Trouble In The Highlands will explore the tumultuous history of Guatemala's indigenous communities and why the Maya remain desperately poor, exploited, and outside the corridors of political power. The lack of indigenous representation in government affects all aspects of life: the quality of schools, the availability of healthcare in rural areas, and respect for indigenous culture and traditions. Trouble In The Highlands will review Guatemala's turbulent history and addresses the current migrant crisis at the U.S./Mexico border. Through the eyes of Maya academics, activists and political leaders, the documentary will explore reasons why so many are leaving and what is being done to reverse the economic and social stagnation.
In contrast to the challenges the Guatemala Maya face in achieving political representation, recent political change in Bolivia offers an example of how that country's indigenous leaders achieved political success over a twenty-year period. There is no questioning the success of Evo Morales' political party, MAS, which elected the first indigenous president in Bolivian history as well as scores of indigenous representatives. But Bolivia also offers a cautionary tale for Guatemala's political activists. Morales suffered numerous political setbacks during his years in power; but despite those failures, the standard of living for a great many of Bolivia’s indigenous communities has risen dramatically.
Trouble In The Highlands will be narrated by and understood through the eyes and perspective of indigenous leaders in Guatemala and Bolivia and conclude in Guatemala's Maya Highlands with examples of local and country-wide reform initiatives.
- February 1, 2020
- December 1, 2019