Tony Maguadog, George Santos, and Joey Cepeda.]

Ambassadors At Large

As an expression of the island’s thanks, Governor Calvo named Sakman Chamorro Project and its members “Ambassadors At Large.” The groups members include:

Mario Reyes “Budoki-Toliok” Borja: Master Canoe Builder

Pete “Gollo” Perez: Research – Navigator

Emma “Gollo” Perez: Research – Fundraiser

George “Bonnic” Santos: Captain – Master Helmsman

Greg “Galaide” Diaz: Procurement – Sail Master

Robert Goldkamp: Master Rigger

Laurence Goldkamp: Bailer

Fred “Kokura” Blas: Master Craftsman

Tony Maguadog: Master Sailmaker – Steersman

Joey Benito Cepeda: Sheet Master

Ray LG “Baut” Sablan: Master Lasher

Ben “Magalahi” Lizama: Master Musician – Crew

Phill Santos: Equipment – Crew

Tony Reyes “Budoki-Toliok” Borja – Carver

Vince “Bonnic” Santos: Carver

Tommy Long: Equipment – Logistics

Jayven Chargualaf: Youth Apprentice

Jahi Chargualaf: Youth Apprentice (youngest carver at 10 yrs old)

Patrick O’Neill, Monsignor: Carver (oldest at 96 years old)

JoJo “Makaka” Borja: Fundraiser – Procurement

Janice Waller Bouffiou: Fundraiser

Louann Guzman: Grants – Fundraiser

Tanya Chargualaf Taimanglo: Grants – Fundraiser

Cecilia “Makaka” Diaz: Provisions

Vic Diaz: Provisions