Rigoberta Menchú & Dante Liano „The girl from Chimel: tales from a Mayan village“

Have you ever looked at the small coloured stones in the river magnified through the water? Have you ever been to the woods, talking with plants? Have you experienced that flowers, trees, moss and leaves all have their own language, that they feel and understand?

This book is about children of nature, about lifestyle close to nature, about the world of magic and beauty, peace and harmony.

It describes the life in Chimel, a small Mayan village high in the mountains of Guatemala, through the eyes of a little girl called Rigoberta.

It’s an autobiographical book. The author herself was born in the same village in 1959. The book is full of happy childhood memories, beautiful nature descriptions and indications on the ancient beliefs of the Maya.

But this paradise came to an end in the early 1970s because of the brutal civil war in Guatemala, which led to the destruction of the Mayan villages: over a 100 000 people were killed and a million became refugees. For the author, this war was an awful personal tragedy. She lost her father, mother and brother, and was forced to escape from her homeland.

Nowadays Rigoberta Menchú is a spokeswoman for the Mayan culture. She has been fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples for years. She has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She’s also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Mulhern.

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Acorn Book, 2004

Check from the e-catalogue ESTER

Kadi Eslon
Department of Literature in Foreign Languages

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