Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 3

The Elizabeth Bell Tour of Antigua followed by 4 hours of conversational Spanish. We started at the Central Square of Antigua and walked through ruins, the Jade factory, and Hotel Santo Domingo. I had no idea that the history of the Guatemalan culture was so intricate, and intertwined with so many others.

The civil war seems to have just ended and after 16 years of restructuring this new sort of democracy, there’s so much work to be done. Essentially, the Mayans who are 60% of the population came into power and started to built self-supporting systems that competed with exports of the US. In the 1970’s the US is said to have assisted in creating a coupe that overthrew the government here, supporting the minority population in getting power over the country. They trained them in genocide techniques and then supported the mass genocide of thousands of Mayans for nearly 30 years. In 1996, the war ended and the country is struggling to begin anew.

This history brings things into perspective when we think about what’s going on here…. The lack of policies to support people and their needs, the corruption, and the need for more than is possible to bring about in just 16 years. We’re looking at a new country with so many possibilities yet so much to put in place that takes time, but most of all takes a trust that the government is looking out for the people’s well-being. But after all that has happened here, how can you trust a government, or even a world that has turned it’s back on you and tried to get rid of you?