The Odyssey

Rigoberta Menchu Tum Chat Transcript
Rigoberta's Story
The Odyssey

Live Webcast, February 18, 1999!
Rigoberta Menchu

The first question is from the organization I*EARN. They would like to know: How has the struggle for your people changed since it began?

Yes, how has the struggle of the Guatemalan people changed since it began. I would say that it has changed many things, above all, because there existed an armed conflict here in Guatemala that had high costs. This armed conflict was affecting the lives of many people, apart from the fact that our people have always lived in misery, poverty, and hunger, but more concretely have always lived marginalized. During the last 36 years there has been an armed conflict, and now there isn't an armed conflict here because we've signed the peace accords and we've finished the war and now we are reconstructing the country, reconstructing the collective memory, reconstructing the truth about this armed conflict and also relocating the population affected by this armed conflict.

I was born in Chimel, it's a small town, we walked 9 hours to arrive at this place. My parents were very poor and we grew up in the finca, we worked a lot and it wasn't only difficult work but we also lived with the repercussions of this armed conflict. I remember all these years and unfortunately I personally lost 5 members of my family in this armed conflict. I have 2 brothers and now I donít know where they are. I don't know anything about them and I hope one day they will be found so that they can be buried with dignity, the way it should be.

I think a lot has changed, although we still haven't resolved the total solution to the problems of poverty, misery, the lack of education, or the imposition of an education that is not a multiethnic, intercultural education. And I believe that these will be the methods of the future. We also have to change the methods of education, so our people in general have access to education.

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Rigoberta's Story
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