Latin Amercia the western world has been a witness of extreme changes throughout its history. It has experience in complete rises and falls in all aspects of life, ranging from poverty and economic inequality, race relations, military revolutions, slavery, corruption in ownership of land and state repessions. The book” I, Rigoberta Menchú” gives afirst hand view of the exploitation and mistreatment that Indian people had to go through, in this case Menchu’s family. The book also expresses the word of the Guatemalan peasants that in years past it has been silenced by government oppression, illiteracy and linguistics barriers but now it was available for the whole world to hear. Menchu’s story helps capture the truth behind the peasants livesand the everyday struggles in society. Which included differences and conflicts between ladinos and Indians, landowners and peasants, the government and the resistance, change and tradition, and men versus woman.
Latin America has always been charactized in the eyes of the world as the continent with the inability to provide a stable government. This instablities in the past and existing regimeshas lead to great poverty and economic inequalities. With poverty and inequailities comes a growth in the peasant population, and with no resources and help from the regimes this only leads to the peasant population to give up hope and resource to taking up arms and fighting against the government due to that they already have nothing to lose but much to gain. This discontent towards thegovernment only resulted in people taking their destiny in their own hands and starting revolutionary movementes.
The poverty and economic inequalities in Latin America were evident and revealed in Menchu’s life story. Rigoberta Menchu came from an Indian family that had no resources and their only way to survival was to work at the fincas and earn enough money to just live by everyday. The mainincome for Menchu and her co-workers was corn which was their resource of econmy; they ate it, sold it and fed their animals . Another evidence of poverty and economic inequialities were the vast number of migrations and dislocations that are found in Latin America history. The living conditions for the Indians were satiated with deprived conditions, it is evident in Rigoberta’s life that her livingconditions were dreadful but the urge to survive and take her destiny in her own hands and one day escape her misery. The Indians willness to survive the poverty was so great that even though they had to spend most of the year away in the fincas, the Indians attempted to replicate a sense of home by bringing their animals, utensils and other possessions.
During the early 20th century LatinAmerica saw evidences of state repression . Many regimes in Latin America became authoritarian and military dictatorship. This political and military repression saw great discontent in the people towards the government because the people didn’t have a saying in the own government. Besides not caring for the civilizians these regimes would respond to any unrest or resistance with disproportionate andindiscriminate violence against individuals and often entire communities.
This political repression impacted Rigoberta and her family. After Guatemala’s economy changed from agraian to a trade economy in in the 1800’s, the government was in great need for more land to start growing this cash crop. This new need for land impacted the Indian villages and their lives. The government began to takeover their land to grow coffee and other cash crops. Th Guatemalan Government appointed this strategy as “land grabs” and enforced the peasants to work for at least 150 days of the year in fincas or the state. This new law and military takeovers began to change the lives of the native people and caused them to migrate for any chance of survival.
Through Rigoberta’s eyes we can experience...