Arsonist Attempts To Burn Down Replica Latte House On Saipan

Visitors Authority calls for information about crime at Chamolinian Cultural Village in Garapan

By Bryan Manabat

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, March 2, 2017) – Someone tried to burn down the Latte House at the Chamolinian Village in Garapan on Tuesday evening, according to Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Chris Concepcion.

“We urge members of the community to come forward if they have any information related to this crime,” said Concepcion.

“We also ask investigators to move swiftly in their investigation so justice can be served.”

He said MVA and industry partners “have worked tirelessly to promote the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian cultures to visitors from around the world, and the Chamolinian Village is a focal point of that effort since it’s a reconstructed ancient Chamorro home with latte stones, and located right in the middle of the tourist district of Garapan.”

He added, “We plead with the community to help protect these assets since they promote our unique culture and our people.”

The ancient Latte House replica that was set ablaze by unidentified culprits was made of dry grass, wooden beams and poles and concrete. It would have totally burned to the ground if not for the quick response of the fire department, said Carolinian Affairs Office executive assistant john Tagabuel.

He said it was the fire department that alerted him about the fire.

According to the CAO chief, an investigation is still ongoing.

Tagabuel said the Latte House replica was donated by T-Galleria and by Duty Free and cost $18,000 to build.

“It was very time consuming to build the Latte House replica,” he added.

“We want to tell the public that the area is for everyone. The public can access the area for parties, events, celebrations, and cultural education. But we also need to protect it. We can’t let this happen again.”

Tagabuel said there was a similar fire incident in 2014 when someone set fire to an Utt near the CAO office and, until now, the case remains unsolved.

“We need this kind of structures to showcase our history and culture to our visitors,” said Tagabuel. “But right now tourists can only see a burned out structure.”

Marianas Variety
Copyright © 2017 Marianas Variety. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment