Don't Be Afraid, Gringo: A Honduran Woman Speaks From The Heart: The Story of Elvia Alvarado (Paperback)
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"Here is a voice seldom heard, the voice of Latin America's majority, those who bear the burdens of society. If we are to understand Honduras, Central America, or, for that matter, Latin America, we must listen attentively to this voice. It has much to teach us. It commands the future." --E. Bradford Burns, Professor of History, UCLA
Don’t be Afraid, Gringo is the award-winning oral history of Elvia Alvarado, a courageous campesina [peasant] activist in Honduras, the poorest country in Central America. Trained by the Catholic Church to organize women’s groups to combat malnutrition, Alvarado began to question why campesinos were malnourished to begin with. Her growing political awareness, her travels by foot, over the back roads of Honduras, and her conversations with people from all over the country have given her insights into the internal workings of her society that far surpass those of the majority of campesinos who have never ventured from their villages. Working as a campesino organizer, Alvarado has led dangerous land recovery actions in an effort to enforce the national land reform laws. As a result of these actions, she has been harassed, jailed, and tortured at the hands of the Honduran military.
Skillfully translated and edited by Medea Benjamin, an expert on Central America, Don’t Be Afraid, Gringo takes us into the heart of campesino struggle and political conflict in Honduras today.
"Here is a voice seldom heard, the voice of Latin America's majority, those who bear the burdens of society. If we are to understand Honduras, Central America, or, for that matter, Latin America, we must listen attentively to this voice. It has much to teach us. It commands the future."
— E. Bradford Burns
"Elvia's story provides the reader with a perspective on Honduras--indeed, on all of Central America--that even the best reporting from the outside cannot offer."
— Most Reverend John R. Quinn, Archbishop of San Francisco
"In the clearest of language, this bravest of humans, this courageous woman, Elvia Alvarado, tells the story of her life and the life of the people of Honduras. Read it and understand the struggle against tyranny of the poor. Read it and act."
— Alice Walker
"So much of what we know about Central America is facts, figures, abstractions, political cant. No one can read this remarkable story without a total change of perception. We learn not only how Elvia organizes campesinos to recover rights that have been taken from them, but how our government interferes on the side of injustice--and what we can do about it."
— Robert McAfee Brown