Posts Tagged ‘Kids’
Rock Culture is dying down here in Guatemala.
In fact, there is no single good Rock radio station anymore, the last one they tell me changed its style more than three years ago; now they play pop music. But there still some loyal young people out here.
By chance I ended up at this autograph signing by Alan Boguslavsky, former guitar player of one of the most renown Latin America rock bands. The Dream of the Dead, by Alan Boguslavsky.
Cultural Festival of Mayan Languages at San Carlos University (USAC)
Lovely time at the University. The only thing that saddens me is a number I hear while holding a casual conversation with one of the Mayan Languages teachers. It turns out that there are less than 200 people taking Mayan Languages classes at the University. Not big deal right? Well, This University holds more than 50% of the entire University Students in the country, and there are more than 150 thousand students here. Less than 0.2% of students find it rewarding learning Mayan languages or culture. Sad..
A short play of Dia de los Santos (Day of the dead?)
Signing of Mayan folk songs in Kaqchikel
El Pabank, grupo de proyeccion folklorica Soel Valdez, Son Ritual de Coban.
I really love this!
Mayan Play Ratz’um K’iche
Forgive me if I get this wrong, but the play’s dialog was narrated in Q’eqchi’. Let’s see if I got the plot right: Two warriors from different Mayan kingdoms get their kingdoms to fight for a young Mayan princess.
Guatemalan Society is very divided. This diverging can be witness everywhere; a birthday!
I’ve been to several birthday parties during my stay here in Guatemala. What I’ve seen is this: In every birthday party held by middle class Guatemalans, the birthday song is sang in English. I’ve been to a couple lower class birthday parties too; here they sing it in Spanish.
I might be naive, might give it much importance to something so insignificant; but what would you think if within you country (U.S.A.) some social classes sung celebratory songs in other language, French perhaps, or listening the birthday song sung in German?
I don’t know much about this Guatemalan Tradition, what I know is: It is not in Jocotenango! Jocotenango is a municipality in the department of Sacatepequez, neighboring La Antigua Guatemala. The image of Virgin Mary, Patron Saint of Guatemala City was brought to Guatemala from Jocotenango, and, well, they celebrate the Assumption of Virgin Mary with this fair. Please, correct me because I know I’m wrong…
Oh, adjacent to the festivities there is a Relief-Miniature map of the entire country. Here is a photograph showing Tajumulco Volcano, the place with the most spectacular view in Central America, 13,845 ft above sea level at the summit.
At the Fair’s entrance; I found this duet playing Guatemalan folk songs. Their music was exquisite.
Sexta Avenida or Sixth Avenue has change a lot since I used to frequent the area more than 16 years ago.
When I was young, we used to come here because the cheapest (and one of the few available) cinema was located here. Pizza was cheap here too, you could get two slices for Q2 or $.25 cents and they were very tasty.
The Avenue was a mess; there were street vendors all over, improvised street shops were the only thing you could see. In fact, one was not able to see the buildings, street shops and shacks blocked the view.
Now the street has been rebuilt, the buildings remodel, Cine Lux, the oldest in Guatemala (I think) has been turned into a theater -a fancy one- and classy business have become establish here.
When I used to walked these streets, no one from the upper social classes would dare stepping here. Now they are the ones frequenting this location. Fancy dinning, international brands stores, chain restaurants among other amenities. One can easily mistake this street with Newbury Street, Boston or an European Street.
Sixth Avenue is becoming a cultural magnet (excluding somewhat the lower classes of society); musicians playing at restaurants, playing on the streets too, street artists are abundant.
I stopped to watch this group of kids break-dancing. The choreography became exiting and entertaining; I had to produce my camera and start shooting.
The kids call themselves: The Sixth Avenue Crew.
A thought: Good or Bad? The old Sixth Avenue was a mess, but the lower classes identified with it. Now the architecture is impressive and inviting in the sense that a charming Expensive Store would be. How can we modernize, without loosing the essence of what the entire society encompasses? Example: How would one feel if traveling to India and finding its streets empty of traditional foods restaurants, no tuc tucs, not thousands of people bumping into you, no bicyclepacks, etc. It wouldn’t be India: Right? Well, I think that’s what is happening here. We are changing our architectural style, or foods or clothing, everything that define us as what we are. How can we go into Globalization and Modernization without loosing our cultural identity?
San Juan Comalapa is a small town in the province of Chimaltenango, not more than hour and a half drive from Guatemala City. This town was hard-hit by the civil war that engulfed the country for 36 years. The military outpost on the outskirts of the town was responsible for hundreds or even thousands of crimes committed against the local indigenous people. The people endured this hardship and they express their memories and suffering on a series of murals on the access road to the town.
The USAC -only public university in Guatemala- has a long history of supporting the commoners causes and was the only institution that openly dared opposed government repression and state sponsored crimes. And due to that, it was a victim of state atrocities against its students and teaching staff. We see that spirit in its Graffiti.
Child Labor is well known and widespread through out the country. Most people would condemn it right away without thinking much of the immediate consequences. Many children are force into working on the streets selling any kind of product, flowers this occasion, or shoe shinning, car washing, among many other things, in other to earn some much needed cash. As I’ve witness, a lot of them would be deprive of necessary cash to buy food or basic needs if it wasn’t for the money they earn on the streets. Guatemalans would condemn Child Labor stating that they belong in schools or playing with children their age. Very true indeed, but current Economic and Social circumstances leave them with no other option. The dilemma is: Have them not work and go to school on an empty stomach, with no food waiting for them home; if they have a roof where to come back to, with no money for basic human needs, medicine, etc. or the very sad alternative: having to work on the streets to temporary solve an immediate need. Got an answer to the dilemma?