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11 August 2011

The Campaign

On the final leg of our trip, we drove from Ocotepeque to visit both Quezeltepeque followed by Chiquimula and Guatemala City.  Both of these places are located in Guatemala.  After the visits, we needed to drive through another sizable portion of Guatemala to reach our next destination in San Salvador. 
There is a presidential election in Guatemala taking place in September, I’m told.  Thus, we traveled the highways and byways of Guatemala flanked on all sides by the campaign posters trumpeting this candidate and that. 

The billboards replete with faces of candidates for president, vice president, representative to the legislature and mayor provided an interesting contrast with the many earnest folks trooping east and west, north and south on the side of the roads. 

The candidates, invariably possessed mestizo, that is to say, light, features.  The walkers on the side of the road, perhaps tanned by sun, but even more likely possessing indigenous blood, were darker.
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In the experience of the American polity, making an observation such as this would attract a firestorm of attention.  We didn’t spend enough time in Guatemalan for me to ask a native what he or she thought of this phenomenon, and thus I do not know how to reflect upon what I saw.  What I do know, however, is that when I asked other Americans with significant experience amongst Latino communities, they responded first with grimaces.  Take of this what you will.

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