Jacob_Aue_Sobol_Los_Gomez_Brito_3

GUATEMALA. La Pista. 2005. In April the family burn back their cornfield to prepare for the next season. David is protecting himself from the smoke. Especially the corn harvest is very important to the family, because the corn is part of every meal that the family prepares.A bad corn season will be a catastrophe for the well being of the family. Indigenous Family, Guatemala.
The Gomez Brito family lives in a remote area of the mountains in Guatemala near the village of Nebaj. Nebaj is part of the Ixil-triangle, an area of three towns that maintains one of the strongest indigenous cultures in Guatemala. Even though the number of natives makes out the majority of the population in the country, they are still discriminated in many ways. Most of them live in poverty and many work on farms earning a wage of 2-3 dollars a day.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Ixil-region was engulfed in a civil war, killing and displacing thousands of Ixil Mayans. During the war the portrayed family lost their youngest child, who died of hunger and disease when hiding in the surrounding mountains. Today, in the very same mountains, the mother Juanita and the father Andrés live with their nine children. Unlike many other families from this area, they have succeeded in keeping the family together by working hard on their own pieces of land. From early morning to sunset the daily routine is to collect fruits and berries, cultivate the land – which mainly consist of corn and beans – and breed the animals. Even though the chance of a change in their life is most unlikely, all the children have different dreams for the future. Maria, 7, wants to continue school and get an education, Faustino, 18, is eager to find a way to enter the USA, while David, 6, claims that his wish is to take over the family’s land, when his father retires.

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