Saturday, March 31, 2007

Myths: in Guatemala

Jimmy bought a political magazine in the Petén because it had a defamatory statement about gringos on the cover and we wanted to know why.
I translated several articles for my spanish class. The article about gringos was full of lies. Many Guatemalans are angry with the Sates because of visas. Linda said that another magazine did a study and said that only 2 people per day get their visas approved. Anybody could go down to the embassy and see that this is not true. Unfortunately you do not have to have any proof for things, spoken word is accepted as truth. I think it is partly because many people cannot read.

Another article in this magazine was about Xiliquito, a species that is part man, part cow. No one has actually seen it and lived to tell about it, but everyone knows about it. You can catch it and it will be your slave and make you rich. Linda said that she heard that scientist from the States cloned it illegally and it got free and came down here to Guatemala. Every area has a different take on the story. This would be like someone in the Sates picking up a Time magazine and reading about this creature like it was fact, it is an accepted publication.

Another more famous rumor completely accepted as truth is that gringos come to Guatemala to kidnap children to harvest their organs. I asked Linda about this and she said that this is absolutely true, several people have been arrested. The thing is that if you look suspicious, especially in indigenous areas, you do not get arrested, you get lynched. Afterwards they find the missing child, but that doesn’t matter, the gringo was there to kidnap Guatemalan children. We were warned by the pastor in Huehue, not to let the medical team pay a lot of attention to children because they have had problems in that area with gringos kidnapping children. I am always careful not to take many pictures of children I do not know. I do not think we would ever be able to adopt a Guatemalan child because people would think that we stole him/her. This is a serious thing here, there is even a warning on our government’s website.

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