Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sharing , Planning, Praying in General Meeting of Clinic

Yesterday, we came together as Clinic Workers, to pause, share, pray, laugh and plan for our Event for World day of FOOD and HUNGER. We no longer meet monthly; there are too many sick and we also cannot afford to close the clinic frequently for financial reasons. The Meeting was opened with PRAYER.

Many workers had gone to different workshops, meetings and visits. It is always good to share new ideas with all. Working together with other groups, making new friends and forming alliances also is very important for our work.

Those who visited another Quiche Parish shared first.  This Parish has many similar projects with us; Clinic, Medicinal Plants, Parish School, Farm animals, Sustainable Agriculture, Mayan Culture, and Quiche language. Exciting also for our workers was to share with their Spiritual Guide about Mayan Culture and the Mayan Celebration of 13 Ba'kun. We hope to form an alliance with them. Also exciting the Parish Workers of Santa Maria Chiquimula are planning a visit to our Parish Projects and hopefully for World Day of Hunger.

Miguel shared for three workers who went to another fascinating workshop on native SEEDS, and how to create a SEED BANK. They were able to bring back some seeds for Plants we do not have but soon we hope to in our Medicinal Plant Garden. This Project is also very MAYAN oriented and very knowledgeable of the Mayan Calendar and upcoming celebration of 13 Bak´ un.

Martin shared on the Pastoral Health gathering on the Environment. We shared with all the print copy of Bishop Pablo's Day on Humanization of Health and the GOSPEL. Our Bishop meets and shares this theme twice a year with Health Workers of the Diocese and the Clinic is always present with many delegates.

The last hour was planning our event of World Day of Hunger. The sustainable Agriculture will hold another planning meeting before October 14 to be sure all is ready and organized.

Sebastian gave a short sharing of the coming CELEBRATION of 13'Bakun; this is the end of the Mayan Calendar Year and the beginning of the next. This will be a Big Celebration and many countries that have Mayan Roots. Yes, the Clinic will celebrate 13'Bakun and we are blessed to have Sebastian to guide our Celebration; this celebration day is December 21, 2012.  Rumors and press were claiming this as the END OF THE WORLD but it is not!  The Clinic will have information days with Sebastian and others to prepare. Already each worker knows his NUWAL. Today we presented a very antique Mayan GOD which will be part of our celebration. We were gifted this precious antique just this week.

We finished our meeting with delicious organic chuchitos made with a piece of chicken and sauce and organic fresca of lemon and strawberries. The BANDA LA MAXEÑA PROVIDED MUSIC.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Clinic Workers Visit Other similar Parish Health Project

Six workers of the Clinica Maxeña traveled three hours to another Quiche Mayan Parish, Santa Maria Chiquimula, Totonicopan. This is a Jesuit parish that has similar projects to ours. There is a primary, junior high school, a clinic with a diagnostic laboratory, a Medicinal Plant project, community organic gardens, organic fertilizer, chickens, bunnies, pigs, ducks. Lovely farm like atmosphere.They were impressed with the workshops for carpentry, welding and farming as technical skills taught in their school. The group  retuned 2 days latter, tired, but enthused with what they learned.  Most important to them was their sharing with a Mayan Spiritual Director, that works in this parish, in Mayan Quiche translation. Our workers are interested to learn more and prepare for 13 Bak tún which will happen on December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan cycle and beginning of another; this happens every 400 years. Those who went on this excursion will share in the General Meeting, next Wednesday.

At the General Meeting, there will be sharing and planning also for the "WORLD DAY OF ALIMENTATION"; this day is to commemorate healthy food and HUNGER in the WORLD.  The Clinica Maxeña wiil celebrate in the court yard of our parish church with delicious organic food dishes, music of our band, raffles, healthy food advice and much more.  Raffles will include our ONIL STOVE, WATER PUIFICATOR AND FLOWER POTS OF SEEDLINGS OF ORGANIC NUTRITIVE AND MEDICINAL PLANTS TO RAFFLE AND SELL!.  SEE YOU THERE!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Independence Day, our Town and its People

 September 15 is INDEPENDENCE DAY, in Guatemala.  It is a National Holiday that features school students, dressed in their finest or new uniforms, marching to the music of drums and trumpets. It is not a day to have your car on the road.  Streets are crowded and food booths, fire works, bombs add to the festivities. During the past week, students also traveled to distant communities, on excursions. They return to the town in buses and trucks, some running ahead of the vehicles, with torches and horns blaring. For the parents, these festivities are an expense, which  most cannot afford, but somehow, the students all participate. Sacrifices are made.

This year, our town of 13,000, was more festive. The new mayor has an active interest to improve our community and it is very visible to the people. Certainly more young people have the opportunity to study, especially the girls, which is a blessing. Years ago when our Mission began in 1964, education was barely available to the Mayan and the poor. Yet unemployment is still rampant and poverty is increasing. Opportunities are not increasing at the level of the number of students, who are graduating from Secondary level. Internet cafes are available and the youth take advantage of the opportunity. Cell phones are very prevalent in the hands of the younger generation. Our Mission maintains a Junior, Senior High school, in a neighboring mountain village, with approximately 450 young mayan students. Hundreds of vehicles are now owned by the local people,  a huge improvement for the population

Violence is less prevalent in our area but not true for the country in general. Extortions, asassinations, robberies are a daily reminders in the newspapers.  Health Care is not available to the Poor, as it should be.  Hospitals and Government health Centers are always with minimal supplies and personnel and the Poor depend on alternative clinics or die young, from curable diseases. Hunger is very prevalent and Guatemala has one of the highest incidence of chronic child malnourishment. Tuberculosis is making a come back in mountain villages and towns. Aids is more diagnosed among the younger population and much education is lacking to prevent this disease.  ALL IS NOT WELL.

However, my conclusion is that YES, the population is better off, than forty years ago. Guatemala has a long way to go to be a peaceful, just society for all the population. Prayers, justice and economic opportunities are in vast need to achieve this change. International justice lacks for GUATEMALA in this very GLOBAL WORLD. Thank You for your presence in our lives and for helping us, help others.