May 14, 2013 – Guatemala City and Xela (a.k.a. Queltzaltenango)
Our lives are in the center, but work in contribution and in co-existence with many other things. It’s a duality between reality of life and the path the Mayan culture is rich with, a duality of beliefs of how to better oneself, and a duality of how to work through this life and this world.
To be so connected with nature and using that as a basis for religion and beliefs is not a new concept to me, but it is wonderful to see it again in someplace so vastly different. This seems to be a lot of what modern Christianity is missing. Father Sun and Mother Earth—the duality and foundation of the faith. One is neither above nor against the other.
Where does that leave Americans? We’re so disconnected from nature and what it means. How many kids have sat outside and waited for the sun to rise? Is it a matter of how to get kids outside, or is it an issue of teaching generations that there is a place outside the walls of the house and interwebs? We are so far removed from nature, and it’s not just because we live in cities. There are plenty of trees next to my tiny apartment, but I rarely go and sit under them. I rarely think to even take the time. Living on a space ship would be absolutely fascinating, but without dirt beneath peoples feet and sun on their face—are they missing too much?
Concerning immigration and Café RED—most of the information I already had as I’ve taken an intensive immigration class. What was new information centered around youth and what they deal with as well as the remittance and debt they have to deal with.
The detention centers are something that the United States needs to deal with. Getting them out of the private world that they are in now would be a first step as well as making the community aware of the situation. With youth, it’s not like with adults. They aren’t just taken back across the invisible border that people thinks keeps them safe and dropped off. There is more of a concern—are they able to care for themselves? Probably better than some American children, but the answer is still no. They came here for a reason.
The interesting part of the conversation had to deal with the LGBT or QUILTBAG community. It was asked if Café RED was prepared for a youth of the queer nature. While the answer given was a “no,” I’m not sure that the answer can adequately be asked. There is a different understanding of queer outside the US understanding. Other cultures don’t think of it in the same way that American’s do. We can’t ask questions from our context and expect them to make sense in another person’s context or culture.