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Guatemala

LGBTQ Plus

Unsafe At Home, Central America's LGBTQ Must Flee For Their Lives

Guatemala has become a transit country for migrants seeking to reach the United States, but it is also a hub for those seeking refuge. Hundreds of migrants remain trapped waiting to be considered as refugees. The chances of receiving a positive response are slim, especially for the LGBTQ community.

GUATEMALA CITY — Madelyn is a 22-year-old trans woman. In Nov. 2021, she migrated from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, to Guatemala City after being repeatedly harassed and attacked by gang members in her country.

Every year, hundreds of migrants arrive in Guatemala to request refuge. In 2019, there were 494 people; in 2020, 487; in 2021, 1,054 and 70 more in Jan. 2022 alone. Everyone must wait at least two years for a resolution, and migration statistics reveal that only 1.7 out of 10 migrants receive a yes as an answer to their asylum request. The situation is more dramatic for applicants from the LGBTQ community because only 2 out of 100 people are accepted.

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Sin Of Disinformation, The Guatemalan Pastors Who Condemn COVID Vaccines

Vaccination rates in Guatemala are among the lowest in the Americas, and misinformation plays a key role. From their pulpits, some religious leaders spread messages against the use of masks and the efficacy of vaccines.

ESCUINTLA, GUATEMALA — One year since the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 began in Guatemala, only 45% of the population over 12 years old has been fully vaccinated and 15% have received a booster.

The figures are far from the projections the National Vaccination Plan presented in February 2021, with the aim to vaccinate the country's entire adult population within six months.

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Ukraine Mass Evacuation, Russia Oil Ban, Shackleton’s Ship Found

👋 Salamalekum!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine sees its first successful mass evacuation, Biden announces ban on Russian energy imports and Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship is found after 107 years. We also feature our English edition of an article published by Ukrainian analyst Taras Kuzio on Vladimir Putin’s ultimate plans to turn Ukraine into “Little Russia” and install a familiar face as leader.

[*Wolof, West Africa]

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Orange Peel Drama: Soccer Player Takes Flopping For Referee To Fruity New Heights

Diving, flopping and faking for the referee's benefit have become an integral part of modern football. But Guatemalan player Wilfredo Ramos Pérez has taken the craft to the next level of the absurd.

During a match in the Central American country's third division, with one player already on the ground, the referee stopped the match for a foul — that prompted a fan to throw an orange peel on the pitch.

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Bertrand Hauger

Guatemalan Open Carry

Just a friendly walk by the pier? Perhaps. The machetes, or "coupe-coupe" as we French call them, are a multi-purpose tool, and were ubiquitous through much of our Central American travels. But looking back at this scene was also a chilly reminder that Guatemala was, and still is, one of the most violent countries in the world.

Migrant Lives
Giacomo Tognini

Displaced Guatemalans Languish On Mexican Border

LAGUNA LARGA — Four months ago, hundreds of villagers were expelled from their land in the jungles of northern Guatemala. The government claimed they were encroaching on a protected national park, sending over 700 men, women, and children fleeing to the nearby Mexican border. According to the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre, the refugees continue to languish in squalid conditions without any government help despite growing criticism from human rights organizations.

Over 450 refugees remain trapped in the border area between Guatemala and Mexico, living in unsanitary conditions. Three women suffered miscarriages and three children were born without documents in a border zone, leaving them effectively stateless. Several women are pregnant but there is little medical care available, and there are no schools for the children.

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Guatemalan Marimba

Some things never change. If you stay at the Posada de Don Rodrigo in Antigua, Guatemala, it looks like you will still be treated to the sound of a traditional marimba band, as I was 27 years ago.

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Pigeon v. Macaw

The majestuous scarlet macaws flying about in Guatemala were a nice change from the birds I'm used to seeing in the streets of European cities.

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Peeling Out The Middleman

There was no wholesaler, no packaging and no shipping between producer (these K'iche" vendors, of Mayan descent) and consumer (me) of bananas on the famous Guatemalan market of Chichicastenango.

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Miraculously Spared

The baroque Merced church is something of a curiosity in Antigua, Guatemala, a city famous for its ruins of colonial churches: It held up admirably well after a series of devastating earthquakes in the 18th and 19th centuries, after which the capital was moved from Antigua to its current location, Guatemala City.

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Worth The Climb

To reach the ancient Mayan city of Tikal and its vertigo-inducing temples and pyramids, we first had to take a small plane — in a very precarious state — before hopping on a bus through the Guatemalan rainforest.

But the immensity of the site made us quickly forget the journey, and we had no problem finding the energy to climb those hundreds of steps!

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Extra! Impeached Guatemalan President Jailed For Corruption

Guatemala's parliament voted to sack President Otto Pérez Molina Thursday, forcing his resignation and immediate arrest for his suspected participation in an extensive corruption ring.

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Heartbreaking Migrant Images, China Troop Cuts, 3 Trillion Trees

HEARTBREAKING IMAGES SHOW HORROR OF MIGRANT CRISIS

Shocking photographs of the body of a Syrian toddler, whose body had washed up on a Turkish beach after his family's failed attempt to reach Europe, are sparking global outcry. The first of the images shows a Syrian boy identified as Aylan Kurdi, 3, face down on the beach of the southwestern resort town of Bodrum. A subsequent shot shows a Turkish police officer carrying the boy's lifeless body. The photos made the front pages of some newspapers around the world today, though some editors chose not to publish the images in line with longstanding journalistic practice to avoid shocking readers. See how some of the world's top newspapers chose to feature them.

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Vintage Washing

I've already shown you how the Mayans' colorful traditional clothes were made — now you can see how the local women and girls wash them, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlan.

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Mayan Market

"Chichi," as it is affectionately called by visitors and Guatemalans alike, has become one of the most-visited destinations in the country. The colorful blouses these K'iche" women were selling at the city's market contrasted nicely with the dark hair they inherited from their Mayan ancestors.

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