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Guatemala's Kite Runners Celebrate Da...
Santiago Sacatepéquez, Guatemala
By zackbaddorf
22 Dec 2014

For the past 115 years, the indigenous town of Santiago Sacatapequez in Guatemala has held the annual Gigantic Kite Festival on Dia de Los Muertos ("Day of the Dead"). Prepping for five months for the occasion, Guatemalans come together in a local cemetery on this momentous day to hoist up kites that are 50-60 feet tall and that use bamboo as their structure.

While these kites don't fly, hundreds of people do bring kites that are 5-10 feet wide to fly throughout the day. The beautiful kites are a way to scare off evil spirits who used to, according to legend, harass the people and destroy their crops. The noise of the paper kites frightens the bad spirits away and allows Guatemalans to honor their ancestors.

In this short documentary, Santos Con, who has been building these kites for 15 years, guides us through the process of preparing the kites and explains their significance in the local traditions. He and his friends say it's in their blood and that they will continue this beautiful ceremony year after year.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo
By hiroko tanaka
09 Aug 2012

Francisca Perez in the 7 x 6 square feet kitchen where she cooks with an open fire on the ground. Eye and other health problems caused by the smoke from open fire are not uncommon in Guatemala. Francisca, mother of 4, did not have the opportunity to go to school and only speak Katchequel.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
09 Aug 2012

Indigenous women in her house where she sleeps with her husband and three children on a straw mat on the mud floor.

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Guatemala: Rescuing the memory
Guatemala
By carloscastro
30 Jul 2012

After its war, Guatemala had two Truth Commissions, one driven by the UN and the other by the Church. Both reports agree that the State is responsible for the majority of crimes committed during the conflict. They further point out that the State committed acts of genocide against the Mayan population. There were over 600 massacres like the one occurred on the community of Plan de Sánchez, that each year commemorates the crime. Even today, after 16 years, Guatemala fights a permanent battle both against oblivion and for justice. Institutions such as the Guatemalan National Police Historical Archive, the Centre for Human Rights Legal Action or the Forensic Anthropology Foundation work -without the support of the State-, to repair victims still seeking a clue, those responsible for the disappearance of a family member or justice.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

A family member mourns after the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

A family member mourns after the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

A family member mourns after the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners carry the coffin to the cemetery during the funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners walk to the cemetery during the funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners carry the coffin to the cemetery during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Mourners share the last moments with the deceased during a funeral for Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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Health, Death and Poverty in Indigeno...
San Jorge La Laguna , Solola, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jul 2012

Family members mourn during the funeral of Rodrigo, who passed away after 7 years of suffering from diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. In his last months, the 49 year-old father of five, decided not to seek further treatment in order to save his family the financial burden.

In Guatemala, death too often represents a heavy financial burden. On top of their daily struggle to secure money for food and necessities, many families have to deal not only with grief but also with huge debts for the wake and funeral.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
12 Jul 2012

Santos Cornelio, 9, and Reyna Petronila, 14, live in a one-room house. The family that consists parents and four children has only one bed made of wooden planks with no mattress. Three people sleep in the bed and the rest sleep on the dirt floor on a woven straw mat. Their father Luciana recently underwent an operation to remove tumor from stomach and has not be able to work due to his recovery.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala
By hiroko tanaka
27 Jun 2012

Josue, 13, sleeps in the corner of the kitchen with his young brother, Oswald, 12. Josue appears to be slow in mental development, however his parents have not been able to seek medical attention for him.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo
By hiroko tanaka
06 Jun 2012

Carla Marivel, left, plays with her sister in their one-room house. The family of five with three children share two beds.

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The poor living conditions of indigen...
San Antonio Palopo
By hiroko tanaka
06 Jun 2012

Gustavo Angel lives in a one-room house with his mother. As the father of Gustavo has another family, he does not provide any help to Gustavo and his mother Manuela. Twenty eight years old, Manuela works with handicrafts and earns $6 per week but her income is not enough to cover their expenses. The house the two live in is a part of Manuela’s brother’s property. There is no electricity and the two sleep on the plastic sheet on the dirt floor.