Yesterday, at the Parque Central in Rabinal, I was approached by a man who was obviously very drunk. I was in the park with another volunteer from the United States discussing our work when it happened.
The man asked us if we would like to buy a child. If we would like to buy the life of another person.. As we sat there in shock, he continued to explain that I could buy my very own human being, and a baby at that, for only eighty US dollars.
The other volunteer began to respond that we were not interested and that trafficking in children is illegal and the man became frightened and quickly dissappeared into the crowd. I knew that illegal adoptions and trafficking were common in Guatemala, but I never expected to be approached personally by somone wanting to sell a child. It made my stomach turn and my eyes tear up as I thought about the modern day selling of human beings that is so rampant in the world.
Guatemala`s adoption process is atrocious and every day in the newspaper there are more reports of children that have been illegally adopted, or literally stolen from their families. They are trying to start reforming the process, but as of today, it has not been changed. The man must have suspected that we would want a child because we looked like we were from the United States, and that is the destination of many illegal adoptions.
I was in such shock when it happened that looking back I wonder if I should have done more. If we should have tried to stall the man and tried to contact the police (however corrupt they are). The thought that he is still walking around here in Rabinal makes me feel both guilty and furious. Perhaps I will see him again some day while I am here and be able to do more. Perhaps not, and this will always be on my conscience.
Posted By Abby Weil
Posted Jul 2nd, 2007