Young dancers from the Pacific Voices group performed at the “Celebrate Micronesia” event at the Honolulu Museum of Art School in March, which celebrated the broad diversity of Micronesian cultures.
The event gave Micronesians an opportunity to share their individual cultures. Many older immigrants worry that younger generations will lose touch as they assimilate into American culture.
The Lale Dron Dance Group brought an elegant touch to “Celebrate Micronesia.”
Marshallese women make up the Lale Dron Dance Group.
Even rain couldn’t keep away attendees from the event, which also featured handicrafts, music and exhibits.
Alice Ehmes leads the Pohnpei Women’s Association of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Americans tend to group Micronesian together. In fact, there are thousands of islands over two million square miles in the Pacific. While there are similar backgrounds, language, traditions, beliefs and history are varied and rich.
Micronesians and Hawaiians have many things in common, something that could help build relationships between the islanders.
Many Micronesians attend leave their home islands for college in the U.S. These students attended a conference in March in Honolulu called “Navigating Success: Micronesian College Student Leaders.”
Vidalino Raatior, left, with Micronesian students and staff at the Pacific Islander Student Center at UH Hilo. Raatior runs the student center and is determined to help fellow Micronesians settle successfully in Hawaii.
Robin Miller, a fourth-grade teacher at Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School, in Papaikou, Hawaii, with some of her Micronesian students. Miller and others from the school work with Micronesian parents and church leaders to break down barriers.
A Micronesian fourth-grade student at Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School on the Big Island.
Emichan and her family are among the hundreds of Micronesian immigrants who have ended up homeless in Hawaii.
Members of this Chuukese family were living on the streets in Kakaako. Officials estimated that at least 20 percent of the homeless populations in the camps near downtown Honolulu were Micronesian.
Hundreds of homeless people, including many Micronesians, set up camp in the Kakaako area near downtown Honolulu. The city has worked to clear the area, but homelessness persists.
Micronesian women are distinguished from many other homeless by their colorful dress and large extended families.
Some Micronesians have moved into homeless shelters, including the Next Step facility near downtown Honolulu.
Careless Mathin, left, and Kiana Kasper found shelter for their family at the Next Step homeless shelter in Honolulu. Originally from Chuuk, they came to Hawaii so that Mathin could treat his diabetes.
Micronesian families often have a hard time finding affordable housing in expensive Honolulu.
An employee at the Micronesian Mart, which caters to a growing clientele that has moved to Hawaii from Yap, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae and the Marshalls.
A Micronesian employee at McKinley Car Wash in Honolulu, which employs many people from the island nations.
Jojo Peter, right, and Josie Howard, second from left, are two immigrants from Chuuk who have made new lives for themselves in Honolulu. They now lead organizations that are helping other Micronesians assimilate.
A number of Micronesian families signed up for the Hawaii Health Connector program at St. Elzabeth’s Epsicopal Church earlier this year which offered care for their children at the same time. But soon the will have to switch to Obamacare.
Asterio Takesy, right, the ambassador to the U.S. from the Federated States of Micronesia, helped immigrants sign up for health care at the Kalihi church earlier this year.
Takesy, who lives in Washington, D.C., said it was important for him to take the time to help immigrants seeking services.
Dakleen Salla from Chuuk, left, successfully enrolled in the Hawaii Health Connector at the St. Elizabeth’s recruitment drive.
Jonithen Jackson, left, with state Rep. Richard Creagan, at Jackson’s studio and gathering place on the Big Island. Creagan is a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands.
Jonithen Jackson has lived in Hawaii for almost 25 years, but is running for the mayor of Enewetak. His home atoll has been largely uninhabitable due to nuclear contamination.
Jackson has built a small community at Hawaiian Ocean View Estates on the Big Island.
Hundreds of Marshallese live in or near Jackson’s compound on the Big Island.
This statue greets parishioners at the Parish of Santa Barbara on Guam, where Chukeese hold regular services.
A Chuukese service begins in Guam.
It’s estimated that as many as 20,000 Micronesians now call Guam home. Some attend services at the Parish of Santa Barbara in Dededo.
Churches are central to the families and culture of Micronesians who organize services in whatever community they settle.
A Chuukese mother and child at the Parish of Santa Barbara.
Father Francis X. Hezel, right, takes confession at the Parish of Santa Barbara. Hezel has extensively studied the Micronesian culture and economy and written numerous books and papers on the region.
American sports and culture are popular across the Pacific Ocean. Here, locals on Guam shoot some hoops.
From left: April, Chaniel, Juddy, Larry and Empo Oneichy, a Chuukese family in Dededo. They say they miss Chuuk, but there are few jobs and no possibility of higher education back home.
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