Controversial Issues in Guatemala
By Diana Pastor
Welcome 2016! We welcome another year to learn and grow together. That being said, Guatemala remains for better or worse, a very conservative country.
There are certainly some issues that can’t really be discussed in a conversation with an unmodern, close-minded Guatemalan, and caution should be exercised when these themes arise. Let’s discuss what I think are 5 of the most controversial conversation topics here in Guatemala…
Both men and many women do not believe in the idea of ??living in a gender-equal society. For example, in many households, the father or the husband is the only breadwinner, while women are expected to do the majority of household chores.
And even when women work, it is quite rare that household chores are shared equally. In the working world, it still it is seen as abnormal for women to engage in certain activities, such as driving buses or doing construction work.
- Living together and not being married:
Although there are many couples who live together without being married, most of these relationships are the result of the birth of unplanned children. Those who make the decision to live as a couple, without a family and sharing a place to live are often subject to criticism and pressure from family, friends or acquaintances to marry for legal and / or by the church.
- Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco:
Many Guatemalans drink alcohol, and although tobacco is less common both are generally socially acceptable. However, the use of other substances such as marijuana is frowned upon and is considered more harmful and dangerous than beer, for example.
It is true that many Guatemalans do not respect people who use other substances, and most other substances are considered more addictive.
- Gender diversity:
The homosexual, bisexual, and transgender communities are generally rejected by Guatemalan society as something unnatural. There is little tolerance for these communities and very little space for them to lead a life embracing their own identity.
Not having a religion is one thing, but to not believe in God is … simply wrong. According to research conducted by a Guatemalan newspaper, about 95% of Guatemalans are Christians, 4% is divided between other religions and only less than 1% were declared atheist or without belief.