Our first full day here in Guatemala was a day packed full of many interesting and new things that we found out. We had a History professor from here in Guatemala come and talk to us who told us about many things that happened to the people here. He talked about and explained that the way to understand some of the problems and the situations we had to go back a ways into history to see reasons and motivations for current actions. One example he talked about was the Catholic Church and its accumulation of wealth by talking and then its want to help the poor and oppressed when the basic human rights of the Guatemalan people were being trampled on by the government.
Then in the afternoon we met with H.I.J.O.S. and learned about their creation and history. We learned of their original goals from 15 years ago and why they decided to form. They are an organization created to find the missing people with the motto “Never forgive, Never Forget” as their driving force for all those missing and those still feeling the effect of those disappearances. The motto of not forgiving would normally close people to thinking about it, but they say that you should not forget to show your love for yourself. This is an understandable stance, but I find it would be hard for me to implement myself because of how I was raised. I understand and support it, but just would not be able to not forgive others because it helps me release the feeling so they do not fester and poison my other thoughts.
At the end of the day we watched a movie that helped us to connect the two lectures we had with more history as well as the sights of the city from where we went walking around places like the National Cathedral. I understand the place that the H.I.J.O.S. group is coming from as well as I know why and agree with why they cannot and will not forgive and forget the atrocities that have been done.
The trip is going great with some amazingly great food so far to top off everything we have experienced so far.