Marabet Morales Sikahall

Made in Guatemala

I only find myself on the t-shirt labels at overpriced stores or on thrown away clothes
at the local thrift store. Mainly on bananas and on the coffee, the one Starbucks and
Peet's love to sell as their own.

But at the end of the day, MADE IN GUATEMALA it will read.


And it will seem like a familiar sight, a familiar memory but something in me reminds
me it's not. Yet, I can’t help smiling when I see such a familiar name, the one that
permanently hangs on my parents' lips. Even on the bad days when hope is lost, the
name remains the same. Home, but it’s not mine? So, why do I know it well? What
right do I have claiming it mine? Because all that I know is through my eyes—
constructed by the books I’ve read, the news on the TV, and the few trips made via
plane rides and my parents' memories. How dare I say and feel anything? I’m simply
 the child of the diaspora. Just one out of many trying to not feel like an imposter
when the insides of me bear the colors of hand-woven textiles MADE IN
GUATEMALA. The kind bred from the blooming coffee cherry beans. How do I
explain all the complexity behind my existence?

But then I’ll hear my voice in Hank Azaria’s character in The Birdcage.

“Are you afraid of my Guatemalaness?”

And I’ll blink back my tears, indignation, and sense of otherness.

Letting a riot begin in my heart, setting fire to all the pervasive thoughts in order to protect my Guatemalaness.

PRODUCT OF CENTRAL               


Marabet Morales Sikahall is a Guatemalan-American writer from Oakland, California. She is an alumna from both Creative Writing programs at San Francisco State University, Berkeley City College, and the Literary Arts program at Oakland School for the Arts. Some of her work is featured in Acción Latina's Tribute Chapook for Salvadoran writer, Roque Dalton, Harvard University's Palabritas, and Oakland Voices. Most recently, her radio story in collaboration with local radio station, KALW and Oakland Voices, An East Oakland Community Comes Together To Address Mental Health aired on July 2019 for #MinorityMentalHealthAwarenessMonth.

©The Acentos Review 2020