Seeing Guatemala

In Entre Rios, a rural town in South-East Guatemala, students recite the poem Ay! Como me dueles Guatemala for a fifth grade assignment. A thirteen-year old child reciting a nationalistic poem about the problems within a country is a great example of an education. With a soul full of energy, admiration and emotion, Andrea spoke from the heart to tell us a cry for embetterment of her beloved country. She doesn’t know the negative light that people cast on a region that falls below the United States poverty standards. Andrea sees her countryside and the people in it. She knows they can improve in certain areas as she sees the trash on the side of the road and the violence in the cities. We both woke up to the front page saying, “Periódicos fueron asesinados” and ate eggs and drank orange juice.

Andrea works hard in school to learn how to be better and know more. I wish her education could be spread to others who live with the same problems. She shares issues of health and wealth with sixteen million other Guatemalans. I worry that these periódicos, newspaper writers, were killed for trying to spread the truth to their compatriots. For they worked hard in school learning how to make their country a better place to live, while some people concerned with their own well-being make it more dangerous for Andrea and her schoolmates. Furthermore, the observations of these hard-working journalists will go unfulfilled and people in the States and other well protected places will use this headline to further their fallacious belief o Guatemala as a crime-ridden country. But if those journalists could have their last words heard, they’d speak for Andrea and all future Guatemalans in saying,

“Guatemala, lloro y trabajo por ti.”

Andrea performing the poem

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