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|Posted on November 13, 2019 at 1:50 PM|
Our children in Chuisajcaba had a day field trip to Guatemala City. They went to Auora Zoo, where they saw lions, giraffes, hippopotamuses, penguins, and so many other animals. After the zoo, they went to the National Palace and Congress. Our children looked so happy at the zoo, even though the trip was a bit challenging. They departed Chuisajcaba at 2 AM. Most of the children were not used to a bus trip, so, unfortunately, some experienced car sickness. But when I saw our children happy faces, it gave me so much joy! For our children, their village, Chuisajcaba has been the entire context of their world. Previously, they had not had any chances to go outside of the village. However, through the field trip, they could experience much a larger world in their life. I am praying that their dreams become bigger as their world became a little bit bigger! When I reflected on this field trip, despite of the joy in me, my heart was so distressed. As I watched our children backs as they walked out of the zoo, one question came to my mind, who will take care of them? This happened at lunch time. Since the zoo was packed with so many students, we could not find a place to have lunch together. As usual, we prepared pizzas for lunch. Luckily, we found an area of green lawn where there was no do not enter sign. We all sat down and were about to share the pizza. However, a zookeeper came and asked us to leave the lawn. We complied without any complaint and ate our lunch while standing by the entrance area. After lunch, the teachers allotted free time for our children to play. I walked around the zoo so that I could watch our children at play. As I did this, I noticed a bunch of students who were eating their lunch while sitting on the exact place from which we had gotten kicked out. And the zookeeper who asked me to move our children did not do anything to eject these students even though he saw them sitting on the lawn. I asked him why he was allowing these students to remain; but, had kicked us out an hour prior. He said, The policy was just changed. The children who were having lunch on the lawn were wearing private school uniforms, which indicated that they were from a higher economic class. However, our children who wore typical Mayan dress could easily be recognized that they were from extreme poverty. I felt that our children got discriminated against, and with anger I went to the zoo master, asking her to apologize to our children. Luckily again, the zoo master was a Canadian, who did not approve of the ill treatment by one of her employees and in addition to an apology she promised us to give us free entrance tickets for the next year along with a promise of a little souvenir to each of our children. The discrimination is the last thing that I want our children to experience. Widely spread discrimination of Mayan descendants has been an inherent problem. However, I could see an additional bad aspect to this problem at this happening. It was the attitude of the principal and other teachers toward the zoo master. I thought they would have shown their anger when they talked to the zoo master. If they did not show anger, at least, I thought, they would have expressed their frustration for the sake of our children. Our children could not notice the discrimination, for they were too young and not exposed to this. But, the teachers should have noticed this and raised their voices to prevent the discrimination in the future. However, they seemed to take it for granted that our children received this prejudicial treatment. They did not show their frustration. They were just grateful for the offers of the zoo master. I felt so sad and distressed about the lack of an advocate when I saw the backs of our naïve children as they walked out of the zoo. I am not sharing this to blame the teachers attitude. I am sharing this to ask your prayers, for there are so many tightly woven layers of problems. I just am praying that the Lord embrace our children shoulders. CHECK OUT PICTURES OF THIS FIELD TRIP IN OUR PHOTO GALLERY!