Youth in Postwar Guatemala: Education and Civic Identity in Transition
In the aftermath of armed conflict, how do new generations of young people learn about peace, justice, and democracy? Michelle J. Bellino describes how, following Guatemala’s civil war, adolescents at four schools in urban and rural communities learn about their country’s history of authoritarianism and develop civic identities within a fragile postwar democracy.
Through rich ethnographic accounts, Youth in Postwar Guatemala, traces youth experiences in schools, homes, and communities, to examine how knowledge and attitudes toward historical injustice traverse public and private spaces, as well as generations. Bellino documents the ways that young people critically examine injustice while shaping an evolving sense of themselves as civic actors. In a country still marked by the legacies of war and division, young people navigate between the perilous work of critiquing the flawed democracy they inherited, and safely waiting for the one they were promised.
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actors Alejandro Álvaro Anastela army asks authoritarian Barillas Beti boys César citizens citizenship civic action classmates classroom collective Comalapa Conflicto Armado context country’s criminal Cristal cultural delinquents democracy democratic elite experience explains fear film future Garifuna girls graffiti groups Guatemala Guatemala City guerrillas guerrilleros hands happened historical injustice historical memory human rights identity indigenous International Academy Javier Kaqchikel ladino legacies lives look lucha Luisa María Carmen Maya Maya calendar mestizo military narrative one’s ongoing parents participation past Paulina Paulo Freire Peace Accords Pedro Pérez Molina political postwar present Profe protest pueblo repression Río Verde Ríos Montt risk Rodolfo role rural says social soldiers spaces state’s story structural struggle Sun and Moon teachers tell today’s transitional justice truth commission Tzolok Ochoch urban USAC Valeria village violence Voces inocentes voice wait Xila Xinca young people’s youth