Rota postmaster revels in island life; working with ‘happy people’

‘USPS serves as a lifeline between Rota residents and outside world’

Rota Postmaster Tina Ramirez hands over a parcel to customer Ben “Guelu” Rosario. Ramirez moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Rota where she has been working as a postmaster since 2019. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Tina Ramirez, who was nearing retirement from the U.S. Postal Service in 2019, wanted to go on an adventure, so she packed her bags, left her home in Kansas City, Missouri without her family, and traveled 7,110 miles to reach her destination—Rota, a tropical island where she loves to stay and enjoys working as its USPS Rota postmaster.

“I love Rota and its people for so many reasons. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and there is no crime and no stress,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez, who provided her statement to Saipan Tribune through Duke Gonzales, who is the U.S. Postal Service’s corporate communications representative for USPS Hawaii and Pacific Island facilities, pointed out that because the island is such a small community, people are dependent on each other, which makes it a peaceful place to live.

She said the post office is vital to this community because Rota is so small and their customers can’t simply drive to another community to obtain things. Ramirez said USPS serves as a lifeline between Rota residents and the outside world.

“This is definitely the best job in the postal service! I get to spend 40 hours a week with happy people,” she said.

Born in Germany to U.S. Army parents, Ramirez’s family moved to Kansas City when she was just 4 years old. She began her USPS career in 1995 as a rural carrier associate.

Ramirez recalled that she was nearing retirement in 2019 when she saw the postmaster position in Rota pop up, so she Googled it to find out where it was, since she had no clue about the island. When she saw that it was a tropical island, she told herself that that would be her next job.

Ramirez said her husband, children, and grandchildren still reside in the Kansas City area.

“My husband of 22 years didn’t come with me to Rota because we have a business that he runs in Mission, Kansas,” she said.

The things that Ramirez miss the most about Kansas City are her family and friends. She also misses being able to go shopping.

On a recent trip back to Kansas City, she walked into a Costco warehouse store and was amazed at the number of choices and how much was there.

“If you want ketchup here [on] Rota, there’s only one brand to choose from,” she pointed out.

Ramirez also misses the entertainment options in Kansas City. On Rota, they don’t have a movie theater, bars, and even a bowling alley. But Rota does have some great fishing and diving options and some fishing derbies and great cultural festivals. She said Rota is filled with amazing places to discover nature.

Ramirez lives a block away from the Rota Post Office, so she does not have a car. “But if I want to go to anywhere, someone will either take me or loan me a vehicle to drive,” she said.

Even though she rarely cooks, Ramirez said she eats extremely well, thanks to the generosity of her neighbors.

“One thing they’ve taught me is a hundred different ways to use the various parts of a coconut,” she said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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