- by Rocio G. Sierra Honigmann
The Motorcycle Diaries
It is better to travel well than to arrive
The Motorcycle Diaries is a movie that reveals the lifestyle of poor people in South America like never before. It is also the story of how one man who, after a life-changing journey, tried to make justice for the most vulnerable members of that part of the world. It is an insight into the early life of the Marxist revolutionary leader, Che Guevara. This film illustrates the ingenuity, integrity, and inspiration of this world-famous leader.
The young Guevara could be ingenious. He once wrote a story about himself for a newspaper to inflate his status so people would help him on his journey. Sometimes he would flirt with women even though he claimed he was in love with his sweetheart. He stole milk in broad daylight when he was thirsty. Mostly he bent rules so he could survive. Sometimes it was for fun.
Nevertheless, Guevara had an old sense of integrity. He refused to use his girlfriend’s money for his own good. He refused to wear gloves to shake hands with lepers because their disease was not contagious. When his friend Mial Granado, tried to lie about a medical issue in exchange for food, Guevara knew it was wrong and refused to do it.
The principal inspiration of Guevara was the people he met in the mountains, in the desert, and on an island that was a leper colony. He talked with the native people and they told him their problems. Guevara read their faces that emanated a deep sadness as they spoke. They told how the government tried to destroy a historic city to build stores, how it stole land from the people and gave it to foreign corporations, how they were exploited and arrested those people for simply asking for their rights.
Che Guevara made a life-changing decision midway through this journey. The experience of traveling had more value for him than just arriving at a destination. The journey taught him to think for himself. Guevara started to see the world from other perspectives. He resolved to fight injustice though it would put his own life in danger. These days, the ideology of Che is the hope to the news generations to still fight for the rights of the oppressed.