About 1500 meters above sea level, in the central highlands of Alta Verapaz, lies the market town of Tactic. In the whole department of Tactic lives about 25 000 people, in the town just about 7000 people. 70% of those are Poqom'chi Mayan. Poqom'chi is one of about 20 Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala and before the Spanish invation 1524 Tactic was an importan Poqom'chi centre.

Today not even 45% of the urban population of Tactic learns to speak their own language Poqom'chi in their homes, instead their parents teach them Spanish so that they will be able to go to school, use public hospitals and so on. That makes a big part of the population more or less illiterate in their own language.

As in the whole of Guatemala the powerty is widespread in Tactic, but in comparison with the rest of Alta Verapaz the poverty is low here. "Only" 64,3% in Tactic are living under the poverty line and "just" 18,2% are living in extreme poverty (The medium rate of people living in extreme poverty in Alta Verapaz in total is about 41%). The standard of time spent in school for people here is about six years but 23% of the grown up population doesn't have any education at all. The main reasons for not going to school is that the children or the parents don't want to, the cost is to high and the children have to stay home working. 11% of the children aged 7 to 14 here are working.

Tactic is also the town where I'm conducting my field study. About 20% of the mothers here are singles, trying to get their small families to survive despite the machismo and the conservative society. The small town has got fourteen churches and is, as you allready know, 'en el camino del narcotráfico'.

Tactic is also a beatufil oasis where I love to go to get a break from the city of Cóban. It's surrounded by a beautiful, green landscape. The feeling in town is very tranquile and the market close to the central square is like a world of it's own.

I'm still very careful with taking pictures involving people I don't know, mostly because there are still a lot of people being suspicious towards foreigners with cameras (there have been cases where tourists get killed by this reason), but also because I think it's a part of everyones integrity to have the choice of being part of my pictures or not. Anyway, here are a few pictures showing you some chosen parts of my oasis Tactic. (You'll probably find some text as well if you just touch the pictures...)

(Do you see the church up in the left corner? one of 14...)

with balcony and all...

there are many of them...
Street dog

some companies sponsores paint to the private homes, but with some demands of course...


(one of 14) just by the central square


this is how you carry things, use our head!


Cementarys are always one of the most dangerous places to be in. A lot of criminality and drug abuse is going on behind the small houses.

The beautiful painted house is a common kitchen.


to make your laundry or clean up the dishes

My friend, my guide, my teacher. Without him I would be lost!


Postat av: Felix

Hej Jonna - nice photos! It's good to get a glimpse of what you see and experience every day.

2009-04-08 @ 00:54:45

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