Guatemala has been through a lot of upheaval as a country in the past century. Throughout this turbulent time, women have emerged as inspirational leaders. Here are some of the most influential Guatemalan women to learn about.
Regina José Galindo
This artist was born in 1974 in Guatemala City and her work has been profoundly influenced by the Civil War and the shift to democracy that followed in 1996. Now gaining increasing amounts of international attention, her work has been shown at major events such as the Venice Biennial.
Activist Helen Mack has been fighting to improve the judicial system in Guatemala since setting up the Fundación Myrna Mack in 1993. It’s named in honor of her sister, who “disappeared” during the Civil War.
Hip-hop artist Rebeca Lane uses her music to improve social consciousness. Her work discusses women’s rights, historical memory, and plenty of other themes. Check out her album Alma Mestiza to get an idea of what she is about.
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
The 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner has worked tirelessly to promote the cause of women and the Maya community in Guatemala. She wrote a book about her experiences during the civil war called I, Rigoberta Menchu, which remains required reading for those interested in Guatemala.
Luz Méndez de la Vega
Until her death in 2012, Méndez de la Vega worked tirelessly to further the feminist cause in Guatemala through her work as a writer, actor, and academic. She won Guatemala’s most important literary prize and a host of other awards.
Singer-songwriter Curruchich is one of the most important new artists emerging from Guatemala. As a proud Maya, Curruchich draws on her culture to inform her music and talk about the realities of discrimination in the country.
Aldana stood down as attorney general in 2018 after a busy term in which she investigated a wide range of people on corruption charges, including deposed former president Otto Perez Molina. Her courage in taking on entrenched corruption should be applauded.
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