In a country where people purchase more beer and sports magazines than books, where several languages are spoken (not only Spanish), and where a considerable number of people is illiterate, the context is challenging for a writer. In a country where books are not “Tax Free”, where children barely read the books, not even the compulsory ones, children are not enthusiastic with the idea of literature as a profession. Most of the writers find it really hard to publish a book, and even harder to make it profitable. They often work as journalists, analysts, engineers and also write regularly. Few of them are full time writers, many of them, unknown locally.
However, they have found, through blogging, an opportunity to express themselves, to share their works, and to promote the interest among Guatemalans, especially in poetry and short stories.
Poetry is the pioneer in the art of blogging, Pablo Bromo on his Bicicleta [ES] is blogging since 2005. Other poets blogging are Alejandro Marré with Marré v. Marré [ES] , Alan Mills and his revolver [ES] , Gerardo Sandoval with “Palabras Mayores”, and Arnoldo Gálvez with “Tercer Perfil” [ES]
The Novelist Ronald Flores even has his own domain [ES], where you can find not only his work but also critiques, suggestions and even comments on international books
Every Thursday you can read and comment on the column of Maurice Echeverría, a young, but quite successful Guatemalan writer in Buscando a Syd [ES].
You can read Claudia Navas either in Ordinaria Locura [ES] or in a collective blog called Panoptico Literario [ES], Wingston González [ES] a young Guatemalan writer just started with his blog ALFILER [ES] a collective project of e-books and critics with a blog called LIBROS MINIMOS [ES] (little books), where many of the writer-bloggers are sharing their publications and also comment on their blog .
What is important to stress is the use of technology and spaces such as blogs to promote culture, where they can attract young readers and also share their ideas with the world. All of them have at least a book published, and they have several literary prizes and book awards. And they are using the blogosphere to share their works, completely open minded to critics to build a new, free culture in Guatemala, and to let the world know what they are saying with their blogs.