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The Rough Rewarding Road to Lancetillo

July 23, 2010

Zona Reyna, Lancetillo

I am sitting in an open salon of some one hundred young indigenous children watching “La Isla” quietly and attentively after having finished their hot chocolate and sweet biscuits on a Friday night in Zona Reyna, El Quiche. Not a single whisper escapes in the group as they stare intently at the Guatemalan army marching sequences and footage of the National Police Archives being recovered and the testimonies from family members of the disappearances of their family members. The crickets’ song fill the night and every once in a while the iron of a desk scrapes against the cement floor of this Catholic School. It’s cool and humid outside and I can hear the nuns in the kitchen. It reminds me of my own childhood growing up with the nuns in the United States, in a world so different than the world my family had immigrated from in Guatemala.

During the chocolate intermission break I tell them to line up against the back of the salon for a group picture. They all rush back quickly and obediently and I find myself staring at them, feeling a wave of peace.

The four hour drive from Uspantan to Zona Reyna in Lancetillo, El Quiche was the roughest terrain of Guatemalan terreceria, graded road, full of deep holes, steep switchbacks and sudden drop offs to plummeting heights where the fog rolled over the tops of the Cuchumatanes and the tree line thousands of feet below. We pass young girls carrying heavy loads of wood on their heads, children peaking out from the bottom of windows, older men with their shirts off, galoshes over there pants chatting to one another while draped along door frames. It’s late day now and we did not anticipate the terrain would take all of us to maneuver. There’s no turning back, we’re here to train a large group of young indigenous people how to tell their stories using photo and video. The result of an entire day of reporting and production resulted in these:

Puesto de Salud en Lancetillo, Guatemala from Habla Guate on Vimeo.

El Rio en Lancetillo, Guatemala en julio 2010 from Habla Guate on Vimeo.

Las Hermanas de Lancetillo, Guatemala en julio 2010 from Habla Guate on Vimeo.

Un recorrido por Lancetillo, Zona Reyna Guatemala from Habla Guate on Vimeo.

2 thoughts on “The Rough Rewarding Road to Lancetillo

  1. kwallek says:

    The Cuchumatanes are the best country in Guate, that road up out of Hue hue was one of the steepest roads I encountered in Guate.

    I like the sound of your project. Linda, my wife, and I have kicked around an idea for doing kids books in three languages, English, Spanish and the different Mayan dialects. With desktop publishing being what it is today, it seems doable. Set up a template for the book and insert the translations. It is not a money spinner and not ment to be but a way to increase literacy and cultural diversity-get them while they are young so to speak.

  2. […] stumbled on this photo of the Lancetillo kids and me from last year. Most of these kids don’t have a lot of experience behind a computer so […]

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