Migration either internally or to countries abroad is a usual phenomenon in Guatemala. During the armed conflict and the years of extreme poverty and violence several Guatemalans decided that there was a lack of real opportunities. As a result many left their homelands to go to the capital city or to go North to find other ways to survive and improve their quality of life. Indeed, life radically changed for many, when they were forced to leave their homes, their daily lives, and their friends and families.
Diario Meridiano [ES] tells the story of a girl who made the decision to leave home:
Erika Carolina Hernández dejó su poblado, Soloma, en los Altos de Guatemala, para aventurarse llegar a Los Ángeles, pero no lo consiguió. Fue detenida por agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), 90 kilómetros de la línea fronteriza de su país. “Esta es la primera vez que salgo. Salí por necesidad porque donde vivo no tengo trabajo”, cuenta la mujer, madre de un niño que dejó a cargo de sus padres… “
Ericka Carolina Hernández left her village, Soloma, in the highlands of Guatemala, to take the risk and arrive to Los Angeles, but she didn't make it. She was arrested by agents of the INM (National Immigration Service), 90 kilometers away of the border. “This is the first time that I have left. I took the risk because I needed to do so. Where I live there is no job opportunities” tells the woman, who is a single mother of a small child that she left in the village, with her parents.
But for those Guatemalans that can make it, blogs are a piece of home on the web, a place to see what is going on on their villages and to stay in touch:
As a blogger who is in US, but born in San Pedro Soloma said:
Llegó un momento en mi vida que sentía alejado de la cultura de mi pueblo, me sentía desconectado de mi gente. Me puse a navegar la red para ver si podía encontrar algo acerca de Solóma, encontré algunos sitios.
There was a time in my life when I felt so far from the culture of my village, I felt disconnected from my people. Then, I was surfing the net to see If I was able to find something about Soloma. And I found some blogs.
However, blogs are not only ways to allow communities to stay in touch but also to ask for support from those abroad as Santa Eulalia Village Blog [ES] said:
Solicitamos el apoyo solidario de nuestros hermanos Q’anjob’ales que se encuentran laborando en los Estados Unidos, pues es necesario fortalecer los movimientos sociales para rechazar cualquier maniobra e intento de explotación de las riquezas naturales de la población indígena y campesina en Huehuetenango.
We ask for the solidarity and support of our brothers Q´anjob´ales that are working in US, because it is necessary to give strength to the social movements and reject any attempt to exploit the natural resources of indigenous people and peasants of Huehuetenango.
And the connection is a mirror blog of Santa Eulalians in US, Ewulene in US:
The Association Q’anjobal Ewulense was created in response to the need for rebuilding the Roman Catholic Church of Santa Eulalia, which for unknown reasons suffered a devastating fire in the early 1990’s.In an effort to rebuild the church building, a group of conscientious people from Santa Eulalia, who reside in Los Angeles, got together and started collecting donations from among the Q’anjobales who wanted to be part of this effort.
Such communities that have been connecting villages through the use of blogs also practice the same cultural practices they used to have in Guatemala, for example the Q´anjob´al Association even has their own queen, and indigenous ceremonies, as San Pedro Soloma Blog [ES] shows:
Victoria González nació en Los Ángeles sus padres son de Soloma y Santa Eulalia. El 23 de Junio del 2007 ella fue coronada como Princesa Solomera en Estados Unidos.
Victoria González was born in Los Angeles, but her parents are from Soloma and Santa Eulalia. On June 23, 2007 she was crowned as Solomeran Princess in US.
Nostalgic thoughts about their village are always there for bloggers abroad, as Cuilco Blogdiario [ES] writes:
Por la noches leo todos los mensajes y poemas que escriben los buenos cuilquenses, y me siento estar en esos momentos en ese pueblito que fue la cuna de nuesta juventud, cuando parrandeabamos los sábados y después salíamos a darle serenata a la novia y echarnos las copitas donde el tío Cundino Ruiz, tiempos felices e inolvidables.
At night I read all the messages and poems that good cuilquenses (residents of Culico) write, and I feel that I am there in the small village that was the nest of our youth, where we used to party on Saturdays and drink some spirits at Tio Cundino Ruiz, and which were happy and unforgettable times.
It is amazing to analyze the unexpected results of migration, and how blogs allow not only people but whole communities to stay connected.