ARCHBISHOP BLESSES AGUACATE CLINIC AMIDST NATIONAL HEALTHCARE CRISIS

On November 8, Archbishop Athenagoras arrived in Aguacate, Guatemala to bless the newly completed Father Andres Giron medical/dental clinic, his gift to the long-suffering Mayan people of that region. Why is this outreach so important to them? Why were the faithful so happy to receive this blessing? … [Read more...]

Soul and Body: a Video about the Aguacate Clinic

In Guatemala the Orthodox Church is ministering to both the soul and the body of the people. A new medical clinic will meet the urgent needs of the Maya populations near the border of Mexico. Watch "Soul and Body" (below) to learn more about the clinic that is under construction! The FATHER … [Read more...]

UPDATE FROM GUATEMALA -ALEXANDRA CHAKOS

Things have been busy, to say the least, since our recent arrival in Guatemala. There were 6 of us in our group: Fr. John and myself, Bob Kirschner - project director of our new clinic, Dr. Willie Manteris - a dentist and partner in the building of our clinic, Dave Sevick - computer expert and … [Read more...]

IT TAKES A VILLAGE: AGUACATE BUILDS ITS OWN CLINIC

The old African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child” could also refer to other communal endeavors such as building a clinic. We found this to be the case in Aguacate, Guatemala, after a recent visit (Nov. 16th) to see for ourselves how the project was progressing after three months. To … [Read more...]

HEALTH CARE IN GUATEMALA: THE OTHER CRISIS

As I follow the tragic news of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, and now in the United States, I cannot help but wonder what would happen if such an outbreak occurred in Guatemala. The effects of such an epidemic would be overwhelming and calamitous, to say the least. Healthcare, such as it is, for … [Read more...]

Guatemalan Update: The Church Mourns, but not without Hope

After the loss of its dynamic and visionary leader- Fr. Andres Giron- the Guatemalan clergy and faithful entered into a difficult period of mourning and readjustment. In every parish that we visited, there was sadness, but no loss of hope. On the contrary, a strong desire to continue the work of Fr. … [Read more...]

ORTHODOXY IN THE GUATEMALAN HIGHLANDS: A LIGHT SHINES BRIGHTLY

On the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, in the humble and unspoiled village of Aguacate, we celebrated one of the most moving liturgies of my stay in Guatemala. For the first time in the Altiplano, I had the joy of experiencing uninterrupted worship from "Blessed be the kingdom" to the last … [Read more...]

MANY VOICES, ONE FLOCK: Church Music in Guatemala

On the day of Pentecost many foreign languages were ecstatically uttered by the apostles, but instead of dividing the multitude in attendance, it united them in a bond of love. Such was the experience of the five member OCMC catechetical team that came to teach the music of the Orthodox Church to … [Read more...]

THOUSANDS MOURN THE PASSING OF FR. ANDRES GIRON

      It was with great sadness that family, friends and the faithful gathered to pay tribute to Fr. Andres Giron- church leader, reformer and passionate servant of the poor. Over the last two months he fought a valiant battle against his diabetes, hoping to overcome its … [Read more...]

MEDICAL MISSION TO GUATEMALA: TO HEAL AS CHRIST DID

For many people of the Orthodox Church, especially those living in first-world countries, the mission of Christ is primarily viewed as something spiritual and otherworldly.  As such, the main emphasis is placed on liturgical rites and the teaching and preaching ministries of the faith. While these … [Read more...]