Wednesdays in Guam are special because of the night market in Chamorro Village. The capital city of Hagatña is empty on Wednesdays because everybody is in Chamorro Village, both tourists and locals.
Near the Paseo Stadium and Hagatña Boat Basin, the Chamorro Village is the place to go shopping for local foods and handicrafts. Don’t be fooled: this “village” is not a community of homes but a popular spot for shops and eateries. There are just so many items and commodities such as local shirts, clothes, beachwear, trinkets, handcrafted souvenirs, and fruits, just to mention a few. There are also ready-to-eat seafood dishes, all sorts of barbecues, fried chicken, fried noodles, fresh produce and local delicacies. Prices are reasonable and quality is world-class. Locals regularly come here for an inexpensive lunch that is worth around $5.00 to $9.00. But not all the shops are open every day. For some unknown reason, they all come together on Wednesdays.
The village comes alive every Wednesday night from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM for the Wednesday Night Market. Guam and the native Chamorro people are known to love fiestas and carnivals, and it seems as though they do not need to have a special reason to start a fiesta. The Wednesday Night Market is basically a local fiesta in which all foreign tourists should participate.
Bleachers are set up to watch the evening entertainment made up mostly of local bands and beautiful Tahitian dancers. Tourists sit on the bleachers for free while eating a local delicacy and enjoying the Pacific Ocean breeze. The foods are delicious, exotic and very cheap. All kinds of Asian foods – Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and Micronesian – are available for the choosing. There are fresh fruits and fresh fruit shakes and juices.
Also, clothes, souvenirs, handicrafts, shell crafts, and pieces of jewelry are openly displayed at the row of booths and are sold at much lower prices, about half of how much they are sold in department stores.
Nothing compares to the Wednesday Night Market at Chamorro Village. It simply offers everything to everyone: live music, dancing, tattoos, freshly-caught fishes, skewered squid, skewered chicken, skewered banana, hand-painted wooden plaques, liquor, eggplant, coconut juice, tomatoes, all sorts of teas and smoothies, ice cream, candy bar, artworks, red rice, scented candles, and on and on and on. The fiesta atmosphere truly highlights the exotic culture of the Chamorro people.
The Chamorros are the original settlers in Guam. They arrived in 3000 BCE and had the island all to themselves until the Spaniards arrived in 1521. The Japanese and Americans also came, and yet the Chamorros were able to maintain a culture and viewpoint uniquely theirs. They are very gracious and outgoing, always ready to give a hearty Pacific Island smile. Today, about 45% of the country’s total population of only 180,000 people is made up of Chamorros. The rest are Spanish settlers, Asian migrants and workers, and US military personnel and their families.
Guam is a US territory, and the US military is running a naval base in the area. US soldiers could not get enough of the beauty of the island and friendliness of the locals. They, too, are regular visitors to the Wednesday Night Market at Chamorro Village.