Que pais magnifico! What a wonderful country! Despite Guatemala’s horrendous history and recent past – I find a deep sense of serenity and welcome here. The climate is deliciously perfect. The scenery is astonishingly magnificent. The people are impeccably kind and friendly. The arts and crafts are an explosion of color and gorgeous design. Antigua is a city of remarkable beauty and charm. The artistic life is pulsating –from traditional crafts to contemporary art – painting, sculpture, architecture. Oh fellow Global Citizens, we are blessed with such an amazing planet and so many rich cultures!
Yet amidst this beauty, serenity and charm, I find myself repeatedly triggered when confronting the beautiful and pervasive colonial influences. I feel my stomach tighten and churn, as every historical figure, church, painting all make me think of Los Conquistadores – the cruelty, greed, violence, genocide that has swept this land for hundreds of years with their wanton destruction of so much of Mayan culture – which manifested in the last century in the cruel greed of “Banana Republics” and CIA supported death squads. (With Israeli supplied helicopters.) I feel culpable and sad. Read more