Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 comes to an END

Friends and Family,
It is the end of year 2011 and we look to the dawning of 2012. Here at the Clinica Maxeña our needs with the sick and poor have dramatically increased. Hunger and malnutrition and disease are very prevalent. Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition of children under five years of age, in the hemisphere. Our donations are down. We have to cut our staff and our programs to survive in 2012.

Daily at 6am, patients come at dawn, to receive a number for medical consult; consult is only three dollars. We have a well sorted Pharmacy and also a complete diagnostic laboratory. Our Emergency Room receives three to five emergencies a day; the most common are wounds to be sutured for field workers, and respiratory crisis in infants and children. Emergency deliveries of babies happen at least monthly. Snake bites, car accidents, diabetic emergencies keep our Emergency Room busy.

We have a Nutritional Project for malnourished infants and children. Many lactating mothers do not have sufficient breast milk for their babies. We prefer not to depend on formula; it is expensive and we know secondary disease results from lack of hygiene with the baby bottles and also contaminated water. Our Nutritional Project provides classes on nutritive supplements to the diet of the infant or child, recipes on how to prepare, a protein drink that is produced by the workers of Medicinal and NutritivePlants of the Clinica and free Medical consult to these infants and children by our doctor. The protein supplement of the Clinic is made from corn, rice, soy, wheat, peanuts, mush and other additives. In 2011, we began to work with Sustanable agriculture; we have planted a demonstrative garden of vegetables and native healthy herbs. The harvest is gifted to the mothers of malnourished children, in diabetic club and sold in the clinic to the public.

Our clinic has a team that works with environmental deficiencies that cause disease; garbage thrown on the road side, contaminated water, lack of sanitary facilities, such as toilets, lack of recycle centers, decrease of the forest. These are problems that the Ministry of Health should address but their response is slow, minimal and often non existent. CAN YOU HELP US.. As Christians we know that the GOSPEL tells us the POOR will always be with US. WE are called to be present to them!

You can put us on your christmas list. You can make possible the continuation of our WORK! You can educate your children of the importance of remembering the POOR at christmas. Thank YOU for your support. You make possible the continuations of our WORK in the CLINICA MAXENA!

You can donate on line at: Mission-c10

or make a donation by check to DIOCESE of HELENA
send to:
Diocese of Helena
Guatemala Mission
Mr Mark Frei
PO 1729
Helena, MT


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

CHAJINEL goes home to his BRIDE!

Friends and Family,
If you have visited our Mission, you have met CHAJINEL. Chajinel is a beautiful Husky; his name in the Mayan indian dialect is "GUARD". I got him as a puppy with intention of giving him to the dormitory students at ASUNCION; this was in 2006. That did not work out and I grew attached to him. He quickly became a big doggie and I could not keep him at my bedside. I had built a fenced small yard with a doggie house, behind our kitchen; he was a good watch dog. He was restless at times, as would be for a Husky, not able to run freely.

I knew I had to find him a new home. Last night he went to the home of his new BRIDE, a beautiful female Husky. The owners are friends, and the wife, Sheila, is also my godchild. I am happy with his new home. I WILL MISS GREETING HIM EACH DAY!

Attached Photos of Chajinel with me, A LAST HUG, and leaving for his new home, ACCOMPANIED BY THE TWO CLINIC WORKERS, WHO FED AND CARED FOR HIM!




Friday, December 9, 2011

Undocumented Immigrants

Friends and Family,
I am the daughter of Irish parents who immigrated in the 1920's; they came also for economic reasons but they had visas and someone in the United States to greet them. This is not the reality of the undocumented immigrants, who at great personal risk of life, go North in search of work to give their family the bare necessities of life, mainly food. There are many hungry people here. The immigrants first cross the Mexican border and into Mexico. This country, especially border towns, are extremely dangerous for the presence of Narcotic trafficking. Immigrants are kidnapped, robbed, obligated to participate in crimes, and often murdered; they never make it to their destiny of HOPE, the USA. Usually their bodies are never recovered; families have no news from them and the worst is presumed. Some immigrants choose to stay in Mexico if they can find employment.

Thus is the story of a young man who arrived at our clinic with two siblings, including a ten month old baby. His parents and one sibling remain in jail in Mexico; they are accused of a crime he claims they are innocent. The father apparently selling tortillas, with his wife, when two of his other children were accused, by a passerby, of breaking into an auto. He said the baby was put in a nursery until two siblings were released, after three months in jail! Ten family members were arrested and jailed. This was March 2011; all but three were released in June. He said he was told if other family members came to the jail looking for his parents they would be encarcelated too. He related that his parents jail sentence is eight years. This young man is distraught. His own wife abandoned him, with their infant, when he returned to his community, because he began to drink alcohol. He now is the caregiver for his other siblings, including his 10 month old brother, Salomón. He requested milk for the baby. We did provide powder milk and a protein supplement, free medical consult and vitamins.

We have requested assistance from the catechist, or person who works with the small Catholic church in the community, to follow up with the older, caregiver brother.
Hopefully he can facilitate the reconciliation for him with his wife and return to their home to help care for the extended family. The catechist also will advise the young man about his alcohol consumption. Today, a week later, they arrived again at the clinic; they had not eaten breakfast, and were requesting more milk and medication for diarrhea for the infant. We provided milk, protein supplement, breakfast and necessary medication.

Immigration reform is an issue for the American Congress. Pray for these immigrants and for a just resolution to Immigration reform, which would allow immigrants to work legally, even for short terms and enter safely to our country by bus transportation. The Catholic Church is supportive of Immigration Reform.

Thanks. Love Sheila
You can donate on line at:
make check to:
Diocese of Helena;
send to
Diocese of Helena
Guatemala Mission
Mark Frei
P.O. Box 1729
Helena, MT

Monday, November 28, 2011


Friends and Family,
I greet you from the green hills of Guatemala. Our winter, rainy season, is coming to an end. The coffee trees, choked full of red berries, are our Christmas trees! Harvest is in progress. This past year has been a difficult one for the poor in Guatemala. Coffee prices for producers have improved, yet the plantation owners do not pay the pickers a just wage, not even minimal salary. Landslides and flooding has caused destruction to bridges and highways. Presidential elections have brought little hope for social change. Inflation of basic food prices has increased malnutrition and common illness with children. Many patients postpone seeking health care for lack of even bus fair to arrive at the clinic. Now the women purchase their corn by the pound, where as before they would purchase 25 to 50 pounds on market day. More and more patients come to our clinic acutely ill and scared. Fewer Mayan women can afford to weave the beautiful blouses of their ancestors.

