Contemporary credit and finance systems are ensnaring Mayas in Mexico and Guatemala in predatory practices that are being met by Mayas with forms of resistance that are both new and old.
The walls lining the Quetzaltenango’s cobblestone streets are full of entrepreneurial ghosts—the remnants of shuttered businesses.
Gang-style homicides and lynch mob beatings occur regularly in the Guatemalan city of Quetzaltenango, where gang and vigilante violence have supplanted state violence as the primary registers of power. Public records in Guatemala reveal young men are the most frequent perpetrators of violent crime, but they are also its most likely victims.
When Beti asked her twelfth-grade students to consider Guatemala’s contemporary challenges, their suggestions quickly filled the board. In large letters, their words loomed like storm clouds: corruption, violence, extortion, threats, robberies, assaults, exploitation, discrimination.