Approximately 30 students from St. Mary's Elementary School in Yap visited the canoe carving site in Colonia, home of the Waa'gey Canoe Building Project. Waa'gey, in partnership with the Habele Outer Island Education Fund, was established to promote cultural activities among the island's youth.
"Every generation is responsible to the next generation for the instruction of our local customs and traditions," said Larry Raigetal, the founder of the Waa'gey NGO and it's Canoe Building Project.
"Never is that more apparent in the teaching and learning of these kinds of skills, which were acquired by our ancestors over thousands of years," continued Raigetal. "Without the transfer of this knowledge and these skills, our heritage, in this regard, could be lost in a single generation."
The students of St. Mary's were shown some of the techniques required in building local canoes first hand by the carvers on site. They were also treated to a tour of the Yap Living Museum and were informed about the cultural significance of such places by the staff of Yap's Historic Preservation Office. Students of St. Mary's will continue to visit in groups continuing into next week through Wednesday.
Several of the Sant Mary's students are attending that school through Habele's K-12 Tuition Scholarship Program, which supports low-income families sending their children to non-public schools.