Lucia has something to say

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Guatemala: Mayan Women and Mayan Girls

Asking Mayan women what they need, boiled down to the bare minimum, they said...

A small concrete or adobe house.

Money for corn for tortillas. When there isn't money, people cut back to eating just tortillas and salt.

To take care of their children, and animals if they have any.

A backstrap loom to make weavings to sell to get money.

A small sustenance garden to grow vegetables for the family.

One of the biggest challenges to women's self esteem after Hurricane Stan was that they lost their traditional clothing, and were walking around in sweat pants and t-shirts that were sent as hurricane relief. It was important for them to get back to weaving, so they had traditional clothes to wear again.

And then there are the girls. It started at the pool today when a couple of gringas "fell" in with their passports, cell phones and money stuffed in their pockets. They invited the Mayan girls in. "Go ask your mothers," they said. And the girls did. And in they went, with their underwear on. And the gringas and the girls had great fun in the pool, splashing and playing.

These are girls who live next to a lake. And they said they'd never been in the water before. I think they may remember the crazy gringas well into their adulthood.

8 Comments:

Blogger Rebekah said...

Never been in the water... you're right, these girls will remember the day at the pool.

were you one of the gringas who "fell" in?

How about taking the stuff from the museum, and bringing it up to these women?

I know, just a thought.

9:51 AM  
Blogger patches said...

Hi Lucia. Nancy Dancehall suggested I drop by. She mentioned you were a weaver. What kind of loom? I enjoyed reading your posts about Guatemala. It too easy to forget what the world looks like beyond the US borders. Thanks for sharing.

8:39 PM  
Blogger jen said...

my extended family ran a summer camp for kids from inner cities. i would spend weeks there - the highlight was always the old rattley bus that took us to the beach..the first time ever for many kids who were living in Los Angeles, an hour or less from the coast.

9:42 PM  
Blogger kat said...

I so love your descriptions of everything. When I read them I feel like I can see it myself.

Thank you for sharing all of this with all of us.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Amazing how the essentials of live can boil down when we really think about it. I never would have thought about the clothing being a self-esteem thing and I'm glad I read this. Here where we do not have traditions like theirs we need to be reminded what those traditions can mean.

7:38 AM  
Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

SWEATPANTS????
Isn't it just a little warm for those?

1:48 PM  
Blogger amusing said...

The clothes were lost and they need new ones. How do they replace them? Not a trip to the mall; they make them. Reality check. We sit in our chairs and we don't really think about the layers of destruction and just how normalcy is restored. The effort and time.

Thanks for this post. I will read it to the Eldest who is doing his book report on a mystery set among the Mayan.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It`s really interesting to reed. But all thk about other. Why so?

5:45 PM  

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