When I got back to California from my summer trip to El Salvador and Honduras, I found a letter in my mailbox from the President of the United States of America. The diplomatic-like envelope was mixed between a stack of junk mail and Wells Fargo account statements.
To: Frida Larios Orsburn
From: The White House
There is a reason the Obamas sent me a letter. Last March I sent them a copy of my New Maya Language book because they made a political and cultural stop in my home country, El Salvador. They briefly visited the San Andrés Maya archaeological site, so I thought my book would allow them to appreciate in more depth the intelligence and beauty of the old – as well as my new – Maya writing system.
This is not a political propaganda post, but I have to recognise that I would’ve never gone through the effort of sending anything to any other US president, especially now that I am a US resident! I think of Barack Obama as the most social president the United States has ever had – despite his economic challenges.
Even when this country is in deep financial trouble, it is still perceived as an economic haven by so many illegal border-crossing Central American immigrants who risk their lives in the thousands everyday to reach U.S. American soil. There is an enormous rate of Salvadorean immigrants living in the United States (around two million are said to live legally and illegally in Los Angeles, CA alone), so it was about time a US president visited El Salvador for more than a couple of hours. The Census Bureau projects that by 2050, one-quarter of the population will be of Hispanic descent i.e. 100 million Latinos in the U.S. by 2050.
Illiteracy is a big problem not only in developing countries but also in developed countries like the United States of America. Hispanic immigrants and disadvantaged populations in the South account for the highest rates according to the Columbia University Press.The US government could use a 100% visual language to communicate with illiterate people. A system like the New Maya Language’s could be a start.
In the meantime, a thank you note from the most influential leader in the world and his wife, is a humble start to my dreams.