Featuring Guatemalan Indian Rigoberta Menchu, the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, FIVE CENTURIES LATER examines the current status of Central American aboriginal civilizations, five hundred years after they were "conquered" by European invaders.
In countries such as Bolivia and Guatemala, the native peoples have no political power. They are kept in abject poverty and ignorance, and are allowed only the most menial and subservient jobs. Since the appearance of Europeans, these ancient peoples have struggled to preserve the few traditions that remain from what were once rich civilizations.
But now these traditionally agrarian communities are confronted with yet another problem - a shortage of arable land. Without a place in Central America's modern societies, FIVE CENTURIES LATER considers the possible fates that await the Indians of Central America.