It was August 28th 2021 when Karen Padilla landed in Dublin, leaving a her family, friends, job as well as her comfort zone behind to venture and carve her own path.
From an early age on Karen dreamt of travelling the world to experience other cultures and travel to foreign countries. To her, Guatemala, a land rich in history and contrast, has always been home.
Located in central America, Guatemala has been known to be the home of the Mayan people dating back as early as 1800 B.C.
Following the Spanish conquest in the 16th century, Spanish became the predominant language of central and southern America. But it was only in 1821, when the people of Guatemala became an independent state.
What followed were years of instability marked by authoritarian regimes, corruption and a civil war that lasted for over 36 years. And although a peace treaty was signed in 1996, in which guerrilla groups reassured that they would lay down their arms, Guatemala´s central struggle to this day has been to form a government that would implement legal order and would also prevail.
As a result of the high corruption rate and the unequal opportunities within the country, many Guatemalan’s, risking their lives, try to illegally migrate to the United States as a last resort in order to support their families financially.
According to Padilla, the root cause of the high corruption rate is a result of a systematic abuse of power by the leading parties who mainly benefited themselves.
Thus, long lasting change can only be achieved once this ceases and the basic needs such as healthcare, food and education are provided to all members of the society.
By Adina Sarah Abraham