Finding a Home Away from Home
You see, Josephina is a single mother and must raise her children without the help of their father. She is not alone in her situation. Many families have lost their fathers, either as casualties of the long civil war (Team - Torture and Bloodshed: Truths of the Guatemalan Civil War) that wracked the country until 1996, or as casualties of a dream, the dream of "El Norte. "El Norte" literally means "The North", and it refers to the United States, the land of plenty. Many men from the villages have escaped to "El Norte" in hopes of a better life. For more information on this topic, check out this article from when we were crossing the U.S./Mexico border: Seeking "El Norte".
Many go with hopes of finding their fortune so they can come back home and support their families. Unfortunately, what they find in the U.S. is a harsher reality. Most end up working as illegal immigrants for less than the minimum wage and so can never afford to return to their families. This is what Josephina and her family think has happened to their father.
Despite all these hardships, my family is full of joy and love. We eat all our meals together in our one room house. The grandparents, mother, and children all sit around the wood-burning stove while they eat, laugh, and tell stories in Mam. Justina, the youngest, loves to dance, so if there's any music to be heard, the dancing's sure to begin. When it's time to sleep they all bundle up in wool blankets and sleep on various cots around the room. If it is too cold at night, they light a fire in the middle of the room, right on the floor! That's one of the great advantages of having a dirt floor...and, oh yeah, no one gets yelled at for spilling!
Did you miss part one of this dispatch? Check it out now! Todos Santos Part 1: Rough Road to Paradise.
Please write me at email@example.com, or post a message on the Discussion Board!
Shawn - Uncovering the Riches of Todos Santos
Abeja - The Flourishing Quiche Culture
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