Boyhood in Guatemala

Rudy Giron: Antigua Guatemala &emdash; Boyhood in Antigua Guatemala

We recently watched the film Boyhood, one of the film with more nominations and awards and a good contender for the Oscars. Boyhood follows the life a kid, Mason, from age 5 to age 18; that’s 12 years. My first thought was, what has become of the little shoe-shine kid I photographed 9 years ago. It would be interesting to find him again and learn more about him and about his life through the years since I captured him as a boy of six or seven years of age holding his entire business enterprise on his right hand while being drenched by the rain. Where should I start?

I have spoken against child labor in Guatemala many times before through the years; almost from the very beginning of AntiguaDailyPhoto. Here are some fragments taken from the posts found in the archives of AntiguaDailyPhoto.

On May 7, 2006 | Tourists and shoe-shining boy

Kids should be in school. In Guatemala there are laws for everything you can imagine, including laws against child labor. Yet there is no enforcement of most laws here; child labor is no exception.

On May 22, 2006 | Antigua’s Child Labor

What kind of future awaits for Guatemala when its children are on the streets working to survive today. What kind of education and preparation will its labor force have in ten or twenty years?

On May 29, 2007 | All Work And No Play Makes For A Very Dull Day

What I learned from these kids is that rock climbing is possible in La Antigua Guatemala; child labor still present in Antigua and I don’t know if ever it will be eradicated; regardless of the labor conditions, kids will find a way to play. Good for them!

On August 23, 2011 | Tough Future!

How can we expect a better future as a country if our future is on the streets working instead of in school preparing to make a better nation?

On November 20, 2012 | The sun does not rise the same for everyone

Over six years ago I pondered about the future of Guatemala and its child labor force. Sadly, very little has changed for the less privileged children of Guatemala in the last six years.

© 2015, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Mercutio57

    On my first visit to Antigua, 16 years ago, I was struck by how many children were not in school. The sketch below was done on my second visit, a year or two later. It’s sad to see that things haven’t improved very much in this regard.

    • I know, that’s why a do follow up posts for the child labor issue.