Monday, May 6, 2013

They corrected me when I asked, "Are you pregnant?" instead of "Are you embarrassed?"and they corrected me when I  said, "I have a man" instead of "I am hungry." Through all of my embarrassing Spanish mistakes (some much worse than the ones listed above) no one has been the least bit rude to me. Occasionally they laugh, I don't blame them, it is kind of funny, but they have always corrected me in a loving way, helping me to learn.

In the states, its pretty common to hear someone say, "If you're in our country, you need to speak our language."

That makes me sad.

Don't get me wrong, I love my home country. I truly believe that it is the greatest place to live. We have everything we could ever need right at our fingertips.

We have healthcare so that we don't have to die of AIDS, or lay in bed with no skin because it got burned off and we can't afford a transplant, or be crippled because of polio.

We have good education, so that our kids can learn to read instead of repeating their fourth year of second grade because there are too many students stuffed into a classroom where the teacher just graduated high school and has no book to teach out of, so he just teaches off the top of his head.

We have security, so that people can't just walk around robbing people at gunpoint. (Not saying that this doesn't happen in the states, but it definitely happens a lot less.)

We have food stamps, so that families don't have to go hungry once again.

We have clean water, so that children don't get sick with parasites.

We have freedom.

We are a blessed country, but I think that sometimes, we forget just how blessed we are.
 Since moving to Guatemala, I've realized just how hard it is to learn a language. Its definitely not something that is just going to come to you the moment you step foot over the border. Languages take years to master.

Quite frankly, as people of the United States (I'm not real fond of the word American unless it relates to people from North, South, and Central America, but that's a post for another day) we are ignorant. We fail to realize that these people are trying. It's not easy, especially when everyone keeps knocking them down.

We get angry, saying that anyone with brown skin is an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Let me just share a little bit of knowledge with all of you. Not everyone with brown skin is from Mexico, and not all of them are illegal. Sure, some of them are. I've met the ones who have been deported. Honestly though, I can't blame them. If you saw how they lived, you would understand why they want so badly to go to the land of opportunity.  Not to mention the fact that all of our ancestors were at one point immigrants.

Let me share something else, the United States is one of the only countries where the majority of the people only speak one language.

Yep, that's right, we get angry with others when they don't know our language, but we fail to put forth any effort to learn any other than our own. Most of my friends in Guatemala not only speak Spanish, but they speak a Mayan language too, and its the same thing in many other countries.

We truly live in the greatest country there is, which is why so many people want to go there, but why don't we make it better by trying to help others instead of judging them.


  1. Very true! When I lived in the northeastern corner of India most people spoke at least 4 languages and each language was very different from the others. For most people it looked something like this...they fluently spoke their tribal language, state language, English and Hindi. Additionally, since most of the people in the city I was living were there to study from other states they had also needed to pick up enough of the local tribal language for when they went to the market.

  2. Completely agree with every word, Addisyn!