Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June! the Month of the Environment

Friends and Family!

All over the world folks pause to become aware of their environment during this month. June 5th was World Day of Environment. I have become more conscious of the importance of caring what is happening to the resources of Creation since I came south of the border. The Clinica Maxena is planning activities for June 17th. This years theme is the FOREST and WATER.

Plant a TREE! That is our message. Here in Guatemala the forests are disappearing. Fire wood for most of the mayan population and forests fires have decreased dramatically the trees of the forest. Trees of the forest are part of the water cycle by preserving rain water, preventing erosion of the soil, diminishing landslides, providing materials we need, such a lumber, and firewood. We all must strive to maintain a sustainable forest. Be careful with campfires in the forest.

Last week we took visiting university students up the mountain to a source of water for a populous community with the task to plant a tree around the cement tank of water. I found it a difficult climb and I was sort of pulled up the hill by a fellow co worker, Manuel, of the clinic. THANKS MANUEL! I planted my tree and gave it a name, TEELIN, after the town where my dad was born in Ireland. Some of us will return there in a few months to see how our tree is growing!

On June 17, when the clinic comes together to commemorate the Day of the Environment, we again will each plant two trees. This time we are going to the cemetery in a nearby mountain village to plant trees around the perimeter of the cemetery. We will dialogue about how we can educate the public about WATER and the FOREST. We will raffle two ONIL stoves that save firewood and prevent disease from decrease of smoke in the homes. We will set up and exhibition in our meeting room and invite students from local schools to learn about how they can help preserve the forest and also provide water for the future for their children.

What are you doing to preserve the forest and water in your community and neighborhood?

You can donate 100. dollars to buy a stove for a Mayan family here in the mountain villages of Guatemala!

Send your donation to:
Guatemala Mission
Diocese of Helena
PO Box 1729
Helena, MT
Mention it is for the Clinica Maxena Stove Project

Blessings and Peace!

Photos include:
Campus Ministry director of University of Montana, Kirsten Hangass, admiring the forest!
and Myself, Sheila planting my tree!