Advent approaches and yet there is hope that the New Year will bring a better life for their families. Their faith is a constant in their lives. People generously care for one another. Education is more accessible for their children and families sacrifice and beg to assure their children stay in the classroom.

I just visited family and friends at home. I attended the Assembly of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, of which I am an Associate. I witnessed the call to occupy the cities and come out into the streets to protest the economic reality. The majority of Americans are not making ends meet; health and education are not available to everyone as they should be. the answers are difficult. The world economic crisis has affected the generosity of others to the poor. The people here are hungry!

Closing doors for the Clinic would be a difficult decision. We ask you to put the Clinica Maxeña on your Christmas List. As the year comes to an end, we are not prepared to face the expenses we must confront. We must also renew contracts with workers and purchase medicines for the year 2012. Most of our workers earn minimal salary of less than ten dollars a day. We cannot provide salary increases again this year. They need their jobs and the sick need our presence as a parish clinic.




Donate on line at:
or send check for DIOCESE of HELENA to:
Diocese of Helena
Guatemala Mission
Mr Mark Frei
P.O. Box 1729
Helena, MT
59624 again remember to note for Clinica Maxeña

Friday, November 25, 2011

Your morning COFFEE

I am sure many do as I do, when you wake in the morning. Quickly I go to the kitchen to brew my morning coffee. It seems I cannot start the day without it. Here in Guatemala, if you rise at dawn, you can witness the field workers, women and men, with their children, packing into the backs of pickup trucks, to go to fields to pick coffee. Especially in these times, when unemployment is reality for most, the poor take the opportunity to earn a little cash. Children from seven years and up are brought along to help fill the boxes and gunny sacks with the red bean; babies are carried along on the backs of moms. The land owners take advantage of this necessity. Salary for eight hours in the field, under the beating sun, can be thirty dollars to a family, if they can pick 100 pound of the wet red coffee bean. This is once a year opportunity so many poor take to the fields.

Today with visitors, I went to the coffee cooperative, that was started by the first priest of our mission, Jim Tackes, more than forty years ago. This truly is one of our greatest gifts to the Mayan population in the small community of PASAC. The coffee harvest is in progress. The cooperative of NAHUALA has 164 members. This year, they will export 1500 one hundred pound bags of the golden coffee bean. They pay a more just price to pickers and the actual members make good profit on their harvest. With financial support from international organizations, this cooperative now has a huge dryer for the coffee. The women of the cooperative have their own project and small process machinery; they shell and toast the dried coffee bean, grind and bag it and fill gold cellophane bags. Their coffee is named, Coffee FEMININA, or of the WOMEN, of the cooperative. Their coffee is completely organic and sold in the cooperative for five dollars a pound. The red shell that comes off the coffee bean, after being thoroughly washed, is preserved and transported to the project of worms, in the same community, and used in production of organic fertilizer. This fertilizer is provided to members for their coffee plants and other herbs for the next harvest.




Monday, November 21, 2011


The eye surgeons and assistants have returned to their homes in California. Regina, Guatemalan medical resident in Ophthalmology, assisted in surgeries and will return on Friday to follow up on operated patients. Thirty eight patients had eye surgery, twenty five patients for cataract removal. One hundred ninety eight patients passed ophthalmology consult and also were screened for diabetes. Eight new Diabetics were diagnosed and will attend Diabetic Club on Friday.

One special patient was 20 year old Diego. Diego, insulin dependent diabetic, is in control the last two years in the Clinica Maxena; it is not known how long he was diabetic before diagnosed. As a juvenile diabetic he is brittle, malnourished, and with bouts of depression. Loss of his eyesight was sudden and perhaps cause of his recent depression and abandonment of insulin treatment. We quickly made a house call and brought him to the clinic. Fortunately it was right prior to the arrival of the Eye doctors. He was diagnosed as legally blind from bilateral cataracts. The right cataract was successfully removed last week and the left cataract will be removed in April in the Clinica Maxeña. The next brigade of Ophthalmologists will be from Montana. He was smiling as he could again read the eye chart. Diego is studying mechanical drawing for an associate degree. His education is supported by Sr Anna's education support project.

The Clinica Maxena is busy every day. Each day brings very poor patients to medical consult. Most of these patients have acute illness although daily we are seeing chronic illness with more cancer, diabetes, Aids patients and a resurgence of Tuberculosis.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops is preparing a document of analysis of the Health care in Guatemala and will present it to the new President who will take office in 2012.

We ask for your continued support, and interest in the work of the Clinica Maxeña. Times are economically difficult as we confront daily medical emergencies for the Mayan population we serve. We need more financial support to successfully begin 2012 with a full staff!

You can donate on line at:
Note for the Clinica Maxeña
or send check to Diocese of Helena
Mr. Mark Frei
Guatemalan Mission
Nurses Fund Checks to Diocese of Helena
PO BOX 1729
HELENA MT. 59601

Attached is a photo of Diego, following surgery with sunglasses, to protect his eye from light; the second photo shows Diego with Dr Marty and Dra Lauren, who performed his surgery, and his MOM.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Visiting Surgeons give the Gift of Sight

Good Morning friends and family,
Today is the last day for Eye surgeries in the Clinica Maxeña. Daily more than forty patients waited on benches inside and out of the clinic. The doctors and surgical assistants came from California. Most of the patients are elderly and carry a wooden cane and assisted by family members.

Yesterday, however, Diego, our 20 year old insulin dependent diabetic, was operated on for a right cataract. Hopefully in April the left cataract will be removed. He is legally blind because of the cataracts. Catarina, 18 year old insulin diabetic, was diagnosed with retinopathy. Friday they will come to Diabetic Club of the Clinica Maxeña. We will commemorate World day of Diabetes.

These are all patients who could never pay a private surgeon for these operations. Our clinic charges less than one hundred dollars for cataract surgery. Many are exonerated as many do not have enough money now even to buy corn. Please pray for the Poor. You can help us to help them by putting the Clinica Maxeña on your christmas list. THANK YOU!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Enjoyable time in Seattle with Friends and Family!

