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Guam

Guam

Summary

Guam is a U.S. territory located in the Pacific Ocean.1 This territory is in many ways an extension of the mainland United States with the same governing bodies and benefits, but citizens often have lower standards of living and much higher poverty rates. However, the island boasts diverse ecosystems which are in need of protection due to rapid population growth and industrialization.2 1 http://everything-everywhere.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-territories-of-the-united-states/
2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/aq.html

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Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

Guam is located in the tropical region of the Pacific Ocean. The island is at risk of losing land because of rising ocean water levels, and it has already lost coral reef areas because of pollution.1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Division of Environmental Quality have embarked on multi-year protection projects to monitor pollution levels, prevent erosion, clean up contaminated areas, and replant native species to preserve the biodiversity.2

Family

Much of the population has a mixed background coming mainly from indigenous groups with large populations from Asia and Africa.1 The typical family has an average of two children.2

Human Rights

In Guam, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.1 There are special programs set up to provide services for victims of abuse, but some accuse the U.S. government of ignoring this problem. In addition, workers are routinely exploited by their employers and forced to work in unsafe condition for unfair wages.1

Education

Education is compulsory for children aged 6-17, and all of the primary and secondary schools are administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Private institutions, licensing, and academic testing standards are overseen by local education departments.1 Children are instructed in Spanish. Students can chose to attend local institutions of higher education or universities in the United States.

Poverty

Poverty is a pressing issue and significantly more prevalent than in the United States. 23% of residents of Guam live below the poverty line.1

Religion

Over 90% of people in the territories identify as Christians, mainly Roman Catholics.1 Although this is the most common religion, many combine their Christian beliefs with traditional religious practices as well.

Clean Water

Many drink water from systems that violate federal health standards with high contamination levels.1 The United States’ Environment Protection Agency offers special grants to improve or build new drinking water infrastructures, but they still struggle to meet water standards due to poor monitoring.2

Economy

Guam has an economy largely based on communal farming and fisheries, with fish and tourism being their largest exports.1 It also has a large U.S. military base which provides labor for the workforce and also draws the highest number of military recruits per capita than any other U.S. state or territory.2

Government

Guam has a representative in the United States Congress that is able to vote in committee.1 They have their own local governments and tax system that consists of a chief governor, legislative body, and local court system. People born in Guam are considered citizens of the United States at birth.2

Health

Guam has their own Department of Public Health administered by local officials with direction from the U.S. mainland. There is one hospital located in the capital city with smaller health facilities scattered throughout the land.1 Guam faces many health concerns that are common in developing nations like malnutrition and infectious tropical diseases.2

Children

Youth comprise approximately 20% of Guam’s population.1 There are many organized youth sport and extracurricular opportunities organized through the local government and funded by the United States Department of Education. Nearly all public and privately funded grants available to youth in the mainland U.S. for studies and enrichment programs are also available for those living in Guam.

Animals

Guam has a diverse array of animal life with many species found only on one specific island.1 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated sea turtle monitoring services in Guam to maintain the number of sea turtles and protect their eggs during mating season. Foreign species, most notably the brown tree snake, have killed nearly all of the native bird species, and other invasive species like pigs and deer are destroying natural habitat, contributing to the decline of other native species.2

Guam

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