lustrador2

Querido Shoe Shiner Boy,

I’m sorry but my shoes are clean. I’m sorry but I don’t have a few quetzals to share with you. I’m sorry but my comfort is more important than your subsistence, and seeing you in the park – with your tattered clothing and dirt-stained face – makes me uncomfortable. It reminds me of the privilege in which I live and the poverty in which you survive. It reminds me of my wealth and greed, and of my easy, luxurious life.

You remind me that I went to school everyday since the age of five even though some days I went kicking and screaming; that I cried and complained at the hardship of doing chores as challenging as washing the dishes and making my bed; that I accused my mom of not being just when she made me eat my vegetables and my dad of poor parenting when he sent me to my room. You remind me that I am from the West – the land where hard work pays off, yet compared to you I have not done a full day’s work in my life.

Compared to you I am extremely wealthy, compared to you I have had an incredibly easy life, that compared to you I am lazy, unworthy and gluttonous. You make me uncomfortable because you reveal the injustice of the world, the levels of privileges that exist and my inability to right the inequalities of the world with a simple shoeshine.

Sincerely,

A dirty shoed “rich” girl

 

** Amy Kipp, estudiante de la Universidad de Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canadá.

Cada dos años, la Universidad de Guelph en Canadá envía un grupo de estudiantes a Guatemala. La mayoría de ellos están estudiando desarrollo internacional, ciencias políticas, y estudios de género. En este semestre tuvimos la oportunidad de aprender mucho acerca de la historia y los desafíos contemporáneos de Guatemala, así como conocer diferentes partes del país. Aunque fuimos testigos de mucho dolor y sufrimiento, y siempre estuvimos incómodos con la profundidad de desigualdad que encontramos por todos lados, todos los estudiantes se enamoraron de Guatemala.  La asignación final de la experiencia era una carta para Guatemala, para describir sus pensamientos, sentimientos y las preguntas que quedaron pendientes.   Se seleccionaron algunas de las cartas para poder publicarlas en Brújula, proyecto que conocieron los estudiantes durante su estadía en Guatemala.  Candance Johnson – Associate Professor, Departemnt of Political Science.

Fotografía: www.lasotrasluchas.blogspot.com

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