Guatemala Companion Parish Ministry
Who/how does the ministry serve?
The work of the Guatemala Companion Parish Committee involves maintaining the relationship between St. Martin’s and the priests and parishioners in our three Guatemalan companion parishes (San Marcos, San Juan Apostol, and San Martin, Obispo), supporting programs developed by our companions, and visiting our companion parishes. The relationship is mutual. We pray for each other and share the same faith. While we are able to provide them with funding for projects, they have offered our community members radical hospitality when welcoming us for visits to their parish.
Who is involved?
Over the nearly 25 years of the relationship, 67 members of St. Martin’s have visited our companion parishes. Committee members include Kate Borgstrom, Terry Clattenburg, Harry and Sandra Gould, Dick Haggard, John Howe, Jo Ann Miles Miller, Barbara Thomson Previdi, and Ralph and Karen West.
How do I get involved?
Talk to Terry Clattenburg or one of the committee members. Terry can send you very detailed reports of what happens in our companion parishes and what is needed now.
What have been some successes?
Support from St Martins enabled our companion parishes to promote human, economic, and/or community development.
San Marcos has focused on serving the most oppressed in society:
- Started a program of accompaniment to persons living with HIV/AIDS
- Formed a self-help group for members of the LGBTQ community and with other organizations worked to publicize the rights of LGBTQ individuals;
- Trained volunteer health workers in remote Mayan villages in good childbirth practices and treatment of basic illnesses;
- Helped a group of mostly HIV-positive Mayan women form a cooperative to make and sell chocolate to earn income;
- Helped the inmates of the women’s prison with food, educational resources, and spiritual support;
- In response to the Covid pandemic, San Marcos has placed a new emphasis on food security and has provided bags of food to vulnerable groups.
San Juan Apostol and San Martin, Obispo de Tours
- Enable children to go to school.
- Education provides the opportunity for various types of employment after graduation, and those graduates who obtain jobs are better able to support themselves and improve the wellbeing of their families.
What are some struggles?
In the school programs, the majority of children supported are Mayan. Mayans are still victimized by discrimination in Guatemala. The programs have sought to include more girls, to address the traditional gender imbalance in education.
Report from the September 2021 Community Engagement Committee Retreat
Guatemala School Scholarships Update: Help us hit our campaign goal!
24th Annual Campaign for School Scholarships for Guatemalan Children