By Rigoberta Menchú, Elisabeth Burgos-Debray (ed.)

Trans. through Ann Wright

Now an international bestseller, the striking lifetime of Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan peasant lady, displays at the reviews universal to many Indian groups in Latin the United States. Menchú suffered gross injustice and hassle in her formative years: her brother, mom and dad have been murdered by way of the Guatemalan army. She realized Spanish and became to catechistic paintings as an expression of political insurrection in addition to non secular dedication. Menchú vividly conveys the normal ideals of her group and her own reaction to feminist and socialist rules. exceptionally, those pages are illuminated through the long-lasting braveness and passionate experience of justice of a rare girl.

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Then the neighbours start coming to visit, and bring presents. They either bring food for the mother, or something for the baby. The mother has to taste all the food her neighbours bring to show her appreciation for their kindness. After the eight days are over, the family counts up how many visitors the mother had, and how many presents were received; things like eggs or food apart from what was brought for the mother, or clothing, small animals, and wood for the fire, or services like carrying water and chopping wood.

Thus, they promote the notion of an Indian nation. * The indigenist meetings held in Paris–with Indian participation–are a perfect example of what he means. Just like the avant-garde groups which still take up arms in various Latin American countries–and these groups should not be confused with resistance groups fighting military dictatorships, like the Guatemalan guerrillas, the associations of the families of the ‘disappeared ones’, the countless trade union and other oppositional groups which are springing up in Chile and other countries, or the ‘Plaza de Mayo Mothers’ movement in Argentina–the indigenist groups also want to publicize their struggles in Paris.

We spent four months in our little house in the Altiplano and the rest of the year we had to go down to the coast, either in the Boca Costa* where there’s coffee picking and also weeding out the coffee plants, or further down the south coast where there’s cotton. That was the work we did mostly, and I went from when I was very little. A very few families owned the vast areas of land which produce these crops for sale abroad. These landowners are the lords of vast extensions of land, then. So we’d work in the fincas for eight months and in January we’d go back up to the Altiplano to sow our crops.

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