Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Kyle joined Peace Jam a few years ago when he started high school. They’re a group that’s dedicated to making the world a better place. It’s not just through peace, but through education, recycling, and other ways of setting good examples. If you check out the front page now, there is video from Kyle’s school the other day when he 1992 Noel Peace Prize Winner, Riboberta Menchu Tum came to speak.

It was an honor for the school, the Peace Jam members, and Kyle especially to have her come speak. He got to escort her into the gym (pictures coming) and ask her some questions. He is so fluent in Spanish that he was chosen as one of the people to greet her.

He’d been working after school helping get things prepared for her visit, and was really excited and nervous. He asked Tia and I to support him, and we were happy to head to the school Tues afternoon for the assembly. The whole school came out for the last hour where the Peace Jam group club was honored and then Rigoberta gave a short speech through a translator.

When Kyle asked us to go, I looked up her book on Google Books and read a few chapters that were online of her early life. She grew up, an indigenous Indian in Guatemala, poor, and oppressed. After much of her family was killed by the military with the country at war, she began organizing people and protesting, leaving her country under the threat of death to continue her work overseas. She’s one of the few women to win the prize and continues her work today.

It was neat to see her, though the speech was a little hard for me to listen to through a translator. I had to leave early to get the little kids, but Tia stayed back and got to meet her with the Peace Jam group. As much as her particular passion and fight doesn’t speak to me, I’m glad there are people out there doing that work.

And it was neat to see Kyle so excited about the event and to see the great work Peace Jam is doing. They’ve made a big difference at the school implementing recycling and energy savings.

No comments: