Waiting for Hurricane George

So, we just returned from a lovely afternoon walk in our blockaded neighborhood here in Guatemala City. It’s pretty eerie out there and reminds me of when I was growing up in Central Florida. When we had hurricanes, we usually knew they were coming a couple of days ahead of time – enough to put plywood up on the windows, buy extra groceries, and then go for a walk under sunny skies. On our walks, we’d always bump into the neighbors and chat, all while feeling a sense of impending doom/giddiness. It was the same this afternoon here in la Zona Viva…

A few notes on the visit:

I’m frustrated with CNN’s lack of coverage of President Bush’s Latin American trip – instead, it’s every detail about the happy news of the baby from Lubbock, TX being found, the Atlanta bus crash, and the forest fires in California – but nothing on Colombia.

As I posted in the comments below, the Mayan people near Iximche are going to do a purification ritual of the site after Bush’s visit tomorrow. I find this whole purification stuff to be really interesting – from a religious and PR/political statement point of view. Some of you might remember conversations in the past about purifying Gandhi’s tomb after Bush’s visit a few years ago (more about the bomb-sniffing dogs than Bush…).

The graffiti outside of our neighborhood is intense and scary. Although Guatemala has not seen the kind of protests that occurred in Brazil and Uruguay/Argentina, the graffiti is pretty incredible – those people who do want to protest Bush’s visit sure have some nasty things to say/write! It certainly speaks to the growing negative perceptions of the US here in Latin America.

Immigration – not crime, foreign aid, drug trafficking, or Iraq – seems to be the main issue on everyone’s mind here. Many Guatemalans have family and friends in the US and the desire for a fair immigration package is the one issue mentioned by most people I talk to and those quoted in the papers.

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3 Responses to “Waiting for Hurricane George”

  1. gamma-Ray Says:

    “It certainly speaks to the growing negative perceptions of the US here in Latin America”

    That certainly answers the question why there are so many of them in the US illegally.

    It also answers the question why Guatemala is constantly asking the US for money and aid to fight the drug war and corruption inside their own police forces which have killed how many politicians in the past few months?

    I could go on and on but what would be the point. Have a happy Bush bashing day. God, you people bore me.

  2. Archana Says:

    I actually wasn’t bashing him (this time around)… I actually thought he did a nice job at the press conference today and that his immigration policies are not so bad at all… And I totally agree that Guatemala’s state of lawlessness is abysmal… I wonder why you are so quick to read such negativity into my words?

    If you clicked on the link that pissed you off, you’d see that the negative perceptions are a fact – BBC conducted a poll on the eve of the President’s trip to Latin America that showed negative perceptions of him and of our country on the rise. Let’s hope BBC conducts another poll to show us if the trip was effective.

    Of course you didn’t put your link up, Gamma-Ray, so none of us can come talk to you on your turf…

  3. karigar Says:

    The original article you linked on hfpst says Gandhi’s shrine, not tomb. That is the correct way to describe it. Hindus don’t bury…

    Just a comment…thanks

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