Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis by Jonathan Blitzer, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  A most timely book rated #1 for the history of U.S. immigration, public policy immigration, and the history of Central America. About a third of my forthcoming book focuses on immigration from Guatemala, making this a must-read. The immigration problem is growing exponentially around the world, and solutions are ignored for political benefit and expediency. President Biden’s executive order is designed to close the border, at least through elections. The only serious legislative reform created by both parties was abandoned by the Republicans, who blocked both legislation and funding, which could have diminished the crisis, once again, for political […]

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Kidnapped to the Underworld by Victor Montejo Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

It seems appropriate that this book was published on the 500th anniversary of Spaniard Alvarado’s conquering of the Maya in 1524—making this a time to reflect on the impact it had on the Maya, one of the great civilizations of the Hemisphere. Victor Montejo is a respected Mayan intellectual and activist. He believes that racism in Guatemala is best understood as a system originating in the inequality established by the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards viewed the indigenous peoples as barbarians who needed to be controlled and civilized. Despite the Spaniards’ relentless efforts to alter and eradicate numerous Maya traditions and […]

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We Just Reached Our Kickstarter Funding Goal! Three Weeks Remain to Do More!

Friends, Colleagues, and Writers Around the World Thank you to our backers for helping us reach our funding goal. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. We still have three weeks to go! Every extra dollar will allow us to expand the project to a larger audience and educate and inspire a larger audience about Guatemala and the book’s extraordinary lives and awesome stories. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/guatemala/the-guatemala-reader Please continue to share the link to the Guatemala Reader Kickstarter platform, which explains the objectives and the different formats of the books—hardcover and paperback—along with the “rewards,” such as a […]

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A Note from the Million Mile Walker: The Guatemala Reader is Live on Kickstarter!

Friends, Colleagues, and Writers Around the World I’ve been unavailable for the last several months finishing up The Guatemala Reader, now available on Kickstarter! Please share the project with friends and contacts, as it includes a brief video and background information on the making of this project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/guatemala/the-guatemala-reader After traveling, working, and writing about Guatemala for 50 years, I’ve focused this project on some of the country’s extraordinary people and amazing stories.   The purpose of the project includes: Educate and inspire people to learn more about Guatemala. Introduce extraordinary lives and stories to generate more empathy for those heading […]

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Burma Sahib by Paul Theroux, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

The Dean of travel writing reimagines one of English literature’s most controversial writers in his early, formative years. Theroux leads us on the journey with George Orwell from a British Raj officer in Colonial Burma and his transformation from Eric Blair to Orwell, the anti-colonial writer. Blair set sail for India shortly after graduating from the same prestigious private school of Eton, whose alums included Boris Johnson and nineteen other British prime ministers. Despite his young age (19), he would oversee local police officers in Burma and deal with his fellow British’s racial and class politics while trying to learn […]

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Central America’s Forgotten History: Revolution, Violence, and the Roots of Migration, by Aviva Chomsky, reviewed by Mark D. Walker

This book seemed a perfect follow-up to the Guatemalan Journey, one writer’s take on Guatemala. In contrast, this book provides a historical overview of some underlying causes of growing immigration to the U.S. Plus, one of my favorite authors, Todd Miller, who wrote Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, offered good reasons to read it, I have waited for Central America’s Forgotten History for the past decade. This thorough and thought-provoking book revives the history that has long been severed from the Central American experience in US discourse, especially around immigration. Chomsky demonstrates that you can’t divorce […]

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One Writer’s Review of 2023, Million Mile Walker Dispatch, December 2023

Dear Colleagues and Fellow Writers from Around the World, Happy New Year, one and all! I like to sit down at the end of a year and focus on the highlights I want to build on for the coming year. I’ll also look at one of our country’s most crucial issues in Cultural Impact. My Writing and Reviews will include a few of my favorite books and a movie, a special section on Those We Lost, followed by Voices in Action, What Others Are Saying, and a Calendar update. 2023 represents my sixth year as a full-time writer, and this […]

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Guatemala, My Personal Lodestar, Million Mile Walker Dispatch, November 2023

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, On a personal note, I have several announcements about my involvement with the Arizona Authors Association. Culture Watch will focus on attempts by the Guatemalan attorney general to prevent the President-elect from taking office.  My Writing and Reviews will highlight my forthcoming book and plans for a Kickstarter campaign and a review of a classic satire about Guatemala and a TV series from Indonesia. Voices in Action will include an insightful quote. What Others Are Saying will provide the latest praises for my forthcoming book, and the Calendar will be updated.  My […]

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The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala by Mark Brazaitis, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

Many of his stories capture the essence of living in and around Santa Curz Verapaz close to Coban, where I’ve worked and traveled many times and is not far from where I was with the Peace Corps. Alta Verapaz is exciting due to its cloud forests, Maya inhabitants, and the historic presence of Germans who dominated the coffee plantations at the turn of the century. And since I’m working on my forthcoming book, The Guatemala Reader, this seemed an excellent time to pull it off my bookshelf. Guatemala is a country of extremes — a place of terrible cruelty, apparent […]

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Wind in the Elephant Tree by Earl Vincent de Berge, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  Earl de Berge’s third book of poetry is an Ode to his wife, Suzanne. Most poems are love poems or valentines to his life partner he met in college and married just after she graduated. This writer and photographer also shares memories of friends, scenes of his beloved Guatemala, aging, his legacy, and much more. I met Earl and his wife, Suzanne, several years ago over lunch in Phoenix, discussing fundraising strategies for “Seeds for a Future,” an NGO they set up in Guatemala, which provides training to impoverished rural women on the South Coast. I soon learned that […]

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