The Odyssey

Rigoberta Menchu Tum Chat Transcript
Rigoberta's Story
The Odyssey

Live Webcast, February 18, 1999!
Rigoberta Menchu

Our next question comes from Pat Muller: Pat wants to know, how can you continue without losing your faith when so many times it seems things will never change?

I believe that faith is the most important thing we have and we should never lose our faith. We also need to trust people, in the new generations, in victims, and the women who struggle for life and peace.

I have learned to be a part of a collective memory of Guatemala, including when we talk about the torture and death of my mother, it's not only my mother but thousands of other people's mothers who have passed through this situation and for that reason it gives me much strength.

I also believe that the memory of people who have died and were assassinated is a collective memory.

I also have a son. I had two sons, but in 1997, I lost a child. But, both give me strength, because these children, one is alive and one is dead, but both made me a mother. I think that the most important thing is for people to struggle for the future, for the next generations, not only for today, many people live and struggle only for today, but the most important thing is to struggle for the future and generations that are to come, make longer term plans and to incorporate the people in the work that we do.

And I feel very enthusiastic because there are many people doing exactly the same things I do and working for the same ideals, like the respect of human rights, respect for other persons, respect for things that are different, not that we find something we donít know and therefore not respect it, but instead we should always have respect.

So it gives me strength that humanity is our humanity and we canít let that humanity gives up with so much violence, with so much injustice, but I also believe that there are things that change. I have seen many changes in my life, I see that things change little by little, they are small changes, but we have to always value these changes. I always want to have a positive and proactive attitude; this is the most important thing.

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Rigoberta's Story
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