We have now spent about four days in the back of a pickup truck bouncing along rugged roads visiting many financially impoverished Mayan Indian villages. These villages are located in two very steep mountain drainages 5-10 miles long with quite steep sides. Flat space Roy do anything is hard to find. Homes, mainly simple, but a few seemingly comfortable, but a few apparently with dirt floors, stick to the hillsides, especially along the roads.
The Indians living In these homes are typically not well employed but very patient. They work at agricultural chores (mainly with bananas and coffee), work on their homes, or wait for an opportunity to work. Their patience is stoic and remarkable in their lives. And living together in very tight quarters. There is a very strong sense of community, and many smiles are exchanged.
Some of the modern world has reached them. Electricity seems to reach to the remotest ends of the roads, many folks have cell phones, and even a motor vehicle, perhaps a Tuk-Tuk.
Over 50 years the mission has developed a good clinic and school, very much friendship, and has provided a great deal of leadership to the Indians to help themselves via local health clinics, cooperatives and so forth, most of which are now staffed by the Indians themselves. The people in these helping roles are dedicated, prideful in what who they do, and respected by their fellows. Jobs seem to be the greatest need today.
Fr. Jeff Sent from my iPad; apologies in advance for brevity