Home of The Navigators Since 1994!
Our Island Community
American Samoa is a US Territory, like Guam and Puerto Rico, but located the South Pacific. (See map.) There are about 55,000 people living in our group of seven islands, but the vast majority of us reside on Tutuila, whose capital is Pago Pago. Over 90% of us are Samoan or part Samoan. Most of us speak both English and Samoan. We se US currency, voltage and the US Postal System. due to the rugged and mountainous interior of Tutuila, most of us reside on its southern coast. Our main road, which also runs along the coast, is narrow and curvy an has a speed limit of only 25 mph!
Although consumerism has certainly had an impact on our environment and culture, the latter has survived. The Fa'aSamoa (Samoan way) holds as its focus strong family ties that are strengthened through land an title ties, and through the fa'alavelave, an event which literally takes over the lives of its participants. This gathering of families which frequently occurs after a death, a marriage, a title ceremony, an opening of a church, etc., includes gift exchanges, political displays of family clans and feasting. Although consumerism has found its way into this traditional event i.e., bundles of bills are now found rolled up into fine mats (the traditional unit of exchange), and sodas are now served instead of coconut water, the show of family pride and generous spirit of this occasion remains the same.
By American standards our standard of living is relatively low. In 2010, our average household income was $34,000 compared to a $51,000 average in theowned; US. Of course, may of us also supplement our incomes with plantation foods (banana, taro, breadfruit, papaya, etc.) which we grow. In addition, over 90% of our land is communally owned; most of us live on family land that is never sold or bought. In general, we are quite happy to be a US Territory. We, undoubtedly, would struggle without US aid. Just over a third of our labor force is employed by the local government which is mostly funded by the US Federal government. About 15% work in tuna processing plants, another third works for the private sector, and about 20% of the workforce is unemployed. You will find few places that cater to tourists here, but it is an industry which is growing and which has great potential.
This section of the website was put together as a resource for prospective families or those interested in learning more about our island. We have also compiled a list of additional links that may be helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or to report a broken link, please do not hesitate to contact us!