May 17, 2013 — San Lucas Toliman and Antigua

May 17, 2013 – San Lucas Toliman and Antigua

 

The differences in the work the group was doing today was starkly different from the many other groups we have seen. The group today seemed to have a lack of respect for the indigenous culture and spirituality that the others had. It wasn’t just with the guide, but it was in what they were doing and how they were doing it.

I understand that to keep connections open it is necessary to have hard labor for missionaries to come and do, yet to give those jobs to free labor in a country where there is a lack of jobs and so many people struggling seems contradictory. The church runs off donations from outside sources, so to me they should have enough money to pay the labor and help the Guatemalans earn an income and get back on their feet. It’s the American way. A system created by another entity and put into action in a completely separate place.

I mean—why do we do it in the US? There’s a lack of jobs—I’ve been unemployed for well over a year now, so why aren’t there some of the volunteer jobs I work paid? It gets rid of the idea of volunteerism but allows for economy and growth. Which is better? Or is it a matter of the lesser of two evils again?

When does volunteerism impede the practicality of personal revenue for the individual in need?

What right do people have to pay a low wage or no wage when it can be different? When they can afford it? When the funds are there through donations to pay workers who really need the income? How is that fair and equal in any way? How does the US play into this in Guatemala? How do I play into it?

Why is there an honestly required of employees, but not of employers? I have a friend who works at Direct TV. She is a single mother of a six-year-old and works horrible hours. Her shifts start before cheap daycare opens and even on weekends. Her wage is good. Here’s the other part—every six months, Direct TV changes her shift without warning after promising not to change her shift. They do it every six months like clockwork. The theory behind it is that people will quit. They’ll train new employees and pay them a lower wage. They don’t have to pay raises or for experience because there are always people looking for work. If her son is sick and she misses too many days of work because of it, she can get fired—happened to her coworker. What kind of example does this set for countries America has colonized?

Why is there only honesty in the individual and not in the conglomerate?

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