Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Xela, Guatemala

Yesterday I arrived in Guatemala City and heading directly to Quetzaltenango (more commonly called Xela -- pronounced Shay-la, a shorthand version of the indigenous name for the city, Xelaju). I plan to be here for six weeks, studying Spanish and generally trying to enjoy my time here. I'm studying Spanish because of an upcoming university exam, but more importantly, it's a language that is increasingly important for those living in the United States to know, especially as anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona and Albama, targeted at Latinos, is gaining more widespread support. It's a way to live with neighbors, to love neighbors better, to stand beside neighbors and raise our voices with theirs, to speak out against discrimination and to advocate for human rights. It's one way to slowly undo my ethnocentrism, to reveal my priviliges, and to undo another category of people I've classified as the other. Commnicating with the others usually undoes the constructs of the very category. Not to mention, a huge chunk of the land mass of planet Earth contains Spanish speakers. So there you go, Xela for six weeks, because I wasn't yet tired of living out of a backpack and leaving friends and family behind while traveling with my stupid backpack and my non-verbal books. 

I'll probably certainly be blogging very lightly on foreign policy, the Arab Spring, or developements in Palestine and Israel. Forgive me. 

1 comment:

Chelsea Willett said...

Well, congrats. I hope the spanish learning goes well. It has been a challenge for me, partly because I live and learn with an uneducated population meaning the spanish isn't so great. You don't want to swing down to El Salvador for a week?? I live with a host family in a pretty rural community... sound tempting??? haha