Upon reading Linda Green’s essay on “Mayan Youth and Rural Industrialization in Guatemala” several issues sparked a reaction from me. Foremost, it is obvious that something must be done to protect the young women of this country and others alike from the exploitative conditions they are subjugated to. They are essentially forced to work for disgracefully low wages in an unhealthy and hostile environment. Corporations responsible for these conditions need to be held legally accountable for them in a global setting or at least be forced to make their practices transparent and publicized, in order for consumers to make informed decisions.
The second issue I found with the essay itself regards the position that the Maya are a helpless culture under attack. Green asserts that because of the “powerlessness” required in the process of globalization a complete culture is deteriorating as its youth are subordinated (111). It is my belief that as time progresses every culture evolves to adapt to the physical world around them and that it is not just these abused and unfortunate cultures that are changing. At the same rate cultures of wealthy first world countries are evolving, so that is not the issue. It is an inevitable result of time and would occur both if a culture becomes globalized or suddenly isolated. Because they are in fact a diminished culture and they are not in a position of power on the global playing field, they appear to be more the victim on this issue. The real issue, however, as I stated above, is to aid these areas in protecting their basic human rights. That is more important than the preservation of any culture. As well, Green claims that these young women have “few other options” and they are usually forced into factory work as a result of globalization (113). Though this holds several truths I would be curious to know what alternatives they would have if it were not an option and if they would in fact be any better, for both the youth’s happiness and the preservation of the culture.