Hello from Seattle,
I am off to Assembly tomorrow for CSJP and Tuesday will return to Guatemala. It has been quiet time in ways, but also relaxing. I had hoped to sell more crafts but I did ok so far and hope to share at assembly this weekend. I was able to witness to OCCUPY TACOMA, a large city near Seattle, with good Jesuit Friend BIX. I understand better the reality of the economic crisis and how even in our country the wealthy are dominating and health and education needs and unemployment are very real to the people here too. Unfortunately because of the economic crisis we have suffered greatly with a decrease in donations for our work in the Clinica Maxena. We ask for prayers and donations.

Last evening I was with a very good friend who was hosting a Indigenous delegation from Chiapas, Mexico in Seattle. It was enjoyable to share with them and know a little of their efforts also with sustainable agriculture. These projects give hope to the people and good for the Mayans to return to plant Mother Earth.

Last weekend I was with dear Guatemalan friends, Juan and Carlos, Carlos's wife Maggie and long time friend Linda. We work and played together many years in solidarity with the struggle for Justice in Guatemala, with many folk in Seattle, with a national affiliated group, GUASO, and a non profit weaving group for cooperatives, EL QUETZAL.

Tonight I am with my niece Patty and her husband Craig. I am very grateful for the hospitality of good friends Margy and Jerry who have visited our Mission. Jerry is an organic farmer who has provided seeds and knowledge with our agriculture team of the Clinica Maxena.

I am looking forward to sharing with the Sisters and Associates this weekend of the CSJP. I am also looking forward to return home to Guatemala on Tuesday. COCO is waiting for me.

Blessings. Sheila

Pictures include photo with BIX, SJ. Fr Bix is awaiting prison for protest for abolition of Nuclear arms. Myself, Carlos and Juan, Guatemalans, living in Seattle. AND there is COCO waiting for me to come HOME!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Friends and Family,
To share a bit about WORLD DAY OF HUNGER, OCTOBER 16, 2011 for the Clinica Maxeña

We were determined not to let the rains and clouds overhead dampen our spirit as we began saturday preparations to commemorate World Day of Hunger. Clinic personell and Mission folk were preparing 15 delicious dishes of food and drink in different homes and ovens.

A beautiful photo display was placed at the Church entrance and our booths and clinic workers filled the small enclosed yard. The photos were of our successful project of Sustainable Agriculture. The focus was the five large baskets on the Mayan nutritive herb, Berro, lined in front of the booths. This was the first harvest of this healthy herb, also with medicinal properties, and also part of our Nutritional Project for malnourished children.

We also promoted our very own nutritous, hot drink, "Atole Maxeña", which is made from ground and toasted soy, corn, rice, wheat, mush, and peanuts.

Music played as Chico offered lively information of World Day of Hunger and of our project of Sustainable Agriculture.

The Day climaxed with a Raffle: the first prize was Cinnamon, a Siberian Husky puppy, whose father is CHAJINEL, a mission guard dog. Second prize was an ONIL stove, which we promote in our Envionmental Project. This stove uses little firewood and has a chimney which prevents many of the pulmonary diseases we encounter.

As the people began to disperse, with clouds still hanging overhead and a light drizzle of rain, the clinic personell began to give as gift to the elderly, bunches of the herb BERRO. Earlier in the day many purchased this herb which is used in salads, stews and patties, cooked over the open fire.

Attatched are pictures of the day. Blessings¡

Please donate on line for the work of the Clinica Maxeña at Note that your donation is for Clinica Maxena. thanks.
Love sheila

Friday, October 14, 2011


Friends and Family,
Breast feeding is part of the Mayan culture. Babies are carried on the mothers back, usually in a Mayan weaving, from the time of birth until they are walking about alone. Psychologists claim this contributes to the reality that mental illness and psychological issues are decreased in the population.

Why then is there such a need for infant formula? The reality is that malnutrition in women is very prevalent. Mothers are anemic and malnourished when they give birth, mostly with traditional midwives in their mountain villages. Their maternal milk is limited, sometimes non existant! Few receive prenatal care, although it is encouraged. The mountain village project, which is funded by the European Union, and initiated and part of the Clinica Maxeña for five years, has an excellent maternal health project but this includes only 22 mountain villages in our area and there are now more than 90! The Ministry of Health is also focusing on Maternal infant care as maternal deaths for Mayan women in Guatemala are high. Resources are limited and the Ministry of Health does not follow up or offer any infant supplement. Consequently the mothers and infants come to our clinic with their need to provide milk for the babies. Today parents, carrying twins in their arms, arrived at our door. One infant was born at home with a midwife the other for complication in the National Hospital. They are 22 days old with an average weight now of 4 pounds. The mom has an impediment in ambulating since birth. They were give little support for these premature infants. The mother spent seven days in the hospital and now she has no breast milk as she was given no support to maintain the breast milk. The twins are now enrolled in our Nutrition project, and their care and weights will be followed by our doctor. They are instructed on nutrition needs and when and what foods can be given to the infant to supplement the formula gifted. We were happy to welcome them to our Nutrition Project¡

Infant formula cost fifteen dollars for two pounds. We also have to be concerned for contamination of the water used and the condition of the baby bottle and nipples. It is not a solution but a need! We know the baby should be getting breast milk. Poverty and unemployment have brought about increased hunger and malnutrition to our area. We ask for your prayers and donations! We know the economic crisis in the world is affecting generosity of our benefactors; we dare to ask, to beg for your support! Blessings! Sheila

Send donations on line to Note for the Clinica Maxeña!

Attatched the young parents of premature twins. The mother has no milk, is very poor and disabled. She will attend the Nutrition program and the Clinic will provide formula. THANK YOU for your donation¡

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Friends and Family,
Today we accompanied Tomas and his family in his final farewell. Rains were heavy at moments and we all were drenched as we were present in the wake, funeral mass, and burial of our beloved friend and work companion of the Clinica Maxena, Tomas Lopez. Tomas was a very special person and loved by all who had the privelege to know him; he worked 35 years in the Clinica Maxena and retired two years ago at 75 years of age as a night guard and janitor. He was a poor man; he had 8 children and 60 grandchildren and great grandchildren. They chose to build their humble homes together in a small plot of land. Their doors were always open to each other and to the homeless; he was the center and Heart of the family. Tomas died of Liver cancer three months after diagnosis. He died with great dignity and peace. He called his family together to talk and comfort each and give counsel. He asked that his humble home be repaired for his wife before his death. His children completed the request and he was moved back into his home one day prior to his death. The home is made of wood and a dirt floor. He asked that they welcome those who were coming to him now with coffee and bread as he would do so, if he was able.

Hundreds came to the wake. Here the custom is to bring a few pounds of sugar and a small donation is dropped into the basket on top of the casket. The wake included a band and many church leaders offering prayer and homage, including Sr ANNA of our Mission. Plastic chairs were rented to accomodate the crowd. The service ended about midnight. The workers of the clinic made beautiful flower arrangements for the occassion and all came to pay last respects. The family borrowed money to provide the final farewell to their Dad and grandfather.

Today was the Funeral Mass. The sky was overcast but the rain did not come during the service or walk to the cemetery. THANK YOU TOMAS!!

Following the mass, as is the custom here for many, the casket makes rounds to homes of the children, as a last good bye. We were honored that TOMAS was brought to the clinic as a final good bye. The workers carried the flower arrangements they had made and other workers carried his casket three blocks from the church to the clinic. Chico, a clinic personell, gave the last farewell to Tomas. The casket was carried to the door of the CLINIC and the carriers genuflected three times, in respect and as a last farewell. The casket of TOMAS was then carried to the cemetery by clinic workers and accompanied by hundreds with flowers and tears. ADIOS TOMAS! VAYA CON DIOS!

Thank YOU for accompanying us on our JOURNEY to serve our brothers and sisters in GUATEMALA. Donate on line to the Clinica Maxena at

Sheila McShane, RN
Director of Clinica Maxena
Visit us also on FACEBOOK.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Friends and Family,
Tomas is 77 years old. He is the father of 8 and over 65 grandchildren and great grandchildren. All his family have built their homes together in their small plot of land. He is well accompanied now in this final journey of life. He has liver cancer; we have taken him to the city to the Cancer hospital; his diagnosis is confirmed and the family is aware and accepting that comfort care is all that can be offered.

Tomas worked over 30 years in the Clinica Maxena as janitor and night guard; he retired two years ago; he is well loved and respected by all the workers. He has a very deep faith and shares his spiritual wisdom with all. He is a eucharistic minister and often visited the sick to administer the blessed sacrament; now others are doing the same for him. He spends most his day in the reclining chair that the clinic bought for him. Daily visitors are coming to spend some time with him and his wife Maria. He can barely now get around with the walker.

We decided last week to bring Tomas to the clinic to share lunch with the workers. We welcomed him and his wife Maria with music and joy. He is weak and jaundiced but as always he is smiling. We all enjoyed chicken stew lunch. On the table was the statue of Hermano Pedro, a proclaimed Saint for the SICK. Hermano Pedro is from Guatemala and his picture hangs in the entrance of the clinic. I presented the statue as a gift to Tomas. After lunch each worker knelt to hug Tomas. Tomas continued his don of giving encouragement and advice to each worker. Tears and hugs shared.

Tomas is my Cumpadre, that is, I am the Godmother of four of his children in Baptism. I was very young then when he asked me. I remember very fondly taking him and his young family on a journey to Esquipulas, the National Shrine of the Black Christ. This was an eight hour journey and we went on the bus. I remember there were beggars on all the steps up to the entrance of the church. Tomas went up the steps, dropping a few coins in each of the beggars hands. This deeply impressed me as Tomas and his family were very poor themselves.

Life has its blessings and having Tomas as a friend and cumpadre is a very special blessing for me. Thank You Tomas!!


Attatched are photos with Dr Ever presenting Tomas with funds collected from fellow workers, the statue of Blessed Brother Pedro with candle and Tomas giving words of encouragement and gratitude to me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Veggies are Planted as World Day of Hunger approaches

Friends and Family,
This past week, our agricultural team spent another day with Mother Earth. This time we planted some of the unused land on our mission property, as a demonstrative garden, with several vegetables and herbs. The clinic agricultural team will complete this phase of the project next week; we hope to have a few of the vegetables and herbs for our Organic Produce Fair on October 16, World Day of Hunger. We know we will have a lot of the herb, BERRO, to use in some delicious recipes and also to sell that day. Also we will have a delicious Chicken stew we are calling Organic chicken stew, LA MAXEÑA! One of my dear organic chickens will be enjoyed by many.

Today, mothers of malnourished babies came together to learn new concepts of how they can supplement their babies diet, pick up infant formula, weights obtained, and a few ill babies had doctor consult. They also visited the newly planted garden.

Keep tuned as our project expands and World Day of HUNGER draws near!

TODAY also is International Day for Peace. Workers paused for a minute in prayer for individual PEACE and PEACE in our World!

Attatched is a photo of the team watching as two women workers, Estefana and Maria, plant Amaranta, a plant rich in protein. Another photo, shows some of the mothers with malnourished infants, visiting the newly planted garden.

Blessings of PEACE from Guatemala!

Remember you can donate on line at and note it is for the Clinica Maxeña. Thank you for your support and interest.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Agricultural Garden has a NAME!

Friends and Family,
It has been five weeks since we planted BERRO, a nutritive, medicinal plant in our Agro-sostenible Garden, about three miles from our clinic. We are excited to see the success and we will be presenting the nutritive herb, Berro, as part of celebration of WORLD DAY OF HUNGER on October 16th! We will also use the first harvest in our Nutrition class for malnourished children during the monthly nutrition class. The mothers will be taught a few recipes of Berro, and given some of this nutritious herb to take home. We will in the future be providing them class on planting vegetables and providing seedling to them.

Yesterday the Agricultural team met to discuss plans to now plant vegetables in the extra space on the mission property, as a demonstrative garden. There is talk of potatoes, beans, celery, radishes, amaranta, and yucca. These are all vegetables grown in the mayan culture and sold in our Sunday market; most of our population would not enjoy these nutritive foods for financial reasons.

The agricultural team also decided on a name for our garden in the Mayan Village of Xejuyup, "GARDEN, MARIA IXCHEL". MARIA IXCHEL is the MAYAN GODDESS of PLANTS.

We also harvested our small patch of corn cobs that we planted a few months ago and we will celebrate INDEPENDENCE DAY OF GUATEMALA, which is September 15th, with a hot drink of ATOLE DE ELOTE, a cultural drink from corn, for the Mayan population, with the workers today.

From all of us in the Clinica Maxena, our greetings and thanks for your financial support, which makes possible our work in serving the Poor, in this region of the world!
Attatched is our Garden "MARIA IXCHEL" and the Herb BERRO!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuberculosis makes a comeback!

Friends and Family,
There have been many changes in Health Care during the more than twenty years I was absent from Guatemala.  Certainly notably is the presence of an increase of doctors in the rural area.  Diagnostic tests are much more common to confirm and to diagnose illness.  The Clinica Maxena has grown as has the population.  Health needs are much more complex but the poverty has increased and this complicates the health care of such a vast population.  The Ministry of Health care system for the population has become less efficient and little improvement has been made in hospitals and the rural health care system by the government.  The Catholic Church and other private health systems struggle to help the most poor with acute and chronic illness.  Diabetes, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Malnutrition, AIDS, are the most acute illnesses and costly at this time for our Clinic.

Today we admitted to our infirmary, Magdalena, 25 year old single mom, with Tuberculosis, severe anemia and malnutrition; she weighs only 78 pounds. Last week we did transfuse her with two units of blood provided by siblings.  She lives with her parents, brothers and sisters in a two room, rustic home, in a mountain village. Her son is four years old.  Tuberculosis medications are provided by the Ministry of Health.  Next week her child will be checked with a skin test for tuberculosis. The other family members will not be checked unless symptomatic. Great limitations for diagnosis and treatment exists for financial reasons but it is discouraging to see Tuberculosis back on the health scene. Please keep in prayer all the dear people we serve and if possible send us a donation to help us provide improved medical care for all those who knock on our clinic door. Thank You and blessings. sheila

Send donation to and note for the Clinica Maxena.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is the significance of a DOOR!

Friends and Family,
Our clinic door has been deteriorating with the years. Every morning, five days a week, it is opened at 6am, by the night janitors, to welcome patients who rise early for a number to see our doctor. Today a new, varnished door, made from scratch from a cedar tree of a near by community, was finally hung by two of our maintenance team, Diego and Pedro. Pedro is a young carpenter, who has worked in the clinic the last two years; he has worked with great care for the last two months to complete his task. It is a beautiful door and we are all pleased and proud of our OPEN DOOR! Thank you Pedro!

As mission people, serving the POOR, it is important our door to our clinic and to our hearts is always open. Daily more and more poor have health needs. We are daily concerned how we are going to serve all those who knock on our door. Today a young man of 34 years came with appearing first symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Many people in his community are praying for his recovery. Wednesday we will take him to a Neurologist in the next town. Tomas, a former worker of our clinic, is suffering from terminal cancer. We will accompany him on his journey now as a hospice patient. Manuela is 14 years old; she was sexually abused and gave birth by caesarean. She does not have sufficient breast milk so we will supplement her infant with formula. Her mother is very supportive, and since she too is breast feeding another child, she is both mother and grandmother to this infant. Thank You for accompanying us in our journey to serve all those who knock on our door.

Send your donation to and note for the Clinica Maxeña.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Intestinal Parasites still very present in our World

Family and Friends,
In the sixties when we opened our clinic, parasites was one of our main diagnosis. People did not wear shoes, so hook worm was common. Potable water was almost non existent in the mountain villages, higiene a real challenge, so many different species of worms were present. Bloated stomachs, diarrhea and abdominal pain were very common in children. Our diagnostic lab was mostly symptomatic in those years, although early on we did have a small antique microscope and our pormotors and we the nurses were able to diagnose the different eggs of parasites. We would go out to the villages with gallons of worm medicine and all the chiildren got a dose.

Times have change. We have an excellent doctor, a very good diagnostic laboratory. Everyone wear shoes, although usually the plastic sandals; most villages do have access to water, though poorly maintained, contaminated systems. Out door letrines, out houses, would be more common, although many of the poor still lack this human necessity in some villages. Parasites still do exist. Amoebas are probably the most common intestinal parasite diagnosed in our clinic laborartory; ascaris, round worm, is still present in small children, but not that common. Ascaris is the parasite that can still cause havoc for a child; it can cause much abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, when worms multiply in the intestinal system.

Friday, a seven year old child arrived to our emergency room; her name is Wendy, certainly not a common Mayan name. She was weak and crying with abdominal pain. Other acute diagnosis were eliminated and the laboratory confirmed ascaris. The child was admitted to our clinic and hydration and pain meds administered by our doctor and antiparasitic medication. With the pain medication the abdominal cramping became less intense and she was able to sleep at intervals. She has had to stay the weekend and our doctor will stop by today, even though it is Sunday. She has expelled a few of the parasites. The parents are with her twenty four hours, caring for her every need. In the absence on weekends of our clinic workers, I provide the meals for her parents and the medications and care for her. She is one of nine children and the father, like most field workers, is unemployed. When he arrived, he told me immediately, he had no money. This is not the issue for us though reality is our clinic is having economic issues with more and more charity patients. In this instance we will have the father work in our garden next week for a few days to pay for medication and in patient costs. We rely on our friends and support for our Mission to help us help others! THANK YOU!!

Visit the facebook site of CLINICA MAXENA also. Thanks and BLESSINGS!!!

Attached is a photo of Wendy and her mom and COCO, my dog. Wendy is much improved with intermittent pain and eating a bit. The doctor may request an ultra sound if pain is not gone tomorrow.

Diagnosis by Ultrasound also showed HEPATITIS. Parasites also still a diagnosis. . Wendys ultrasound cost to clinic was sixty dollars. Thank you for your help to cure WENDY.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A long walk for Medical Help!

Friends and Family,
Friday morning early a young married man of 26 years arrived at the clinic doorstep, strapped to a chair, carried by his father and brother. They live in a remote village, high in the mountains, with only twenty families. This village would be one of the original Mayan mountain villages. The family desperate to see their son cured carried him in the chair for four hours then went in the back of a truck for twenty minutes to our clinic. There is no medical help or pharmacy where they live. They had heard of our clinic through a health promotor that worked in our Medicinal Plant clinic many years ago. Diego, had fever for over ten days with only tylenol tablets for relief.

Transportation and roads have definitely improved over the years. Most villages do have roads and many pickups and cars. Prosperity for purchase of vehicles and better homes is related to migration of undocumented men to the United States who managed to send money home or returned with savings to improve their lives here. There are, however, some villages isolated from roads and electricity yet.

