So, I left my job at the IRC. The demands on my time, family life, and sanity were too much for the pay I was receiving. Although I will truly miss working with refugees, this Monday was the first in months I’ve enjoyed. Yesterday I had an interview with Friends of Great Salt Lake, an environmental organization trying to preserve the ecosystems around the Great Salt Lake. I think it went well, although I did sweat for the first few minutes of the interview because I was so nervous. They said they would let me know by the end of the week.
Anyway the point of my post is that I am still working for the ESL Center running the refugee computer lab, and yesterday one of our favorite clients came to the lab to learn Microsoft Office. He is so cute that when we shut down the computer lab yesterday, he said goodbye, left the building before us, and then waited across the street for about 10 minutes while we closed up the building so he could wave goodbye again. He was riding his 10 year-old niece’s pink bike. After that Kate decide she was going to adopt him, even though he is 21 years old and still has a family.
Kate and I arrived in Antigua yesterday and have been working through all the hitches associated with first time travelers and backpackers…except we’re really experienced at it…strange, I know. So far we have made every mistake in the book except for counting our money in public (don’t think I didn’t have to tell Kate to put her money away once or twice). You can read more about it on Kate’s article . That’s fine and all. We are a little rusty; it’s been a few months. What I really wanted to talk about is how creepy Guatemalan baby adopters are. It must be because Guatemala City is dump, or there’s something in the water, but it seems Antigua attracts white baby adopters by the truck load. Kate and I sat in the park last night watching, not joke, a hundred couples walking around with baby backpack after baby backpack filled with Guatemalan babies. Watching creepy looking white people tote around these little children I was reminded of another international human attraction I would see in Thailand…prostitution. For some reason I just got the hebby-jebbies (if anyone has a spelling for that please let me know) seeing all these white people with foreign babies. It felt the same as seeing those fat ugly white men in Thailand escorting their tiny Thai escort to their hotel room.
I have no proof, except what my friend Tristan told me he found during his research here, that foreign adoption in Guatemala is human trafficking. Women are coursed into giving up their children for adoption, and then the adoption agencies cheat adopters out of money by telling them there is X, Y, and Z fees or bribes needed to get the baby our of the country. Good meaning Americans think they are rescuing a baby from poverty and what not, but really the baby was only born or put up for adoption to make a lot of money. It is a sad situation and what I have seen in Antigua does nothing but support what Tristan has told me.
Please, please be more careful about adopting little babies from Guatemala, they might have been farmed just for that purpose and you might be doing more harm than good.