Standing in Between: The Healing Praxis of Mayan Women Intermediaries in Post-Genocide Guatemala

Gabriela Távara, M. Brinton Lykes, Alison Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This article examines how Mayan intermediaries make meaning of their roles in accompanying Mayan women survivors of gross violations of human rights as they search for truth, justice, and reparation in post-genocide Guatemala. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, the authors analyzed in-depth interviews with six intermediaries who worked with survivors in the context of a seven year feminist participatory and action research project. The findings reveal that healing from the legacies of armed conflict as well as from historical racialized gendered oppression are at the core of Mayan intermediaries’ work with the Mayan women survivors with whom they established an intersubjective relationship, contributing to each other’s healing. The importance of economic justice for survivors’ healing and the scant and circumscribed talk about sexual violence—the grievance central to the work with most of the survivors—emerge as important findings of this study and require future exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-51
Number of pages22
JournalWomen and Therapy
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Armed conflict
  • Maya
  • healing
  • intermediaries
  • transitional justice


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