Erica Ledesma

Being Maya Quiché (Siendo Maya Quiché)


A note about the film:

The documentary, Siendo Maya Quiché (Being Maya Quiché) 2015, is a documentary that explores the life of Emiliana Aguilar, a Maya Quiché woman from Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala who arrived to Oregon in 2002 due to health problems that were the consequence of living and growing up in Guatemala during the war (1960-1996).

This film explores the motives behind her arrival, her childhood experience marked by the civil war, and preserving and transmitting her language and cultural traditions, all which have been shaped by her strong Maya identity.  The overarching theme of this film is capturing how being Maya Quiché has shaped her life in Guatemala and in Oregon.

This narrative is important for the Latino Roots archive because it tells a particular story of how transnational experience for Guatemalans was initiated by the Guatemalan Civil War and U.S. intervention. Many, like Emiliana Aguilar were internally and externally displaced from Guatemala using (im)migration as a method of survival. Emiliana never imagined coming to the United States, she left a big part of her life there and has hopes of returning some day.