Saipan

By Micaiah Shockney

Landforms

Mount Tapochao is the highest point in Saipan and is located in the center of the island. The island is surrounded by the Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean, and the Saipan Channel, which runs between Tinian and Saipan. The Suicide and Bonzai cliffs lie in the northeast. Capitol Hill is in the center of Saipan, along with Death Valley. Ladder beach and Boy scout beach are located in the southern part of the island. Banderoo cave is in the north.

Climate

Saipan has a tropical rainforest climate with no dry season. Saipan has the most consistent temperature in the world.

Plants and Animals

The plumeria is Saipans's national flower. There are many coconut palms in the region. Sea turtles and starfish are common near the shores of the island's beaches.

Natural Resources

Arable land and fish are both important to the region's economy. Fish are highly valued because Saipan has many beaches.

History

During World War II, Koreans were forced into slavery and killed in Saipan. Now there is a peace memorial in rememberence of this. American and Japanese bombings on Saipan also occurred during World War II, and at one point, many Japanese case to jump off what is now known as "Suicide Cliff" because they did not want to surrender to the Americans.

People and Languages

The people of Saipan speak English and Chamorro. Major ethnic groups include the Carolinians and the Chamorros.

Land Use

The limestone industry is big in Saipan. Agriculture exists throughout the island, but the beautiful beaches are a very popular attraction, bringing tourists and vacationers. Saipan has one of the biggest golf courses in the world.

Education and Religion

The education system of Saipan is very similar to that of the United States. They value education, and the majority of the population attend either a public school, or one of Saipan's many private schools. The country as a literacy rate of ninety-seven percent. The only main religion of Saipan is Christianity, of which most are Roman Catholic, although some old traditions and taboos can still be found.

Culture

Saipan has developed many local traditions. One of these is that in some towns, Japanese people will not tip at restaurants and other facilities. A tradition widely known across the island happens every year on Good Friday, when thousands of people in Saipan climb Mt. Tapochau, and place a cross at the summit. It is custom in Saipan to bash the Japanese. Foods unique to the region include Costco Chicken Kalaguen, Tininun Biringena (grilled eggplants), and Ahu (coconut porridge).

Current Issues and Challanges

A challenge Saipan is undergoing is the contamination of groundwater throughout the island. Illegal immigration issues also exist.