Emma and Pete Perez, who are co-founders of 500 Sails, a nonprofit organization that is seeking to revive the maritime traditions of the CNMI, were welcomed as guests on the Fanachu Podcast last week, giving them a chance to promote the group and its plans.
The Perezes, who are based on Saipan, and podcast host Michael Bevacqua, who hosts the program in Guam, spent an hour discussing 500 Sails’ purpose, its past and future projects, the history of the CNMI’s maritime traditions, cultural decolonization in the CNMI, and many other topics in between.
The Fanachu Podcast describes itself on its Patreon page as “a Guåhan-based indigenous media project challenging colonialism by bringing critical narratives to the masses through podcasts, videos and other creative content.”
In emails to Saipan Tribune on Monday, Emma and Pete Perez said they were more than thankful for the opportunity to open up further discourse on the CNMI’s maritime traditions and culture in general. Also, according to Emma Perez, the podcast happened the same time Saipan experienced an islandwide power outage. In response, the two took chairs outside, set them next to two canoes, and did their podcast guest appearance by the beach.
“It was really interesting getting ready for the podcast and having the power go out islandwide. …We had a power bank, two phones, a couple of water bottles, some shade, and a nice breeze. I especially liked the opportunity to interact with people in the [U.S.] mainland who are interested in what is happening in the CNMI as more and more canoes hit the water. Our hope is for the CNMI to be known for the unique place that it is, home to two maritime cultures,” said Emma Perez.
Pete Perez commended the Fanachu Podcast for its efforts in getting its listeners engaged with the CNMI’s maritime traditions and for bringing those in and outside of the CNMI together. “The Fanachu series of podcasts on the Chamorro canoe cultural resurgence gave everyone interested in the movement the chance to hear what is going on in Guahan [Guam], the CNMI and in the diaspora. …We are bound together by our history, our culture, and by our love for our islands and our children—no matter where we live,” said Pete Perez.
Those interested in 500 Sails’ past and future work can visit their website at 500sails.org.
Michael Bevacqua regularly hosts episodes of the Fanachu Podcast through Facebook Live on its page at https://www.facebook.com/fanachupodcast.