|Hector Retamal | AFP
We also pray this week for the Mayan people and the systematic discrimination they have suffered for centuries. While we were all very interested in the "Mayan Calendar" in December of 2012, few of us paid attention to the bleak conditions in which the Mayan peoples live today in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador. Most descendants of the original Mayan culture live in Guatemala where close to half of the population is indigenous. The native peoples of Guatemala have been seen as "tools" and cheap labor. During the 36-year civil war in Guatemala, Mayan people suffered genocide and were plunged into even greater poverty. Over 600 massacres of indigenous people were recorded during the war. Today, these people are again being dispossessed of property in the name of hydroelectric, mining or farming projects. This week we lift these people, who have suffered and continue to suffer discrimination and dehumanization, in prayer, asking that justice may be found and God's peace may reign.