The town of Santo Tomas now has an ambulance for the community and our clinic utilizes this valuable service. Years ago many patients arrived strapped to chairs and carried in to our parish clinic, mostly chronic illness that had gone untreated. So it was an unusual happening when Diego arrived for consult to our clinic, strapped to a chair, carried by his father. Our doctor ordered lab tests, hidration, and medications. The patient and family agreed to stay over night. Lab results did not give a definite diagnosis and we were hoping Diego would agree to stay the weekend so we obtain further diagnostic tests. His Dengue test was negative but this disease often does not manifest positive for some days, and the doctor had wanted to follow up. The patient wanted to go home to his family; he left this morning stronger, without fever for 24 hours. We provided antibiotic injections and other medications if the fever should return. Another change in society is cell phones. the brother did provide me his number and the doctor will follow up by phone on Monday. They agreed to return if his symptoms of fever return. Diego walked out of the clinic and down the road with his brother carrying the empty chair. We were glad we were able to priovide his care in our clinic. Thank You for your donations who assist us to provide medical care at minimal cost and when necessary free of charge. Have a good day!

A photo of Diego, his father and brother and when they departed from the clinic, walking down our road, now carrying the chair.

Send donation on line at or
send to
Guatemala Mission
Diocese of Helena
PO Box 1729
Helena, MT
Note for Clinica Maxena.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Presidential Candidates come to our area¡

Friends and Family,
Presidential elections will happen on September 11, 2011. Violence has plagued the candidates of several parties and there have been assasinations in some communities. There also has been constitutional battles and today the candidate, Sandra Torres, wife of actual President of Guatemala, was disqualified. She was in second place and this has now shook up the race.

As foriegners and also Church people, we do not become involved in politics of the country. When I was back in the United States for many years and involved with a solidarity organization, a voice for the injustices of the Guatemalan people, I did become acquainted with one of the present Presidential candidates, Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Laureate from Guatemala. She visited Seattle, Washington, where I was living and I did feel honored to know her. I decided to go to the rally in one of our communities, to listen, and say hello to her. I was glad I did.

We ask for prayers as this dear country holds Presidential and Congressional elections next month, that there will be a decrease of violence and more justice and Health and Educational Programs to benefit the poor. We ask your prayers that leaders chosen in a democratic election will represent the interests of all Guatemalans. Thank You¡


Friends and Family,
We have been blessed to have had a very special employee in the Clinica Maxena for many years; Tomas Lopez retired in January 2010 at 75 years of age. He had worked for the mission for 42 years. He lives amidst his 8 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in a small community, but with all their homes built together! They are truly a family. Their doors are always open to one another and persons in need. They now number more than sixty in their family compound!

Tomas left the clinic to enjoy retirement and to continue to volunteer in the church and community and to spend more time enjoying life and family. Tomas is a Eucharistic minister and visits the sick. A few months ago he was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. Miraculously so far he has had little pain. He is in evaluation in the Cancer Hospital in the city for more diagnostic tests, and discussion of treatment. Yesterday he had a biopsy and will return today to his family.

When we began our service in the Clinica Maxeña, more that 45 years ago, Cancer was not a diagnosis that was a health issue. It has been in the last few years that monthly we have more and more patients with this diagnosis; perhaps it is because our clinic does more diagnostic tests but also the reality that the diets of the people have changed and include much more chemicals and fast foods. Papanicolau exams are offered monthly for seven dollars in the Clinica Maxeña. We have had several women diagosed with cervical or uterine cancer and treated with radiation and sometimes chemotherapy, with success. We ask patients who can afford their trips to city, diagnostic tests and treatment, to provide their own expenses. We do accompany the poor with treatments and hospice comfort care, when needed. The health needs of the poor are more complex now and more expensive. The clinic's mission is to accompany the most poor in their health needs. We feel blessed to walk this journey and ask for your continued generosity as you walk with us. Blessings and THANKS from all of us. sheila

Attatched is a picture of Tomas, returning from his journey to the Cancer Hospital, accompanied by his two sons, Martin and Jose. Martin is head of Pastoral Health for the clinic and in charge of Maintenance.

Your donation on line helps the Clinica Maxena accompany the most poor patients in treatments and diagnostic tests. We who have been given much, much is expected of us!

Thank YOU. Donate on line at Note for the Clinica Maxena.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Violence near HOME

Friends and Family,
This past week violence came close to home. First there was the town alarm going off about 9pm on Wednesday, alerting the population that there was an emergency in town. One of the night clinic janitors went up to check on it. A nine year old girl was sexually abused by three young men, apparently on drugs. She was taken to the hospital and they caught two of the youths responsible and were taken to the next city to jail. Today the little gal came to see our doctor, with mostly headaches and psychological trauma. Her parents were with her and our doctor attended to her. She was able to relate the incident.

Extorsions and assasinations of bus drivers has been a reality all over the country, and though a history here, it had not been a major issue. This was true as many chose to pay the extorsion but others not. A threat came by anonymous phone call and they did not respond. Last night a bus was attacked on our road. A sixteen year old teen age gal passenger died from gunshot wound to the head and the chofer of the bus is wounded and hospitalized. Our road into town today has military and police presence.

Today and tomorrow there are presidential candidates visiting our area. Pray for peace and justice for this dear country and its beautiful people. They deserve it. Thank You!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Friends and Family,
Last week, about half of our clinic workers participated in "A DAY IN THE FIELDS"; the other workers stayed in their posts so seeing patients would not be interrupted. For months now we have talked about and planned, and prayed, how we would confront the reality of increased malnutrition in children, scarcity of food in homes and HUNGER; these realities are due to inflation and unemployment and change in agriculture practices. The price of corn has almost doubled in the market, as has sugar. Corn and beans, sugar, coffee, herbs are staples of the mayan diet. Chemical spraying of the coffee bushes destroyed the wild healthy herbs that before were very accessible.

Over forty years ago we arrived in Guatemala; we came to establish a diosecean Mission with the Mayan people in the mountains of Guatemala. Life was very different. Certainly there was more sickness as there were no doctors in the rural area; no vaccines, much communicable disease, few pharmacies and a few government clinics with minimal medicine managed by auxiliar nurses. Agricultural practices were also very different; the mountains were planted with corn, up and down steep hills and right up to the door steps of the people; beans were planted among the corn. They lived then in bamboo homes with thatched leaves as roofs. There was more solidarity among the people in the Mayan communities. There were few vehicles. The mayan people exchanged food products among one another as cash was scarce. Less children were hungry!

Along came globalization, following decades of armed conflict and political disappearances; the Mayans rose up against the injustices they became aware of through education and their faith. Coffee, a cash crop, took the place of the fields of corn! Now there is hunger, few fields of corn, little cash, inflation, unemployment and resurgence of violence, but now more criminal than political.

We knew we had to be realistic for the children to survive from hunger! Workshops provided by Pastoral Health of our diocese and ASECSA, a Health Promotor Association that we have been members since it was found in the seventies, brought us to the reality to look for solutions in Mother Earth!

Our first "field day" was to clear a small patch of land for our demonstration garden. It is in a mountain village about two miles from the clinic. The land is loaned to us by one of our workers. It is approximately 20 meters square. The Diocese of Helena Foundation provided the Clinica Maxena with a 5,000. dollar grant for our nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture project. We are hopeful and excited. We continue with our nutrition classes with the moms and malnourished children to monitor the infants and children recovery to health. Formula milk is provided, when necessary, to infants and the Clinic Maxenas healthy nutritious drink, ATOLE MAXENA, to others in the project. New infants and children under 5 are enrolled as they are diagnosed by our doctor in the Clinica Maxena.

This next week the second field day will happen. We are still cleaning this patch of land and have not yet planted the healthy herb, BERRO, and hopefully vegetables, corn and beans. We are learning as we go along. Four of our workers are attending workshops every few moths on Sustainable Agriculture and bring new ideas!

Keep tuned! Pray for us and donate to help our clinic through this difficult time! THANK YOU!
send your donation on line to and note that it is for the Clinica Maxena.

Fotos include working the land together and sitting down to enjoy a pot luck lunch, MAYAN STYLE!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Manuel returns HOME, JOYFUL NEWS

Friends and Family,
Today, Manuel a 12 year old student from our parish school, came home after 6 weeks in Guatemala City hospitals, for surgery of a complicated benign tumor in his nasal pharangeal area. He has lost weight as he has not been able to eat or swallow much food for many weeks. We are very grateful for the intervention of a pediatric surgeon who assisted in finding a competent surgeon to perform this surgery. Manuel was moved from the National Hospital, Roosevelt, to a private Catholic Hospital, Juan Pablo Segundo, property of the Catholic Archdiocese of Guatemala City, and supported by CARITAS. We are very grateful to all who interceded to help Manuel find a solution to this grave condition. Our own Bishop Pablo Vizcaino assisted in helping me make the right contacts so this surgery, and hospitalization was provided free of charge. This was a blessing as the Clinica Maxeña is having economic issues.

Manuel is weak but he is very intent to return to school as soon as possible. He insisted he wanted to go home and not stay in the clinic. His home is high in a mountain village. His mom died in childbirth and his father went to the states leaving him and two siblings with his two sets of grandparents to care for them. They are very attentive. Our plan is to facilitate Manuels return to school as a dormitory student so we can monitor his recuperation. Thank You for your prayers and to all who followed Manuels recuperation on my blog.

I include a photo with his younger sister taken today on the Clinic patio before he went home in a vehicle provided by the family. Please continue to pray for his full recovery.

Thank You for support of our work in the Clinica Maxeña¡

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Team Members a JOY

Friends and Family,
It is late and unusual to have internett at this hour. Cricketts chirping, a cool breeze following an evening shower. I read about a storm, DORA, threatening the Pacific coast. That should bring heavy rains our way.

Clinic very busy today. I also had a meeting with my administrative team in the clinic. We planned a field day for some workers next week who will get our sustainable agricultural program going full steam. We are grateful for a donation from Diocese of Helena Foundation for our Nutritional Project. We also planned our next General Meeting this week. We are attempting to find new ideas here to supplement our budget. Donations are down and our needs with the sick continue to grow. Coming together as a team is very important and often new ideas merge. Music, Prayer and a healthy snack also raises our spirit to continue to serve with JOY.

This weekend our Mission team was together for the first time. We are happy that we are now six persons, and most welcoming is the reality that the two most recent are not seniors! Jake, in his twenties, is adjusting to his role as supervisor of over 50 young male high school dormitory students in our junior, senior Mayan school. He is also in charge of the scholarship program for students in the school, translating letters for sponsors. He enjoys the diet of black beans, eggs, and occassional chicken, which is a blessing; also jumping into the back of the truck for transport to and from the school not a hardship for him. We usually see him several times during the week when there is no internett or water in the school. Thanks Jake for your spirit!

Father Kevin, also from Montana, will be the new pastor come fall. He is in language school, in Xela, about two hours from the mission and a large city; he seems to be learning quickly as already able to carry on some conversation. He is coming home on weekends to learn more about the parish work here from Father Hazy. This past weekend we celebrated his birthday with our favorite lunch, fried chicken and mash potatoes and of course a CAKE. Welcome too, Fr Kevin.

Keep our work in your prayers as many economic challenges here and also election time so also a lot of violence daily in the newspapers.

Have a good night!

Sheila and lots of furry creature friends!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Diabetes, Cancer, Malnutrition, Surgeries

Family and Friends,
Here at the Clinica Maxeña I have witnessed much progress in the health care provided and the Diagnosis of Disease. I was one of the Register Nurses from Montana that co found the Clinica Maxeña in 1966 as a parish mission clinic of the Diocese of Helena, MT. There was no medical doctor for the first five years. The patients came mostly carried in chairs and usually with chronic disease in advanced stages. Communicable disease was rampant, such as Tuberculosis, Measles, Whooping cough; malnutrition was severe and there were more maternal deaths, and tetanus in newborn infants. Doctors in the rural area were almost nil except in National Hospitals.

Today four doctors live in or near Santo Tomas. Ultrasounds and laboratory are now vital for doctors to make a correct diagnosis. There are over 15 Pharmacies in our community of over 12,000 population. There are more than seventy mayan indigenous communities in the mountains near us. As a parish clinic we continue to serve the most poor. Our mission clinic supplements much of the diagnostic tests that are requested by our doctor. Our medications are sold at a much lower cost to the patient. We accompany patients to Guatemala City for cancer treatments and to another city for AIDS antiviral treatments. Cancer treatments were before supplemented by the government by 50% but this is no longer true. AIDS treatments are free for these patients. Only emegency surgeries are done in National Hospital and much of their budget is for patients who have suffered violence in the present environment in Guatemala.

