Monday 20th July 2014
It’s been a few weeks since I last updated. Christmas time is a busy time for all. I’m ready to collapse in a delicious slumber, a hybination from the drop of in temperature. It’s a very cold 19c here guys. From all the machismo there is here, I feel that Hondurans are complete pussies when it comes to the cold. I feel that I too have turned into a pussy. The cold here is just a strong breeze. Nothing more. It’s funny watching people wrapped up for what looks like a skiing excursion in the tropics. They wear jumpers will snowmen and wooly hats. Waking up and going to work at 6 in subzero conditions with cold wind in your face which gets under your nails; that’s cold. I know that Hondurans are used to the sun et al, but I do feel they over do it. Saying that, so can the English; it’s hardly el antártico!
Anyway, on this day 5 months ago, Pamela and I were playing ball games with my niece and nephew in my parent’s back garden in the English summer. It probably feels a long time ago now. Kind of is. They showed me how to use a tablet. I feel younger generations are leaving behind. I want to bring back the Sega Game Gear. That’s more my speed.
We then had an interesting evening at the MAC (Midlands Art Centre) to watch a movie which was bizarrely set in Central America. Guatemala in fact. It’s called Juala de Oro in Spanish, and the Golden Dream in English. No one famous stars in it, and it tells the story of four youths crossing Mexico to get into the States, three are friends from Guatemala City, the other is of Indian decent and tags along, much to the annoyance of one. It’s about the dangers of the journey, as well as friendship. You can’t of course ignore the political element, which has been in the news a lot of late, about “illegals” (I hate that terminology; to be illegal in a country feels too right wing’ish to me, even though I understand why people in the USA and in most developed countries are not keen to let the undesirables enter their country (narcos and gang members).
I think the movie brings out the dangers of crossing borders very well. However, even though we briefly see the youths’ lives in Guatemala City, we don’t get a full account of their desperation, and about the poverty they live in, which one of the MAC workers talked about as we left the cinema; he didn’t comprehend why people would put themselves in the so much danger. It’s a cliché, but maybe when you’ve got so little to lose, you’ve so much to gain. In Casa Alianza, some children left to find brothers and sisters across the States, as well as escape domestic violence. These aspects is something Fox News and similar channels intentionally choose to ignore. It’s problem that’s not going to go away guys. Dropping a bomb on Mexico, which I heard from a deranged commentator on Fox a few months ago. The topic divides the opinion. Obviously, working with Casa Alianza and Refugee Council has taught me the reasons why so many millions have to and need to up and leave, but I also believe that if first world countries took their nose out of manipulating politics of certain Latin American countries, and instead helped create jobs and opportunities, praying better wages, there might be less of a reason for millions to leave. It’s simplistic what I am saying, but dropping bombs or alienating people doesn’t work.
I touched on this three years ago while working at Casa Alianza and meeting several kids who’d tried to go, only to get caught on the way or in the USA and then be brought back, hearing the stories, the dangers of coyotes and kidnappers. It’s a brutally honest movie which left Pamela in tears and I remincing. Pamela also laughed at the Guatemalan expressions. For those interested on the subject, see Which Way Home and La Bestia, about the infamous train that the kids embark on in the movie.
I wasn’t surprised that Pamela would be moved by the film, as well as love the MAC. The two left a good stamp in our memory.