Getting to know our host brothers

This weekend we were invited to a cabin in the woods in Momostenango, a smaller mountain town about 45 minutes outside of Xela by our host brothers.  One of their old friends owns a cabin, where the older of the family’s sons has been staying for the past few weeks for work.  So Claire,  Katie the British girl who also lives with us, our brother Daniel,  our brother Pablo, the cabin owner Angel and a random Italian guy Manuel all had a nice relaxing Valentine’s day weekend in the mountains.  On Friday night there was a band playing at the cabin’s bar, so we hung out there and talked and had some beers.  It was nice to have some conversation with the hermanos away from the family… to learn a bit more their perspective on life in Guatemala and things more relevant to people of our generation.  Por ejemplo, the song “blurred lines” by Robin Thicke (which I hate) came on, and we were explaining how it is a bit ( or more than a bit) anti-feminista, and they seemed really surprised to hear that we all identified with “feminisita” ideas as if that were something they perceived fairly negatively.  That launched us into an interesting and somewhat intense discussion where I ended up clarifying with one of the brothers that for us feminism is more about women having equal opportunities in society,  in the workplace, in relationships,  as well as having protections in place to be free from violence.  For them, they perceived feminism to be a direct reaction to “machismo” where women tend be very proper and closed off from men and keep to themselves.  It was interesting to hear how different our concepts of feminism are.  Some other things struck me as interesting too- for instance that neither of the brothers wants to live in Guatemala.   They are interested in moving abroad, perhaps to Europe or China or India.  They seem very jaded by life in Guatemala,  the chaos of it all, which I certainly can understand.   They also describe a frustration with the way of thinking of the people here, which I’m not sure I understand and would like to explore further.  At any rate, a very interesting weekend of getting to know our generation in Guatemala, something we have been lucky to have the chance to do.

-Jamie

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