Guatemala, 1996. After 36 years of years of violent civil war between a corrupt government and leftist rebel groups, peace accords were finally signed. An estimated 140,000 – 200,000 people had been killed or disappeared. Unarmed civilians suffered unfathomable human rights violations and shocking acts of genocide. 83% of victims were Maya.
For 20-year-old Lidia Giron, the moment had come to leave Guatemala. Her mother, who was already in the United States, sent for her. Lidia obtained citizenship and settled in Oregon. She and her husband are raising two children – a son and daughter.
Lidia has been a St. Johns Food Share member for 7 years. She does all the cooking for her family. “This has been very good for me, my husband, and my kids,” she says. “We eat very well. We save so much money! I love to cook – I make everything – vegetables, bread, sweets too.”
The access to healthy food at very low cost has made a world of difference for the Giron family. Lidia and her husband work nights. She shops twice a week at St. Johns Food Share and gives time each month, “doing a little bit of everything” around the facility. “I do whatever needs to be done,” she says, laughingly.
Turning serious, Lidia adds, “I will never move back to Guatemala. My mother is back there now, I have visited a few times. We talk on the phone. The country is still very volatile. My daughter is 20 years old now – the same age as me when I fled my country. She is having a much safer life. We are happy to be here.”