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Published: July 20th 2006
I´ve been away for almost a week on a
trip with the quetzaltrekkers through the villages of the Cuchumatane
mountains, which less than 20 years was the scene of many devastating
massacres during the civil war between the rightwing government army and
the socialist Guerillas. Many young men were conscripted by force into the
army only to have to kill their neighbouring villagers. Horrific
happenings, and the people who survived all this still have the memories
fresh in their minds. Hardly surprising that the villagers were a little
wary of us as we passed through. Spent an interesting night staying with a
family though who were prepared to talk to us about what it was like, and the current state of affairs for the people who live in the villages, which in short is pretty grim. With few opportunities to work, most of the men bail out to the US to earn money for their families. Lets just say sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesnt, and many families are left fatherless and without any source of income at all.
The trek ended in a village called Todos Santos Chuchmatin, which at first seemed the most comical village I had ever been
The trip went through several villages severely affected in the civil war less than 20 years ago. This village was rebuilt as a ´model village´ by the army, kept under scrutiny by the governments armed forces. Some of the people were quite friendly, others understandably timid.
to, with all the men wearing the traditional constume of red stripy pants. This illusion changed though, in the way that clowns can appear evil, as the previously friendly people became drunken and abusive over the afternoon. Alcohol is a huge problem in this town.
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