September 15 is INDEPENDENCE DAY, in Guatemala. It is a National Holiday that features school students, dressed in their finest or new uniforms, marching to the music of drums and trumpets. It is not a day to have your car on the road. Streets are crowded and food booths, fire works, bombs add to the festivities. During the past week, students also traveled to distant communities, on excursions. They return to the town in buses and trucks, some running ahead of the vehicles, with torches and horns blaring. For the parents, these festivities are an expense, which most cannot afford, but somehow, the students all participate. Sacrifices are made.
Violence is less prevalent in our area but not true for the country in general. Extortions, asassinations, robberies are a daily reminders in the newspapers. Health Care is not available to the Poor, as it should be. Hospitals and Government health Centers are always with minimal supplies and personnel and the Poor depend on alternative clinics or die young, from curable diseases. Hunger is very prevalent and Guatemala has one of the highest incidence of chronic child malnourishment. Tuberculosis is making a come back in mountain villages and towns. Aids is more diagnosed among the younger population and much education is lacking to prevent this disease. ALL IS NOT WELL.