Rigoberta Menchú Biography

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Rigoberta Menchú Tum was born on January 9, 1959, in Chimel, El Quiché, Guatemala. She was one of nine children. Chimel is an indigenous pueblo, whose population is predominantly K’iché Maya. Menchú’s family spoke very little Spanish and were poorly educated. They made their living by leaving their homes in the mountains and working on the fincas (plantations) on the coast. The indigenous workers were treated very badly and paid very little for their labor. Two of Menchú’s brothers died while working on the plantations. Menchú also worked as a muchacha (a maid) for wealthy families who often treated their dogs better than the muchachas (“Rigoberta Menchú Biography”). Life for indigenous people became increasingly difficult in the Guatemalan highlands when guerilla groups that resisted the military government hid in the highlands near their homes. The military violently sought out these groups and arrested and killed anyone that they believed was associated with them (“Rigoberta Menchú Biography”). Many of Menchú’s family joined a human rights group called the Comité Unidad Campesina (CUC), which advocated for equal treatment for indigenous people. The government saw this group as an enemy, and over time Menchú’s mother, brother, and father…show more content…
She published her story called (in English) I, Rigoberta Menchú, which gained international attention, and she helped form international organizations, such as RUOG and an international level of CUC to inform the world of the plight of her people. Menchú received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work (“The Nobel Peace Prize 1992”). She established the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation in 1993 and worked to help bring peace to her country (“Historical Notes”). She continues to work for equal rights for indigenous Guatemalans and for native people throughout the western hemisphere (“The Nobel Peace Prize

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