Saturday, February 25, 2012

We were an hour late arriving in Mexico City.   Fortunately, there were no lines for customs, because we had to pick up our luggage to go through, drop it off, then go through a security check.  Much easier than the US, though – didn’t have to take off shoes, jackets or anything else.  

After boarding, our flight to Guatemala was delayed for an hour due to plane issues.  This gave me a chance to meet a few great guys sitting by me, Nicho (Dionisio), Peter (Pedro) and Jerry (Jose).  They’re a lot of fun – tried to tell me that they don’t speak English and that this is Jose’s first time on a plane.  In fact, they travel all over the place to perform their concerts, and their English is very good.  I’ve been invited to go to a concert tomorrow night as their guest at Hermita de la Santa Cruz in Antigua.  Nicho Hinojosa is performing. They’ve encouraged me to bring Sara, mi amiga en Guatemala. Nicho and Jose live in Monterey, Mexico, while Pedro lives just over the border in Texas.   Pedro tells me that if I come to the concert, Nicho will dedicate a song to Lola.

I’ve been reading various books about Guatemala.  I started in the children’s section at the library, like I usually do, because books written for middle school aged kids give a bit of an overview/flavor of everything.  On the plane, I’ve been reading a Lonely Planet Guide, and a book called “Bridge of Courage.  Life Stories of the Guatemalan Companeros and Companeras.”  It’s an anthology of oral histories from people about their experiences in the 1970s through the 1990s, grouped into the period leading up to the revolution, the civil war itself, and the time after.  This version of the book was updated in 1995, and the Peace Accord wasn’t signed until 1996.   Stories of repression, terror and murder by the army.  Much of it comes from the inequity within a country where in 1993, 87% of the population lived below the poverty line and 2% of the people owned 70% of the land.    US foreign policy supported the status quo through multiple administrations, effectively backing domestic terrorism – this is from the introduction by Noam Chomsky.  In this same time period, I graduated from high school, then college, and started my career and my family, with only moderate awareness.


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