This film is a documentary about Guatemala’s struggle to repair itself and its people following a 36-year civil war. Guatemala is a small country located on the Northern end of Central America. It borders Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the Northeast, Honduras to the east, and El Salvador to the southeast. The majority of the social issues this country faces came as a result of this civil war and the armed conflicts that ended in 1996. Fathers were killed, families were destroyed, violent gangs arose, and some of the largest slum communities in Central America were formed as the thousands of displaced people sought a place to live.
An example of one such slum is found at the Guatemala city dump. This is the largest garbage dump in Central America. About 11,000 people live and work in this dump as a means for survival. People rummage through trash searching for discarded treasures. Their job consists on scavenging through rubbish for hours at a time. Most work from seven to fourteen hours a day and earn between the equivalent of $3 to $5 per day.
Another example is La Limonada. It was once a beautiful ravine near the city, but this natural beauty was destroyed during the invasion in the 1950s when the agrarian reform laws were revealed. It is now one of the largest slums in Central America. It’s only a mile long and half a mile wide, but it has an estimated population of over 60,000 people. La Limonada is a dangerous place where people live in makeshift houses made of zinc and plywood. Crime, drugs, and gang activity is rampant here: about 75% of the place is seen as a red zone.
Guatemala was ravaged by Civil War for almost four decades. As a consequence 130,000 were murdered, 43,000 went missing, over one million were displaced, and 250,000 children were orphaned. Reports show that over 83% of all the victims were indigenous. Clearly, it was genocide.
In the midst of the chaos and evil, a few good people have arisen and have taken the initiative to repair their country by changing their own lives and touching those around them. Coming from underprivileged beginnings, these people know what life on the streets is like and they know that if something isn’t done soon, the future generations will have no way of surviving. When children grow up seeing this level of crime, it becomes the norm. Watch this film now.