Wednesday afternoon I went to Guatemala. I lived on a dollar a day.
Imagine yourself doing that here.
What could you afford? An apple and a twenty five cent gumball? That’s your meal for the day.
Where will you sleep? In a cougar’s den if you’re lucky. On a park bench? I don’t think you’ll be doing that with all that snow and freezing temperatures. On someone’s couch? Can’t be done indefinitely.
How will you travel? Why does it matter? You can’t afford to do anything.
A dollar a day in these parts is inconceivable. Varying information suggests that almost half the world, 3 Billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day. Eighty percent live on less than $10 a day. Another source suggests that 60% of the world lives on less than a dollar a day. A statistic from the film says that 1.1 billion people live under a dollar a day. The precise statistic doesn’t matter. That’s a lot of people; and that’s not a lot of income.
Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci and their two filmmaking friends headed to Guatemala to live for two months on a dollar a day. They tried to align themselves to the life of that kind of poverty.
Perhaps it is because I’ve been third world that I can imagine myself actually being on the other side of the screen. But what these guys, these four university aged guys did would have been very challenging, even if they knew they’d spend only two months doing it and knew they’d return home to regain that lost twenty pounds eating whatever they chose.
What is it like when you live in a Central American country? Seven out of ten people that you meet will live like you do. No cougar’s dens and park benches here. Find yourself a covered shelter (it rains a lot) and hope for a job. You might be the only fellow in the community with a paying job. So on a $1.25 a day, you are able to support your family of seven. Did I mention you are just 23? That you were one of the wealthiest in the neighbourhood? That twice a year you could prepare a feast of refried beans and rice? You’ll make your own tortillas, grind your own beans, be thankful for a pound of lard to fatten your baby’s bellies.
If travelling third world is not possible, I recommend watching this Indieflix flick.