Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sustainable Agriculture and our "GOOD LIFE BOOTH"

Friends and Family,

We have spent a lot of energy and interest in organic gardens, promotion of nutritional food, reality of hunger in our midst, malnourished infants and children.   The Clinic has two demonstrative gardens; these gardens are used to teach and also for sharing the harvest, with malnourished children, in our nutrition project.  We do not have many answers but we realize we cannot deny the reality around us and have to look for solutions and organize.

We began to look to the EARTH for some answers a few years ago. Our interest and project of sustainable agriculture continues to grow and gain more interest.  We hope to soon form an ASSOCIATION, "LA MAXEÑA".  The center of the HUB will be our representatives of the Clinica Maxeña, of Sustainable Agriculture.  Others we hope will come from at least four other communities.  We have invited men of the fields, through our Pastoral Social Ministry, of the villages.  The objective will be to plant more family and community gardens and to work together in each others gardens to form solidarity. It is not religion based project, however, "ALL ARE WELCOME".

We also are pleased that our small booth, constructed from BAMBOO, is an effective voice to adervise our IDEAS and HOPES! "BUEN VIVIR", "GOOD LIFE".  This booth is located in front of the Clinic.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, clinic leaders share themes of good health and nutrition.  We have had campus Ministry students from the University assist us to clear a plot of land and prepare for planting in a nearby village.  This small piece of communal land was loaned to us by one of the Clinic Workers.

We will hear reports next week, in our general Clinic meeting, of workshops of sustainable agriculture attended by three workers.  "Together we can, change our world"

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Changing Times of Mission

Friends and family,

It is a quiet Sunday. Many visitors have passed through; we hosted the Rotary Club representatives of Libby, Montana, Campus Ministry students of the University of Great Falls, and the Opthalmologist  team of Montana and California for eye surgeries in the Clinica Maxeña.  Also came Representatives from Swedish organization, AGNI.  This organization goes back to the seventies for providing monetary donation to the Clinica Maxeña.

Missionary interest for long terms is a vocation of the past. Young folk are interested in volunteering for a few months, maybe a year.  Language and culture take time to learn and appreciate.   Investment to learn a foriegn language,  provide a stipend, insurance and air fare, for short terms is beyond the Mission budget.  We are reaching our 50 years of Mission.  We know we must also look in to local talent and commitment for Mission positions.  All of this is in discussion phase.

Life in the Missions however is still a reality of poverty for the majority of Mayan Indigenous. We have made progress in education, and understanding disease and its causes. Medicine however, world wide, is BIG BUSINESS.  The wealthy have a better chance of surviving disease and living a longer life.  Although there is a socialized system with National Hospitals and Government Clinics, attention is sub standard, with little medicine available and decreased staff.  Patients will sell their land, for an operation, that is not available in the National Hospital. Cancer is not treated in the National system, although there are dedicated Doctors, who continue to fight for this HUMAN RIGHT in Health Care.

Our recent Eye Sugeries in Clinica Maxeña benefitted over 200 patients.  Many had cataract surgery free of charge, where others paid 100. dollars.  We are thankful for this service which takes place, twice a year, in the Clinic, for the last 16 years.  We are thankful to the DOCTORS AND NURSES, who use their own resources to come here, plus supplies of medicines and equipment.

As a long term Missionary, I still believe we have a place here, to share our talent and treasure, with the POOR. In 2014 we will celebrate 50 YEARS of MISSION for the Diocese of Helena, Montana.