Dollar a Day

The most difficult aspect of living a lifestyle similar to the people who inhabit Peña Blanca is the lack of consistent employment. The people in Peña Blanca mostly work tilling their own tiny plots of land and receive occasional employment as day laborers. The problem with this structure is that the crops on their plots of land take time to grow, and during the growing period, the people do not have an easily available source of income. The day laborer income is not available every day, and this leaves the poor having to have no income some days. Even when it comes, it pays very little. This lack of stable employment may be the hardest problem to fix facing the residents of Peña Blanca, as Non-Governmental Organizations can help expand clean water, or help fund educational programs. However, educational programs would be useless if the children are too busy helping their families out on the small plots of land they hold like the kids in the video. The problem is with the land holding within Guatemala. The wealthy two percent of land holders, according to the video, hold seventy percent of the land in Guatemala. This means that small farmers in Guatemala are often operating of a very small scale. If more of land in Guatemala was distributed fairly, there would be less a problem. I would not solve the problem of the crops taking time to grow, but it would allow the farmers to make enough money to save up for the non-productive time periods. The government could justify seizing at least some of the land in Guatemala by focusing on the native heritage of the farmers, whose ancestors had the land taken away from them by the Spanish, who are the ancestors of the landholders. The government should not take all of the wealthy landholders’ land, but at least some of it, especially those areas intimately connected to the native groups. 

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