Sunday, November 1, 2009

Home again at Clinic and Mission

Friends and family,
Greetings anew from our Mission in Guatemala. It is good to be back home here. Surprisingly we are getting heavy rain storms yet in afternoons. This weekend is the remembrance of All saints in our Spiritual tradition and also loved ones who have passed on. All Souls day is a national holiday here. Everyone goes to the cemetery with flowers, candles and also there is music and food booths. The people accompany their dead into the night when the cemetery is aglow with candle lights.

We have one patient in our clinic infirmary. Juana is the woman who was brutally attacked by her husband in September. She had a metal plate surgically inserted in one leg to enable the healing of a serious fracture in the local government hospital. Unfortunately one area of the incision has infected. She is completely immobile so her children are caring for her in the clinic. Her husband remains in prison. He is mentally ill but unfortunately there are no institutions adequate for treating and monitoring such patients. Prisoners suffer greatly at the hands of the leaders of gangs in the prison unless they pay a high stipend to these criminals. We will continue to accompany this domestic violence patient until she is healed. Your donations and prayers are appreciated.

Our cooks son in law, Diego, has finally been deported from the US as an undocumented immigrant, after eight months in prison. He was in an automobile accident where two other Guatemalans were killed; he was not the driver but was injured. Diego was removed from the hospital and brought to a detention center. He was given little legal support during his incarceration and he spoke of thousands of other detainees, undocumented immigrants, in the same warehouse prison. I saw him today and he told me he rarely saw the light of day during this time. The Catholic Church supports immigration reform for the undoccumented who flee Latin American countries for economic reasons.

As the end of the year approaches we know we have had many blessings with the people we serve but it also has been a difficult year for many families economically, with illness, malnutrition and violence. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.