Representatives from seven of the nine Sister Parish communities in Guatemala gathered February 23rd and 24th, 2013. Saturday morning began with introductions and an icebreaker to help people become acquainted with each other. This meeting served as a time for communities to give updates on activities, share linkage history, and plan for the Southern Encounter in El Salvador in April, as well as other activities for the 25th Anniversary of Sister Parish. Later, representatives welcomed a guest speaker, who gave valuable information on the case against Efrain Ríos Montt and a brief history of genocide in Guatemala, followed by a fascinating discussion about different forms of genocide that exist today. On Sunday, the representatives held an ecumenical service, with the theme of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
Guatemala Directiva 2013-2014
President Otto (San Andrés Itzapa)
Vice President Dina (UPAVIM)
Secretary Eluvia (Tierra Nueva II)
Treasurer Esmirna (UPAVIM)
Member at Large 1 Ricardo (Las Margaritas II)
Member at Large 2 Tomas (Chontalá)
Representatives in Attendance
Sepalau: Daniel and Eduardo
Las Margaritas II: Ricardo and Miguel
Tierra Nueva II: Eluvia, Manuel, and Clementina
Tierra Nueva I: Absent
Chichipate: Pedro and Alfonzo
Chontalá: Tomas, Maria Luisa and Tomasa
UPAVIM: Dina and Esmirna
San Andrés Itzapa: Otto and Basilia
San Antonio Cunén: Absent
Sister Parish Staff: Carrie (Executive Director), Brian (Guatemala Regional Coordinator)
The representatives were very excited to learn that planning for the Southern Encounter is moving forward. Each community will now begin the process of selecting a representative to attend the event in El Salvador in April. The Guatemala Directiva suggested doing a traditional Guatemalan dance to contribute to the cultural activities on the agenda.
25th Anniversary of Sister Parish
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Sister Parish, communities in Guatemala throughout the year will be conducting interviews about the history of their linkages and what Sister Parish has meant to them to post on our blog. These interviews will include various forms of media, some video and others written. Visit our website or contact staff to see how you can connect to all activities we have planned for this year. Thanks to northern board donations of time and design expertise, we now have beautiful Sister Parish 25th Anniversary apparel.
Representatives discussed the 2013 Solidarity Walk and September Representatives Meeting.
Educational Topic: Genocide Case
Presented by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR)
The Guatemala Directiva decided to postpone the previously scheduled theme of cellular towers and focus on the case of Efraín Ríos Montt, former head of state, army general, and president of the Guatemalan congress. The former head of state and members of his high command are accused of committing genocide against the Maya Ixil people in the early 1980s. For legal reasons, the case only focuses on the Ixil region, although Ríos Montt’s scorched earth policy was carried out throughout the country. The trial is set for mid-March. Provided it proceeds, Guatemala will be the first country in the Americas to try a former head of state for genocide on home soil. The guest speaker from the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) shared updates on the case and discussed with representatives what this genocide case means for Guatemala moving forward.
Notes for Upcoming Events
- The next representatives meeting will take place September 20-22, 2013. Communities will bring Q30 to support expenditures.
- Cooks for next meeting: Tierra Nueva 1 or Tierra Nueva 2
- Educational topic: Cell phone towers – What are the benefits and impacts?
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