The last post and the story of a familyMarch 28, 2020 in Guatemala ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C
So this is my last post from my one-way-forced-return-ticket, out of Antigua, Guatemala
Today I went to the market with my new mask fitting my outfit💃. People started sewing mask
and sell them for 0.6 swiss cents.
The idea was to get souvenirs for friends and family at the local Artesan Market. It looked closed so I asked a couple standing there. Juan and Marta. This is their story.
They produce art and everyday utensils, wood and textile. They have learned it from their grandparent and them from their grandparent. He says “I never studied anything. I learned everything in the streets”. He is referring to Spanish. His mother tongue is a Mayan dialect and until not so many years ago Spanish wasn’t taught in their schools. Now yes.
They have a stand at the artisan market.
One Monday morning they have been called into a meeting and been told that the market is closed as of the same day for 40 days. No pre-notice.
Like most of the 91% indigenous people they live from day to day.
What they earn today they spend today on what is needed today.
They are not prepared for such situations. They don’t have savings. They have few chickens and veggies in a garden. They have 5 children between 4 and 11 years old to feed. No adult children that could help out because they have a job.
The government has proposed different laws to the congress to “protect the people of Guatemala”. Few passed (health), most not (economics).
Juan says “We have exactly six families in the country who own the country. Spanish descendants. Whatever money is going out to the people is gonna end up in their pockets”. I guess the wedding I saw in that church was one of those families.
Now everybody has to look out for them selve. Juan says “ I don’t know want we gonna do, we trust in god, he will help us.”
I end up giving the couple some of the money I intended to spend on souvenirs. It felt genuine.
They thanked me.
Marta starts to have tears, then I have tears. I did not hug them because of Corona.
Five minutes later Marta comes back to me and ask for my number and name, if I come back to Guatemala. She wants to give me a gift when the market is open again. I end up hugging her. WTCF. I found a family.
I will donate the rest of the gift-money to charity.
So - no souvenirs for back home. You have all you need anyway.
I leave behind new friendships as always dispersed all over the world.
But since I’ll travel the world I’ll see them again:-).
Thank you all for your company and support in Antigua before and now.
P.S. I had a chat with the Swiss Ambassador. We exchanged our views on what Is to come for Guatemala. He said that 80% of all Guatemalan will be without food on the table after two weeks out of job.😞.Read more