Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pray for Guatemala - Week Three

This week our prayers will focus on the translators on the surgical mission team to Guatemala February 28-March 8.  The interpreters that we have at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital provide a vital link between Spanish-speaking residents and good health care.  When health care professionals are not proficient in Spanish, the interpreters serve not only to communicate vital health information, but also to put patients more at ease.  The interpreters function as teachers to those of us who are not from Mexican or central American culture, helping us to become more culturally competent.  We pray for our translators that they will help us not only to communicate, but to also understand the people of Guatemala.
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment