Friends and Family,
It is always a joy to have visitors; they listen to the stories and inquire about the lives of these Mayan Indigenous people. The diocese of Helena, Montana have been journeying with these people for more than forty five years. Visitors slow us down to see the beauty in front of us. The wonder of rain and standing out in the middle of it, laughing and dancing to the raindrops, drenched to the skin. The noise of the buses at dawn as they pull out of town, with the loud horns, waking one up with a startle! The smiles of the children, are constant, even though they are hungry.
This week 13 visitors arrived at the mission. This group are mostly University of Montana Campus Ministry Program representatives; also included is the Director of Campus Ministry, and a worker of the Diocese of Helena and her husband. It is sort of an immersion dip into the reality of the world they encounter around them; it is distinct from the lives they lead on campus. They experience the poverty and yet joy of the Poor. The people are friendly and happy to have them in their midst. Today we shared the Clinica Maxena with them, including our Medicinal Plant Project and the Curative program in the clinic. They rode up in the back of the pick up with rain coming down. We stopped and visited a public Junior High school; an enthusiastic teacher talked briefly about the school. The reality is there are no books for the thirty students and only one Guide Book for the teacher for the eleven subjects he must teach. There are no computers, projectors or any teaching aides. Education is inferior in these village government schools and this make it difficult for students to advance to a University level. These visitors are sensitive to these realities as come together in the evening to reflect on their day! Tomorrow they will go to mass at a mountain village and share lunch with the community. There are adventures planned for the week. We are happy they make us also slow down and relflect on our lives in Guatemala.
Included a photo of the group, in the rain, in a small community we visited!