This is Katie and Rabea here. We’re sharing our thoughts on our first full day in Guatemala.
Without any knowledge of Guatemalan culture or history, it is easy to observe the contrasts between American and Guatemalan society. Many of the things that we take for granted in the States are only a dream for most people in Guatemala. Clean water and proper sewage disposal are among the commodities of American lifestyles, but not accessible by the vast majority of Guatemalans. We have to be extremely cautious about food and drink that we are consuming. Any item that has been touched by Guatemalan water is considered unsafe. We came to these conclusions before our orientation of Guatemalan culture and history at CEDEPCA.
Dr. Hector explained the history of Guatemala and the U.S. intervention during the Guatemalan civil war in 1950s. We learned that through American intervention, the Guatemalan government became corrupt and controlled by only the wealthy. The wealthy minority makes no move for political, social, or economic reform because the system benefits them exclusively. However, activists like Hector have seen the atrocities in his country and choose to remain hopeful. They rely on the progressive America to take a stand and help those who have few opportunities for a better life. It’s the least we can do.
There was so much to share that we couldn’t include it all. We look forward to our return and sharing all the details with you!