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Pacific Island Guide Micronesia  >  Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
Federated States of Micronesia and Palau map.png

General Information

The former Caroline Islands, (except Palau) now the Federated States of Micronesia, are an archipelago in the West Pacific, just north of the equator. They are fertile and rich in minerals. The largest islands or island groups are Yap, Chuuk (Truk), Pohnpei (Ponape), and Kosrae. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are not part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) but are part of the greater Micronesia island area.

Historical Background

800 Chinese navigators visit the Carolines.
1526 Spanish navigators visit the islands.
1886 Spain controls the Carolines.
1899 After the Spanish-American war, the islands were sold to Germany.
1914 The Japanese occupy the islands.
1935 The islands are officially annexed to Japan.
1940 The islands are heavily bombed during World War II.
1947 The islands become part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
1986 The Carolines become independent and have free association with the USA.
Stone money at the village of Gachpar on Yap.

Yap is the westernmost state of the Federated States of Micronesia. The island is made up of four islands very close together, formed from an uplift of the Eurasian plate. The population of these municipalities is 6,300. Yap is the most traditional of the Caroline Islands, and is famous for its traditional dancing and its stone money, which is as large as 12 feet in diameter and has a hole in the middle. Many manta rays swim there, which attracts tourists. Languages spoken are Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Satawalese, and English. All land on Yap is owned by traditional leaders and chiefs. Yap has one LDS district with 5 branches

Chuuk is a large atoll with many islands surrounded by an outer barrier reef. The islands in the central lagoon are high and mountainous. Truk’s huge Lagoon holds over 50 hulks of ships from Wold War II.
The LDS Church has 2 districts on Chuuk with 5 branches in each district.

Pohnpei is the largest and tallest of the Caroline Islands. Kolonia is the capital of the Carolines, which administers Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, and 130 other atolls. Its peaks get plenty of rainfall, and it has many waterfalls. There is one LDS district on Pohnpei, with 2 branches

Kosrae is located a few houssoutheast of Guam and a few hours southwest of Hawaii, by air. It is 42 square miles square. Its people are very peaceful and gracious. Its waters and beaches are virtually unspoiled. There is one LDS district on Kosrae with 2 branches

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