Earl Vincent de Berge
Bio Note: An Arizona native, I focus on Sonoran deserts, people and politics, Guatemala and the Andes. Environmentalist / photographer / retired pollster, metal sculptor and mini-farmer. Married 56 years, I think. Editor; Rocky Mountain Poll 1973 to 2017. Ever optimistic, but skeptical with a dash of cynicism. Live in AZ and Guatemala. Stranded in Prescott until we get our vaccine against COVID-19.
After three decades of civil war a treaty is signed so armies might stop murdering one another and native people. We rent an old four-by-four to travel into the remote mountains of Nebaj and other outposts we longed to visit since the music of their names and history first filled our ears. On the way, we give a “to-market” ride to a young Maya mother and then stop for a hillside rest above wild country with her to share apples, cheese and crackers. she gestures down the slope to a roofless fire-ruined home and whispers ”The War” ... but then looking past that pain, she speaks brightly of her children … as if the genocide against her people never happened. Picnicking in the shadow of a civil war seems somehow insane but when I ask her about the future, she chirps happily that the newly paved road to her village means better teachers may come to their schools and to her daughters. The apples taste sweeter. West of Nebaj above Rio Negro, Guatemala 1996
Abandoned Doors of Antigua
A Panchoy valley specialty — sagging doors on antique iron hinges topped with drooping barbed wire, bottoms agape, raw-boned, for street-smart dogs to pass. The abandoned homes behind each door are now cavernous skulls where weather pours through split roofs and eddies in dank rooms. Rainwater bleeds across dirt thresholds onto cobbled streets. Doors are draped with chains rusted dark ochre and iron latches that no longer open. Padlocks swing in tropical winds carving arcs in weathered wood adorned with artful oxide streaks Lonely ghosts amid thick weeds squint out the sockets of boarded-over windows. Tourists photograph the wooden doors, for in frailty they are as beautiful and serene as the quiet old gents chatting in the city park down the way. Antigua, Guatemala 1988
©2021 Earl Vincent de Berge
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