Mothers sometimes know best when to keep their children away from what they consider a family tragedy. And sometimes mother knows best because what you don't already know, won't hurt you. Case in point, my mother knew how to protect her kids ( us ). And, as a member of a Guatemalan distant family, I couldn't agree with her more.
Coming from Guatemalan roots was always a sticking point for my Puerto Rican father, and I never understood why. He was never one to wear his emotions out in public. So, when my mother would burst out with strong words about defending her Guatemalan roots, I never understood what the big deal was? Since it has been eight years since my mother's spirit moved on to be with God, I had been ready to understand her painfully poor upbringing in Guatemala, but what I never expected to learn was to realize that sometimes it's better to leave the past as things of the past. Assessing the disturbing issues of my mothers past did, however, lead to a discovery of many stories that makes up ProteKT (proteKt ©) the documentary, the book and the scripted webseries. Unveiling the past P-R-O-T-E-K stands for (K'ATUN) - T ©. Seven Letters - Seven Kings and based on my family's history.
Stories which I am committed to sharing within ProteKt are all inclusive of hilariously funny, fondly admirable, and sometimes down right alarming. As a member a family that can also include some unforgiving characters and sometimes an unsettling bunch, my grandfather and his many lives included a legacy befitting to be called "A ladies man" that spawned our legacy of the Davilas. My personal significance was in healing old wounds while learning about gracious and generous cousins, meeting locals with shared mutual curiosity while attempting to understand our many family's secrets. Sometimes my family was unable to be anything short of distant. Families with members that scrutinize people of their own same bloodline for circumstances out of their control, would sometimes prefer to keep the Guatemalan silence instead of shame others, and sometimes for their desire to hide the truth.
As an American woman, I visited the exotic country of Guatemala in Central America to better appreciate all the luxurious of being an American. Perhaps through my eyes, all of us can become more aware of our past ancestors' stories from 3rd world countries like in Latin America. The pain many endure while immigrating to the US sometimes needs to pass beyond a generation or two for the legacy to be the fabric of our american experiences. My story is a product of this history that attempts to be less painful for future generations of Latinos. Coming from an American perspective, I tell the story of my mother, who turned rags to riches. She firmly shielded her history from us and chose to establish new memories of her own and for her children. I decided that I would tell her story and chose to no longer hide and pretend that being a Latina was easy. Without pontificating, I shall be honest about my findings and reveal what it might have been like for her and where I see my family now. I too shall attempt to be part of the process to help others draw hope in my story and heal wounds. By sharing my research about my family's history, and not by virtue of playing victim to most of my families disfunction in not telling the truth, I share for all of us Latinos a common thread. Most immigrant families understand the sacrifices of our families. Therefore, I hope that they see themselves in their own lives, as it sometimes takes a generation of those family reunions skipped as mine, to have a new breadth of clarity.
As I look back on the journey to tell this story through my travels in Central America for the past two months, I came full circle in understanding the blood line that lends itself to my name. Yet, the strong desire to connect with my ancestors I once had, has become less of a burden in my mind.
Where some people have too many family reunions, tire of the drama and complain to their friends about all the bickering that comes with forcing a group together for the sake of joining hands in a kumbaya with their relatives, others, me included, wouldn't have the slightest idea of that type of family dynamic. Alas, I have to thank my own mom for that.
To find out more about my two month journey blogging throughout backpacking in Central America and the beauty of traveling in these countries, visit my blog. I welcome your feedback and likes.
All material here and mention is copyright and cannot be duplicated without express permission by me - mildred brignoni.