Sunday, January 09, 2005

Guatamala Project - Pictures & Update

Summer Work, 2004.
Ila Abernathy & Nurse Sarah Roberts.
Photos: Ila Abernathy

Auxiliary mayor of Cabá presents an Ixil huipil (handwoven
women’s blouse) to Ila, with thanks from the community. In
addition to helping meet health needs in the communities, the
Project purchased 100 pounds of beans, rich in iron and
protein, for distribution in impoverished Cabá and Tsicusalá.

Photo by Ila Abernathy

Sarah uses a hemoglobinometer purchased with funds from
Episcopal Community Services in Arizona to check for
anemia. “Sharps” safety container and other items were
donated by WorldCare. Carondelet St. Marys added
prenatal and children’s vitamins, other medicines.

Photo by Ila Abernathy

Francisco (homemade violin) and Angel (guitar) play for
us in front of the little clinic, Cabá.

Photo by Ila Abernathy

Pedro helps Juana to cross the river between Pal and Santa Rosa.

Two invitations:
Join a St. Michael’s Lenten work detail March 1st -11th.
“Adopt” one of the communities and cover Project costs in
that location.

St. Michael’s Guatemala Project / CPR Sierra
Lenten Work Detail March 1st - 11th, 2005
[extended visit option March 1st - 15th]

What we’ll do: Lead Health Promoter Pedro Bernal has asked for help in refurbishing the clinic at resettlement community Unión Victoria. We’ll repair the roof, paint, and assess other repair needs with the health promoters. Most important will be interactions with health workers, teachers, leaders, and others in this 86 family resettlement community.

Upon arrival in Guatemala City, we’ll meet with CPR leaders and Episcopal Church representatives, and receive in country orientation. We’ll stay in a modest, clean, and secure hospedaje much used by U.S. delegations. In the community, we’ll sleep and eat with families or in the clinic.

Fr. John R. Smith of St. Michael’s and Coordinator Ila Abernathy nominally will lead the group, but all our work with the CPR Sierra is collaborative.

Team size: Small is good. Six to 12 people would be ideal. You’re invited.

Basic needs: reasonably good physical and emotional health; a modicum of self awareness; comfort in working with a non proselytizing, faith based group; respect for indigenous cultures and self determination; patience, flexibility, curiosity, more patience. Functional Spanish helps. Passport. Current tetanus booster (within last 10 years). Sleeping bag, etc.

will need to help courier medicines and supplies.

Costs: Approximately $530 reduced fare airline ticket (from Tucson); $200 in country expenses; $100 project costs; $200 reserve / personal backup.

Unión Victoria is a coffee finca located in a temperate, mountainous area of Chimaltenango southwest of Guatemala City. Public transportation, a pickup ride, and an optional 6K walk or second pickup ride will get us there. The setting is visually spectacular, but the finca is old, coffee prices plunged at the time of resettlement, and corn, central to Mayan diet, culture, and religion, doesn’t grow well. People are struggling to survive.

Project Coordinator - Ila Abernathy. St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church 602 N. Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ 85711, (520) 886-7292,

St. Michael’s Guatemala Project is an ongoing, non sectarian informal partnership with the Maya of the CPR Sierra [Communities of Population in Resistance of the Sierra] that continues a relationship begun in 1993. Focus areas include community health and health education, advocacy, arts and culture, mutual learning, and commitment to indigenous self determination.