Margarita, the girl who couldn't hear is a one-of-a-kind book that tells the true story of Margarita: a young, resilient Deaf girl who grew up in a family with other Deaf members in Guam without a fluent form of language. Up until the age of 13, Margarita has dreamt of a life of communicating like the other hearing people around her. She and her younger deaf sister have an opportunity to fly away to attend a Deaf school, where they learn sign language. At the Deaf school, Margarita's excitement builds as they learn signs and words through movements by Deaf children and Deaf teachers. They identify signs through learning Hula dancing, and Margarita quickly learns sign language. With this knowledge, she discovers her purpose and dream.
Margarita is passionate and determined to come back home to the people of Guam and teach sign language to Deaf children that were just like her. For more than 25 years, Margarita shared and taught sign language to Deaf children, their hearing teachers, teacher's aides of Deaf students, and the parents of Deaf children. The Deaf children Margarita taught are now adults, and they all formed a group
called the GUAM DEAF: Exposed & Empowered awareness team. Margarita's daughter, Melissa Cayton collaborated with the team to create the sequel, “Let’s Learn CHamoru Sign Language”.
This book is a fully colored and vibrant treasure illustrated by Deb Taguacta Lefever. We invite you to join us, learn about the common story of deaf children, learn CHamoru sign language, and help spread Deaf awareness. This book will bring the island of Guam an opportunity to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing individuals by showing the barriers of being deaf and learning to sign. By learning to sign, you can help prevent language deprivation of Deaf children and bring access to Guam's Deaf community.
Lets Learn CHamoru Sign Language
The Sequel to “Margarita, The Girl Who Couldn’t Hear
Join Margarita and GUAM DEAF: Exposed & Empowered Awareness team on preserving the CHamoru Sign Language by learning this non-verbal language through iconic handshapes and movements. This colorful, vibrant picture book preserves and shares over 150+ documented signs related to the CHamoru Sign Language (CSL) project and includes signs and phrases related to Guam’s cultural traditions, villages, pronouns, feelings, animals, insects, food and gain awareness on Deaf culture and the island as well!
The CHamoru sign language is a dying language. Very few CHamoru’s on Guam and in its surrounding islands remember CSL. The inspiration of participating and sharing about the Deaf world stems from the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts workshop and seminar hosted on Guam, as selected diaspora delegate Melissa Cayton recruits her Deaf mother, and her mothers former Deaf students who are family to teach CSL at the seminar titled “Whats the Deaf World?”. In addition, Melissa participated in the indigenous children’s story workshop led by Rosa Palomo and team which inspired her to write the prequel to this book “Margarita, The Girl Who Couldn't Hear”. By doing so, Melissa and the team realized the need to preserve, together they began the journey of the creation of this book.