Where are the Maya women going to?

Come on, let's go

To be what I am is not a something to be proud of; it is a shame. I do not represent the women of my country. The majority of indigenous women, starting with my mother, are illiterate. We are millions of Maya and only two women have a Doctorate degree (Ph.D.). I do not want to go by without raising the voice because the ones that have governed this country have taken away our dignity. —Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj

This is Irma’s answer to the question of “Marco Antonio Flores says you are one of the most authentic indigenous intellectuals, what do you think of his statement?” as it appeared in an interview in Revista D, of Prensa Libre (rough translation through Google). Irma Alicia was not allow to enter a bar-restaurant called “El Tarro Dorado” (The Golden Mug) in Guatemala City in June 2002 because she was wearing her Guatemalan indigenous dress. She tells the story herself in English here.

If you considered that somewhere between 50 and 60% of the population is Maya, this act of discrimination is unacceptable. I feel so enraged to hear this kind of acts of discrimination. Yet, this happens everyday in this country to many people. I do not know where are the Maya women are going, but I wish that they achieve their goals and the justice is available to them. Believe when I say this country is very complex.

© 2006 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Well, I certainly hope that these Mayan women go far– to full independence and recognition of their human dignity.

  • nap

    Sad but true, I would like to see what could happen with an indigenous running for president and actually get the presidence, which is not far away from becoming real, more with this people saying that Rigoberta Menchú Tum, is thinking about it. Maybe the things would get better for them. Who knows…

  • Wherever they are going, I hope the Mayan women are going to kick some butt when they get there. Discrimination in this day and age is insane.

  • patsy poor

    don’t know where they are going but i think until they get away from the mind set that a woman has to have as many children as her body can produce they will be in a subject roll in life. it is my belief that this is due to the teaching of the churchs in your country.

  • Women, be it in Guatemala or anywhere in the world, is slowly getting the attention and respect they deserve. I just hope it continues so that we reach a stage where every woman, whereever she maybe, can say she is treated equally!

  • Meg

    I know this is a serious post, and I do agree with everything that has been said, but I can’t help it; I love Mayan textile.

  • The poor are always the last to benefit from social justice. I imagine these women are among the poorest.

    Thanks for highlighting this injustice. The world needs to know – and to do something!

  • Stingray

    I wonder what the reaction was in Guatemala to this lady being refused entry to the bar-resto in G City? Was there much comment/ soul searching in the press. did resto change its policy?

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