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Guatemalan Journey

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Guatemala draws some half million tourists each year, whose brief visits to the ruins of ancient Maya cities and contemporary highland Maya villages may give them only a partial and folkloric understanding of Guatemalan society. In this vividly written travel narrative, Stephen Connely Benz explores the Guatemala that casual travelers miss, using his encounters with ordina ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by University of Texas Press
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Jim
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guatemala, travel
Stephen Connely Benz's Guatemalan Journey (1998) is a well-thought-out look at a country that is still trying to recover from an American-instigated coup that replaced the elected Arbenz government in 1954. Half the material deals with Guatemala City -- but as seen from a different perspective. This is no tourist guidebook: Benz shows us what interests him and which illustrates life from a Guatemalan viewpoint.

Only then does he take the grand tour, encompassing the Western Highlands and the Peté
...more
Susan
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Definitely a must read if you are planning a trip to Guatemala (which I am). The author went to live in Guatemala in 1988 as a Fulbright Scholar and this book is a culmination of his experiences traveling and living in the country for two years. It also outlines the history of Guatemala, which includes periods of authoritarian rule followed by a short period of democracy derailed by the military with support from the USA, back to military rule with opposition from mostly Mayan Indian guerillas f ...more
Lisa
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book was informative and pretty interesting. Told from the perspective of a liberal American academic. I liked the descriptions and juxtaposition of the people who live in Guatemala with the tourists and Americans who adventure/work there but at times it was a bit repetitive with that theme and the overwhelming disdain for the “common tourists” -came off to me as a bit elitist at times.
Rachel
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must read for anyone who wants an opinion on immigration from our southern borders.
Rod
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Benz's book stems from his experience living in Guatemala in the late 1980s on a Fulbright Scholarship. The beauty of Benz's work is that it is an on-the-ground, uncensored and serious perspective on life in Guatemala at the time with the pertinent historical details to put it into perspective. I read his book immediately prior to a trip I took to Guatemala and found it just as relevant as when it was written because it provides context to the current political and social climate of Guatemala to ...more
ingrid
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Erik-not done yet but eye opening and a bit alarming. Fascinating. Written in 1996 and I hope things are better there now, behind the tourist facade.
Later: A must read if you are going to Guatemala.Although written in 1996 I believe a lot of the things are still true and if things have changed,the vestiges probably remain.The country had a 30+year reign of civil war, with 200,000 people "disappearing". Causes and factors complex but mainly enlightening re: the Guatemalan rulers AND the role of t
...more
Aaron
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What awesome insight about life living in Guatemala City. I liked the first section of the book more, mostly because it was all about living in Guatemala City and dealing with certain things like, traffic, beauracracy, etc. that I sometimes get to experience. I hope to find more good reads about Guatemala during my 2 year stay in this awesome country.
Suzanne Yankowski
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Benz wrote his impressions of Guatemala from the eyes, of a two year journey, as a Fulbright Scholar. He not only discussed the dangers, but what caused them. He longed for the Mayan people to be able to keep their culture and was saddened by the way American capitalism caused their corription.
Kathy
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very well written. History of Guatemala over the last 60 years. Benz travels the country and describes the areas and the people. This excellent book would be of interest to those who want to know more about Guatemala.
Megan
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Learned a lot!
Nicole
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is outstanding. Very meaningful observations make you feel like you're right in Guatemala with him. Great historical / political analysis.
Lisa
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
travelogue…most pleasant at end where he leaves city ("outsider" view leaves holes but is an articulate first glance intertwined with historical information
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