To the Mountain and Back: The Mysteries of Guatemalan Highland Family Life by Jody  Glittenberg
203 pages, $27.95 list
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To the Mountain and Back
The Mysteries of Guatemalan Highland Family Life
Capturing the cultures of rural Guatemala in a uniquely vivid manner! Glittenberg’s involving account traces her work experiences in highland Guatemala and her own growth as a nurse, an anthropologist, and a person becoming aware of the world community. During her first trip she worked as an “unwelcome” visiting nurse at the famous Behrhorst Hospital. Later, she returns to Guatemala with her family to conduct a year of fieldwork in two highland towns—the Ladino town of Zaragoza and the town of Indian Power, Patzun. Her year is a richly colorful account of the puzzles and problems of two distinct cultures seized by poverty and oppression. Glittenberg returns once again in 1974, during a terrible time. The terror has increased, and the population has suffered a devastating earthquake. But this time she has come back to help, to make a difference and to give help in a country where once a personal crisis was how to order a scrambled egg.
“Trained as a nurse as well as an anthropologist, Glittenberg is an apostle of traditional fieldwork. Hers is the insatiable quest for crosscultural knowledge gained from being there. . . . I felt privileged to read this book because it illuminates the cultures of rural Guatemala in a uniquely vivid manner and because it provides an introduction to the mind and feelings of an intensely sympathetic observer.” — Marvin Harris, late of University of Florida
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. A Man with a Mission
3. The Face of Poverty
4. A Penny Capital System
5. Xajaxac: Black Waters and Witch Doctors
6. Zaragoza: 1974 Fieldwork Begins
7. Patzun: A Town of Indian Power
8. The Fiesta of Corpus Christi: Symbols and Norms in Zaragoza
9. Seeing the Separate Systems in a Culture
10. Coping through Competition and Rigid Rules: The Ladino Family
11. Surviving as a Corporate, Cooperative Unit: The Indian Family
12. Cane Huts, Rats, and Snakes
13. Get an Ark: Hurricane Fifi Hits
14. Volcano Fuego: Rims of Fire and Witchery
15. Folk Ideologies: The Miracles and Myths of Maximon
16. How Many Children Do We Want? And Why?
17. The Riddle Has Answers
18. An Epilogue: Returning Time and Again