May 10th: Mother’s Day in Guatemala

Cowgirl Mom and Cowboy Kid

Mother’s Day is celebrated in Guatemala on May 10th. Where do Guatemalans take their mom to dine on her day? But of course, to Pollo Campero. I decided to go there and see if I could snatch a shot for you, but I was too shy. The Pollo Campero restaurant was very busy with moms going in and out of the place; there were many good photo opts, but I felt like I was intruding, so I only took one overall shot of the scene (a bit blurry at that).

Today I am also breaking the daily photo rule by publishing three photographs about three different kinds of Guatemalan moms. Regardless of all the inter-country or international adoptions or The Baby Flight as Dr. Karen S. Rotabi calls it, there are still plenty of loving and caring moms in Guatemala. I am showing only three today, but there are many more.

The cowgirl mom above is helping his cowboy kid get ready for a horsemanship show. The urban rocker mom takes her daughter to Jamtigua International Music Festival and bonds with her while listening to the haunting music of Ranferí­ Aguilar and his Rain Maker concert. Last but not least, we have the indigenous mom hurrying up with her daughter while doing some errands. The last photo was published before under the title Let’s go mija, we are going to be late… on August 21st, 2006.

The group that suffers the most with inter-country adoptions is, of course, the indigenous population since their offspring and descendants are taken away to live in far away lands under a different culture and different lifestyles. Guatemalan indigenous population are descendants from the Maya and thus Amerindians or the original peoples of the American continent. By taken away the children from these very close indigenous tribes, something very important is lost. But what the heck, we are living in global economy world with a zillion free trade agreements so there are no speed bumps to the flow of money towards the north. Why shouldn’t humans be part of this flow? Why should only immigrants who can pay their coyote be allowed to suffer the American Dream? Isn’t it the destiny of the peoples this planet to be all and only mestizos (mixed)? Is there any benefit to diversity, really?

I leave you with the questions above to ponder.

To all the visiting moms, I wish them a very happy Guatemalan Mother’s Day! To my own mother Lidia, now living in Las Vegas, I send all my loving through this entry.

Urban Mom and her daughter

mother and daughter strolling

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© 2007 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Mothers day here in the states is like most other holidays, so commercialized that only the retailers really get anything out of it. In one or two hours of television you are most likely to see no less than 15 mothers day commercials. If you can’t just tell your mother you love her without running out and buying her something then something is wrong. Besides everyday should be mothers day.

  • Jon

    Man I have to say that the Pollo Campero here in NYC (in Queens) is nothing like Guate! I miss my Pollo Campero runs from my time in Guate (2 1/2 years).

    Your pix remind me of all of the time I spent in Antigua.

    The only chicken I love more is Nando’s Chicken from when I lived in Cape Town.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Scott


    To your questions I ask why are not these indigenous children adopted by other Guatemalans? If you check into it, you will find that it is relatively inexpensive for a Guatemalan to adopt a Guatemalan baby (indigenous or not), but it is very expensive for a foreigner to adopt a Guatemalan baby (which has made many, many Guatemalan lawyers rich). If this was an important and valid issue to Guatemalans, than far less children would be adopted by Americans and more would be adopted by Guatemalans. Also, what if all adoptions of Guatemalan babies stopped? Orphanages in Guatemala are already overcrowded.

    Please help me understand.

    One last thing, Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers.


  • Feliz Dia de la Madre a todas las madres! I love the photos! My first meal in Antigua was at Pollo Campero….thanks for the memory.

  • suffer the american drean is the correct term. life is the u s of a is not all its cracked up to be. mothers day is not a big thing in our family. just another day.

  • I agree with Scott’s comments above. In a perfect world, no family would be forced into a decision to place a child for adoption; in the next-best scenario, adopted children would stay in their birth countries with loving adoptive families. Unfortunately neither of these ideals is currently reality in Guatemala. I strongly believe that a child, no matter where he is born, is MUCH better off in a loving home (no matter where that home is located) than in an institution or living on the streets. I agree it’s very unfortunate that money enters into the equation at all, and that a small minority is getting rich off the pain of broken families. I don’t know how to fix that part, I wish I did.

  • What a great snapshot of three moms and three types of interests (horses, music, errands/daily life). I adore the first photo. That little boy and his cute expression brings tears to my eyes. So cute! The older I get the more I’m convinced that being a mother is the most selfless act in the world.

  • I saw many loving scenes on mother´s day as I was walking back to my hotel from Spanish school. Times when I did not have my camera. La Antigua Guatemala is a loving city.

  • Sally

    In my view, all adoption is tragic, because of circumstances behind it. Inter-country adoption even more so – the dislocation, the cultural confusion so many suffer. I wish there was a world where children could be loved and cared for in their home environment.

    Here in Australia there were forcd removals of Indigenous children, to homes, porphamages, adoption into white families and to work as domestic servants and farm hands. They are known as The Stolen Generation. The mothers continue to weep.

  • Ron

    Saludos a todas las madres Guatemaltecas!!!

  • GDS

    I’m not sure if Rudy is making a judgment on adoptive parents as much as he is pointing out the fact that as much as we love our children, they are experiencing great loss. With all the opportunities we provide, those kids lose the opportunity to participate fully in the great culture and heritage of their birth.
    Does that mean that we foreigners should stop adopting children from other countries? I don’t think so. As I’ve said before, empathy for poverty really isn’t the primary reason most people adopt. But we still must work to find ways to solve the underlying problems that result in adoptions in the first place.
    I was a little perturbed by the comparison to human trafficking at first. While it’s not an exact comparison, it’s still tragic that people are so desperate in poverty that they are willing to risk so much to head North. Same can be said for international adoption.

    Rudy, these are beautiful photos that capture the universal spirit of Motherhood. Happy belated Mother’s Day to all.

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  • Terrill

    Just recently subscribed to Antigua Daily photo.I read yesterdays postings about Mothers Day–then found this link in it. I am so saddened at the comments made on here about adoption. My husband and I are the adoptive parents of a VERY special girl from Guatemala. Her birthmother chose adoption for her daughter–we were all part of an adoption plan. We never thought that our dreams of being parents would ever come true–but it miracuously did. Adoption is a wonderful way to have a family.The comments on her suggest otherwise–what a shame. Don’t ever assume that just because we are Americans and we have adopted internationaly that we don’t love and respect where our child has come from–because MANY of us do—we keep our childs culture alive in them and teach them many things about the beautiful and amazing place they came from.We will forever be grateful to our daughters birthmother for the gift our our daughter.

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  • Simon

    How do interracial/intercultural marriages fit into what has been said? I’m Australian, and married a Guatemalan lady. She has children, but their father is from the USA.

    • If you look at my Street Portrait series, you will see that Guatemalans come in all flavors. Check it out!