Monday, January 20, 2014

Inside Look- Part II

I would like share with you something President Barack Obama said as a tribute to Mr. Nelson “Madiba” Mandela (December 10, 2013):

 For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection.  With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask:  How well have I applied his lessons in my own life?  It’s a question I ask myself, as a man and as a President.

It has been forty-seven days since the passing of Madiba, therefore it is forty-eight days since I was at the presidential palace in Guatemala City.  Since then not much has changed. To give you an idea, our children in Labuga won’t have any classes this year until further notice because President Otto Pérez Molina and his government wants to keep our children in the dark.  What caught my curiosity this morning is the concept of self-reflection. 

In this case, Inside Look Part Two is about is a continuation of a personal journey that I am sharing with you. I am taking a look at what is going on from the inside as a Garifuna. The 23rd January 2014 will be thirteen years since I have been residing in Labuga, and I have a son who is now nine years old, he is in the fifth grade. However many children like him in Guatemala are trapped in an educational system that has been designed by the descendents of the colonizers.

On the other hand we have a list of Garifuna teachers who themselves are a part of the same system our children are going through today. I attended the funeral of Don Beto Mejia thirty two days ago. What caught my curiosity then, more today than ever, was his passion for education. Don Beto for the most part has touched our lives through his passion for knowledge.

You see, Don Beto for the most part was a teacher without a diploma. Many of the teachers today from my point of view have a diploma but do not have what it takes. I believe the time has come for us to seriously contemplate an alternative plan for the education of our children.

A Garifuna brother is one of the vice minister of education here in Guatemala, he is in charge of bilingual education. The Garifuna Parliament invited him and the Garifuna teachers for a round table discussion almost a year ago regarding the education of our children, because things have been like this for the past thirteen years that I know about.

I would like for us to contemplate what President Obama shared with us, how can we apply the lessons we learned from leaders like Madiba and Don Beto in our own lives?

Au- le

Lúbara Huya

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