Great few days in Tucson, where we had the opportunity to see several former accompaniers, meet Guatemalans in the area and make new connections.
Upon arrival we headed straight to a meeting with youth from the Tierra y Libertad Organization (TYLO). The conversation was animated with the group of university students, all leaders from their communities and the first with the opportunity to attend university. Youth leaders from Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru passionately spoke with Pascual about similar issues of mining, indigenous rights and autonomy in their home countries. We both admired the confidence with which several proposed strategies of resistance for Pascual and his group to use in Guatemala.
“These youth are creative in their struggle,” said Pascual.
During potlucks, community and university events, we were able to see old friends of G.A.P. and the Guatemalan solidarity movement. It always brings a particular joy to Pascual when we meet other Guatemalans along the way, when he finds other paisanos like the Guatemalan teachers from Tecpan and Patzun who are studying in Tucson for the school year.
The coordinator of TYLO invited us to a Mexican/Tohono O’odham restaurant. The Tohono O’odham are one of the local indigenous tribes. There we were introduced to Doña Maria, an elder with a long life of activism and spirit. The next day she invited us for breakfast with her husband, an official of the Tohono O’odham nation whose territory has been split in half by the U.S.-Mexican border.
Later we visited the Mission of San Xavier, a Jesuit church on Tohono O’odham land and afterwards a Yaqui casino. “The two things brought to our land,” we were told, “the church of the spiritual and the church of capital.”
Early this morning we arrived in Los Angeles and I write you from the home of a Q’anjobal friend, from Santa Eulalia in Huehuetenango. Pascual, as you can imagine, is quite pleased to be here.