I was devastated by the news of Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez who was murdered by the US Border Control on May 23. This young 20 year Maya indigenous woman had a dream – to have an education. Why were we not there to support her with a dream?
I spent time in Guatemala 20 years ago. I also had a dream to travel the world and have an education, which had been difficult to do. My family didn’t have money and I had to scrape and fight for both of those dreams. I remember my first trip to Guatemala when I sat on the great temple of Tikal in the Peten region and marveled at the beauty of nature, culture and history and pondered how it was possible that in my schooling I had never learned about this magnificent country and indigenous history given the fact it’s just south of our border.
I returned to Guatemala a few years later and traveled by canoe down the Usamacinto River, the old Maya route, when a young military man who had first frightened me (we were in the middle of nowhere) handed me a baby bird, a gift. And as the canoe continued down the river and a deluge of rain and lightening began, I released the baby bird with a wish for freedom and peace in the world. Perhaps that is why I am being called to Quetzaltenango, the hometown of Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez. The iridiscent Quetzal symbolized the movement of Creation and the will of the Creator come to earth. We all need to believe in goodness, and that is my full intention for this mission.
On June 19 I fly to Guatemala to take all proceeds that we can collect to benefit the family of Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez. My message to the family is that there are good people in the United States who believe in better ways than killing. We want to be friends and we are horribly sorry that we have not been able to stop the violence.
I have the support of the local Guatemalan community in my county of Marin. I have been involved with many families and have done my best to support immigrant women either through work efforts, language instruction and accommodations. I personally have learned so much from this amazing community, such as the strength and beauty of generosity, kindness and loyalty. We can learn greatly through collaboration and friendship.
Please email me if you can support this mission. Given that most families in the mountains live on $1/day, all support will be great.
The donations I collect will go directly to Claudia’s mother and I will post photos on my Facebook page.