If you’re a Chamorro who’s relocated to Seattle, there’s more to miss about home than the weather. Back home, we get together to eat our food, speak our language, and visit our family, without even thinking about it.
So if you’re used to weekly fiestas, the culture here in Washington can feel real cold.
“On Guåhan or whatever island you come from, you’re surrounded by your culture and you constantly have the opportunity to celebrate,” says Tanya Taimanglo, a local Chamorro writer and Navy Wife. “Over here, stateside, it’s not once a week, or not even once a month, and that’s why I think Chamaole Pino is so important.”
Chamaole Pino, is a small restaurant in Everett owned by a couple from Guåhan. Chris Smith, half Chamorro and half haole, and Melody Arreola, Filipino, are both experienced chefs, who serve any kind of food you would find in Guam.
And from simple conversations around the “dinner table” evolved “United Roots” — a fledgling grassroots effort in the Pacific Northwest that aims to create opportunities to promote Pacific Island cultures.
United Roots is a loose group of volunteers that embraces all Pacific Islanders, bringing together communities from Chuuk, Marshall Islands, Hawaii and more. Tanya Taimanglo, a volunteer organizer, says the group wants to create opportunities for the large Pacific Islander community north of Seattle.
Whether you’re looking for the feeling of home or you want your first time experience with some warm island vibes, you are welcome at Chamaole Pino.
“Everyone that comes in here is like family to us” says Arreola, and there’s plenty of room at the dining room table.