Blog from Guatemala on 3/7/2012
Thirty years of armed conflict in Guatemala destroyed homes, forests and thousands of lives. To survive, people fled to other countries or more remote forests, foraging whatever edible plant foliage and roots they could find. During these traumatic years, people forgot their indigenous practices along with the dignity of caring for home and family.
After the signing of the Peace Accord in 1996, many people returned to their former homes and/or found new places to live in the mountains of the western part of the country. More than 80% of returnees were illiterate, there were no schools in these remote areas, only 5% were able to speak Spanish and there were nine of the twenty-one distinct languages in one department (equivalent to a state) alone.
Several FRB members and their local partners provide support to these indigenous people in their journey to bring healing in their lives and to “mother earth” while creating a future for their children without needing to leave their communities.
I’m reminded of the loss of knowledge of God’s people during their captivity in Babylon and their celebration upon their return when the law was read and its meaning unpacked for them. God’s faithfulness continues today to His people all over the world. That is worthy of celebration!
Written by Bev Abma, Executive Director of Overseas Programming