xku said: i follow a lot of blogs about mexico because it's nearly impossible for me to find blogs about guatemala, it's a bit frustrating to see this one focuses on mexico too... not that it's bad, but there's not enough guatemala on this website in general. i see a lot about mexican, chicano, dominican, costa rica, etc identity here without even having to follow them. something happened in our history and society that made us incapable of affirming our identity like other latino countries, even online..
Thank you, xku, for this provocation.
This makes sense to me. I was actually reading a little bit about this in a book on Chiapan border identities by Hernández Castillo, and it talks a lot about forced “Hispanization” campaigns and the ways that indigenous peoples (Mames, but I think this is true of other Maya peoples) whose identities crossed nation-state borders learned that they had to disavow their language and identity to claim their rights as (newly) Mexican citizens. With over 40,000 officially recognized Guatemalan refugees in Mexico in the 1980s, this is an issue that spans centuries… And Guate still hasn’t officially agreed to its border with Belize as of September 2014, so identities along that border are also fraught.
I’m still not going to change what I do, though. If you want good content that focuses on Guatemala, I recommend Plaza Pública and Nómada.
This really started and continues to be a place for me to post what I’m thinking about, and here are the reasons I rationalized leaving the name:
1) Approximately 1% of Guatemalans grow up as adoptees in the US. This signals a pretty transnational idea of a Guatemalan Latinidad for people’s whole lives.
2) Guatemalans are increasingly migrating towards the US, but a lot of them end up living in Belize and Mexico. So, I post a lot of stuff about Mexico, but maybe half of it is about migrants — usually these are lumped together as “Northern Triangle” (with Honduras and El Salvador), a security threat, Mexico’s southern border, etc. There are lots of reasons why this framework sucks, but the security news/analysis with this lens is often important to Guatemalan politics, and transnational Guatemalan families.
3) I’m a critical geographer, so I’m suspicious of reifying nation-state borders. Borders aren’t fixed, national identities aren’t fixed, and this blog isn’t really a place where I’m going to work towards a project like that.
All that said, I don’t want to seem like I’m promising to do something I’m not. If anyone has suggestions for renaming this blog, I would love to hear them!