This morning, The Old Fool’s son in law, Eldon Stoltzfus, left home for an eleven day stay in Guatemala. He is traveling with eight others on assignment from the Mennonite Central Committee.
Guatemala is a country that is rich in resources, but it is also one of the most unequal countries in the world with great disparity between the rich and poor. Guatemala has much productive land.
The Mayan Indians once lived on Guatemala’s productive land, but their way of life was disrupted when large international agricultural corporations drove them off the land. They found refuge in the surrounding mountains.
Now international mining companies have discovered that those mountains are rich with minerals. The native americans are being told again that they must move from their homes. This displacement is the kind of injstice which creates unrest, rebellion, violence, and civil war. For many Guatemalan people coming to the United States, even as illegal alleins is a matter of survival.
Eldon understands that the purpose of the tour is to provide his group with a firsthand view of what is happening in Guatemala. What they learn will enable them to advise the MCC projects that aim to be an alternative to migration. They wish to bring hope and peace, and to explore ways for the displaced to support and protect their families.
Eldon is grateful to the Mission and Service Commission of Waterford Church and the Peace and Justice Network of MCUSA for making this opportunity possible. He is grateful to the Hospice team with whom he works for releasing him for this time away. To be sure, he is grateful to his family for their blessing, even as we miss each other.