R Is For Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Miriam E. A.Thompson > Miriam’s Blog > Uncategorized > R Is For Rigoberta Menchu Tum

Rigoberta Menchu Tum fascinated me years ago when I was watching 60 Minutes. There was this lovely petite woman, a face lit up with a smile, wearing radiant, colorful fabrics with a head wrap adorned on her head.

Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Loved by her supporters and a formidable opponent to her adversaries. The story intrigued me as the reporter spoke of her advocacy for the Indigenous peoples and peasants in Guatemala.

Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum wearing long earrings and a smile. Her head is adorned with a blue and purple headband and wearing a multicolored blous.
Taken from Wikipedia

Ms. Rigoberta was born into a Mayan and Indian peasant family. As a child she would have helped her family with farming duties and picking coffee. The Catholic Church was the focal point of her community. She joined women’s rights movements as a teenager.

Because of her family’s involvement in reforms through the Committee of the Peasant Union, she suffered the loss of her mother, father, and brother.

In 1980 and 1981, Ms. Menchu Tum coordinated large-scale protests fighting for proper working conditions for farm workers. Taking it one step further, she launched an effort seeking to educate Indigineous peoples. Many opponents saw this as directly opposing the military.

Although Rigoberta Menchú was forced into exile in Mexico, this fueled her passion to bring worldwide awareness into the plight of Mayan peasants. Three attempts to return to her homeland failed as she faced death threats. In 1992, she was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts on behalf of ethnic reconciliation, peace and human rights.

To this day, I honor Ms. Rigoberta Menchu Tum. She had the guts to stand up for the rights of the disenchanted, disenfranchised, and the downtrodden.

Learn more about Ms. Menchu Tum here.


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