Guatemalan Alienation

Contrastes Indígenas

This year FOTO»30, Guatemala’s Photo September, a month full of photographic exhibits has as the encompassing theme the concept Nation.

I remember what Manolo said last year when I entitled a post Perpetuating a Nation.

It [Guatemala] is a country, a republic… but a nation… I am not sure. —Manolo

Everyday I come across more Guatemalans who project a loss of identity. This is even true with the Maya people, especially the men, most of who have abandoned their traditional dress clothes in favor of a more Westernized look.

This alienation is also evident in the language where many young Mayas don’t speak the tongue of their parents. This is also true of mestizos (mixed) or ladinos who often use or mix English words into their every day talk without even realizing it or sometimes on purpose. All you have to do is look at the updates in Twitter, Facebook, Google+, et cetera to notice the abundance of English words, phrases or even entire thoughts being used for a peer audience who mostly speak Spanish.

For instance, once I came across a travel agent who handed me a brochure as he called it and when I questioned why he didn’t call it folleto (the Spanish word for brochure) he told me he didn’t know the word brochure was not Spanish. This is merely one example of the many I encounter almost everyday in Guatemala.

By the way, did you know that many Guatemalans now celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving in Guatemala?

Well, I do agree that Guatemala is NOT a nation. Furthermore, I believe Guatemalans are alienated. There are SO many examples of this alienation for sure. However, I would like to read some of your samples of Guatemalan alienation.

You’re welcome to submit as many examples of alienation in Guatemala as you can remember.

© 2011 – 2020, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.