The more common diseases, treated by our doctor in our clinic today, are Diabetes, Cancer, and Malnutrition. We have several patients requiring surgery monthly, mostly for gallbladder and hernias. These patients are referred to Catholic Institutions who bring brigades of doctors from the US and provide surgeries for minimal cost of one hundred dollars. For the very poor we supplement this cost also. Our budget continues to rise. We have to depend on generosity of others. The Gospel tells us the Poor will be with us always. Thank You for walking this journey with us.

In this country, that has no health insurance and a socialized system that does not function, much responsibility falls to religious Institutions. Thank You again. Please donate on line or send donation to following direction in Helena, MT.

Donate on line at: and note for the Clinica Maxeña or send to

Diocese of Helena
Guatemala Mission
PO Box 1729
Helena, MT 59624 note for the Clinica Maxeña

The Clinica Maxeña is on Facebook. Visit our site. thank you

Friday, July 8, 2011


Friends and Family,

Giving Birth is always a joyous occasion for the parents and also the doctor and those who assist. We do not have many births in the Clinica Maxeña but our doctor does assist when the birth is difficult or the midwife is concerned and brings the mother to our emergency room. Today a baby girl came into the world in the Clinica Maxeña. It was the mothers third baby. She appeared exhausted and unable to push the baby in to the world. Juana, the Mayan midwife, brought her, the husband and the mom to the clinic. With the help of our doctor, Ever, it was just a short time when we heard the cry of the new baby. Intravenous fluid was started and the mom and baby will stay a few hours before returning to their home this evening.

Very few women from the mountain villages choose to have their babies in a national hospital or in a government clinic, with a doctor attending; most babies are are born in their homes, under primitive conditions with a Mayan midwife attending the birth. Maternal and infant deaths are less frequent but do happen; some attention and education of the Mayan midwives has been provided but it is indeed minimal. Mayan midwives are not valued or recognized by the Ministry of Health, as they should be. Education has changed some thinking of the next generation and they are more likely to go to the hospital or private doctor for birth. Finances also play a role in these decisions. Women from the mountain villages continue to choose a Mayan midwife who will charge about fifteen dollars for a delivery and follow up care. If a woman is very poor her attention by the midwife will not depend on her ability to pay; for the Midwife her role is a calling, a vocation, and not a paid profession.

The needs are so great in this part of the world for adequate health care, especially for the POOR. Medical care is expensive for them and more and more medicine is becoming privatized. The Poor depend on church leaders to bring their needs to the ears of government officials. Guatemala is in the midst of presidential elections and congressional elections. These are violent times, much lacks in the democratic process. The CHURCH here is very vocal in speaking out for the POOR. WE ask for your prayers in this time that changes can be made in the area of HEALTH to provide more adequate care in government hospitals and clinics to provide more just care that respects the Mayan Culture.

Thank You for accompanying the Clinica Maxeña in providing care for the most POOR.

Send your donation on line to: and note it is for the Clinica Maxeña.

Blessings and have a good DAY.
attatched the parents with their new baby girl and
the mdiwife sitting with the mother in our emergency room following the birth.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Clinica Maxeña commemorates World day of ENVIRONMENT!

Friends and Family,
Internationally, June 5th is proclaimed, by the United Nations, as World Day of the Environment. The clinic came together this last week to reflect on what we are doing and not doing as a Health Institution to SAVE THE PLANET! The enviromental team of health workers for the clinic prepared an exposition to share with the Public. The exposition is in our meeting room and will be available for the Public during the Month of July; clinic workers came together as our Pastoral Health and the first group to reflect on these ideas.

They expressed their thoughts and committments on changes they want so to bring about a better world to live in for themselves and generations to come.
-Share information with my family, friends, and neighbors
-Optimally use firewood, gas, water, and electricty
-Do not accept plastic bags at the time of purchase! Use a Clinica Maxeña Recycle Bag!
-Plant a tree! Reforestar
-Do not use sterifoam and other disposable items that contaminate the environment
-Share information of this theme with teachers, committees and community leaders!


I attatch some photos of our Day of the Environment in the Clinica Maxeña!
Our banner for World Environment Day with the Environmental Exposition in our meeting place.
CHICO AND GIOVANI silk screening our contribution to recycle bag with clinic emblem
and message to not use plastic bags!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Manuel, 12 yr old child, needs Prayer!

Manuel has been in the Roosevelt hospital for two weeks. He is a student in junior high at our parish school, Asuncion. As previously explained in my blog on May 20, 2011, Manuel has an apparent benign nasopharangeal tumor. We had difficulty convincing the grandparents to allow him to go to the city to this hospital for the surgery. The child was staying with his paternal grandparents. They insisted he could not go to the city and they and their church community would pray for his recovery. The child, after suffering pain and nasal hemorrhage, decided to move in with his maternal grandparents, who said he could have the surgery and the grandfather would accompany him during his hospitalization. His mother has died and his father is eight years in the USA as an undocumented immigrant. Manuel has two younger siblings.

Two weeks has past in the hospital and we maintain daily phone conversation with the grandfather and also frequent communication with the Pediatric surgeon, Dr Gonzales. Manuels surgery is anticipated to be delicate and requires a specialist. The chief of Pediatric surgery in Roosevelt Hospital, Dr Gonzales, is a friend of our clinic. He did his student practice as a resident under the supervision of the the Clinica Maxena many years ago. Such friends, in high positions, have been a real asset to our clinic in making references to hospitals in Guatemala City. Dr Gonzales told me today he had chosen a more experienced surgeon for this delicate operation. He is requesting transfer of Manuel to the Catholic private hospital in Guatemala City for the surgery. He said he would arrange with the administration that there will be no charge to the patient for the service. We are hopeful the surgery will take place this week. We ask for your prayers for Manuel. This tumor is highly vascular and he could possibly have hemorrhage during the operation.

Tomorrow I will go to the city and bring Manuel some of his studies from his teachers in Asuncion and also written greetings from his class companions. We will visit with his grandfather also to give him encouragement and support. Manuel is from a village high up in the mountains and he had been commuting daily to school.

Thank You for your prayers and support. Donations can be made on line for the Clinica Maxena at or send to

Diocese of Helena
Guatemala Missions
PO Box 1729
Helena, MT
note for the Clinica Maxena

Update: I enclose a picture of Manuel in his hospital bed in Pediatrics. We still have no news of impending surgery. Keep him in prayer. thank you!