Grand Papa

My Grandfather passed away last night around 7 p.m., Pacific time, but in Guatemala it was around 8 pm.  He was 67 years old. He died from kidney failure, which was the same fate my uncle, who was one of my grandfather’s son, died from. My uncle died at the age of 23 years old, his wish was to get married and have children; he never got the chance to fulfill those wishes. My grandfather had 15 children, two of which died at birth. Out of the thirteen left, 10 of them were girls and the rest  boys. One of those girls turned out to be my mother. One of the many unfilled wishes my grandfather had was to see my mother, that never happened. At the moment my mother is devastated by the fact that she never got to hug him.

My uncle and grandfather

My uncle and grandfather

Many people in rural areas of Guatemala have been dying of kidney failure, especially where my mother’s family is from. A big chunk my mother’s hometown’s territory was bought by Big Money, which decided to start planting palm trees, and other crops. Those palm trees are being treated with pesticides and other toxins, which all end up in their drinking water as runoff. There’s not much that can be done about it, unless I become a billionaire and decide to buy the territory back from Big Money. Most of the rivers have been dried off by Big Money as well, which leads the all the residents to look for the same river, which then becomes too dirty to even swim in. This is what I have heard from residents, but I have no evidence. I did look up some information online, but none of it was used for this paragraph. Big Money is not a real company name in Guatemala.

I’m sad as well. I only met my grandpa once. I was eight, and he strolled me around on a horse in that town. I have the same pain as my mother does: not being able to see him now. I was planning to go this summer, but I won’t get to do that. I will still go, but family members will be missing. Rest in peace grandad.


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