“I remember when I was 8 years old. At that time my parents forbade me to leave the house,and nothing more than the dying could be heard. We did not know who had died”.
“When we heard the sound of gunfire near the village, my parents would not work in the field but we stayed in the house.”
“I even have a friend that can’t forget where his father died. We were around eight years old and the soldiers grabbed his father in an apple tree and burned him, still alive, in front of him.”
“It was terrible because my mom has told me that sometimes people were just thrown in the streets, with no head. There were people, already dead, but with no head, no arms, no legs. The war damaged my family because it was very hard and still today people don’t forget– at least I don’t forget– because the war marked me with that memory.”
“When I have children I will tell them how I lived. That is to help them understand that you have to appreciate yourself. But I won’t go into great depth because maybe, from my point of view, it would hurt them, maybe, their minds. But yes, I’d tell them what I went through and what happened: just like my mother told me, I also have to tell my children.”
“There is still a great deal of pain. They’re afraid, because of the war. Maybe it was because the village isn’t developed economically and intellectually because we couldn’t study, there weren’t schools then, there weren’t classes, the soldiers came and they burned the schools and the church.”
The Power of Speaking and Hearing Truth.
The experiences of Maya individuals, families and communities during the internal armed conflict have been repeated countless times in countries around the globe.The words and emotions shared in Laurie Levinger’s 2009 book, What War? Testimonies of Maya Survivors (Cual Guerra? Testimonios de sobrevivientes Mayas) could have been given by armed conflict survivors anywhere, anytime, in any war or conflict region.