Remembering the Guatemalan Civil War
In Guatemala, the land of eternal spring, the topic of their thirty-six year Civil War (1961-1996) is almost taboo. It is certainly not discussed in the cafes, eco-attractions, and Mayan historical and archeological sites attracting thousands of tourists. Still, the track mark of the Civil War is easy to see if you know where to search. While living in Guatemala, my Spanish tutors tearfully shared with my fellow students and me the stories of the people they knew and family members they had lost. They are still scarred by the actions of the government-supported death squads. Despite the twenty years since the conclusion of the war, they are disgruntled by the lack of change that has come to Guatemalan society in that time. The poor are still poor and the government is still corrupt. When an army truck one day drove down the streets of Antigua, I witnessed the visibly automatic response of heightened apprehension and anxiety that still lingers.
Guatemalan Civil War, Guatemala History, New York Times, Washington Post, Spring Arbor University, Maria Gray