Friday, May 11, 2018


Hacer clic en: INDICE de  LA HISTORIA FOTOGRAFICA de VALPARAISO y LA AVENTURA ENTRE LOS MAYAS --miles de fotos y al fin un video YouTube 
1.  En General desde viajes de exploracion, traslado a Guatemala y como fue el comienzo de la aventura de Medio Siglo.... bajo construccion constante agregando lo que sigue; 2. Avicultura - 35 fotos , 3. Casa Central - 108 fotos 
 4. Ganaderia de Engorde--Miguel Max - 29 fotos  5. Carlos Valdez; - 25 fotos
6. Agua Potable y Electricidad - 36 fotos
Ahora con 535 fotos
#12  <VIVIR EN UNA CASA LIMPIA Y UN AMBIENTE ESTIMULANTE> -- Tercer Principio de la Vida Buena  (bajo construccion)
#13  <FAMILIA UNIDAS - PADRES AMANDO Y CUIDANDO A SUS HIJOS, E HIJOS AMANDO Y RESPETANDO A SUS PADRES> -- Cuarto Principio de la Vida Buena  (bajo construccion) 
Buena (bajo construccion)
#15.  <COMPARTIR CON LOS DEMAS LOS PRINCIPIOS DE LA VIDA BUENA> -- Decimo Principio de la Vida Buena  (bajo construccion) 


THE FINAL REPORT by Cordell M. Andersen, Executive Director

NOTE:  I have struggled to make a summarized report that accurately portrays the most important aspects of this  50+ year long effort. Brief mention has been included of some controversial history--but with more details of--and shocking conclusion,  of the Adoption Scandal that was headline news for a week or more.  What follows will have to remain for the present.

One day maybe the "the rest of the story" will become known but  to be honest it would demand someone with an open mind and understanding heart willing to dig deep through a vast array of files and journal writings. As explained in item #29, some important people even early on at the 10 year point thought it worth producing a feature length dramatic movie--and the next 40 years made it much more compelling and historically important full of  human conflict and triumph.   Maybe my High Uintas Project will keep me alive long enough to do this too!
More than 200  photographs 
#5--"LACK OF OUTHOUSES" creating "INCUBATORS OF SICKNESS & DEATH ALL OVER THE VALLEY" --  what changed that--beginning  3 years with no death?
#19--BYU Education Week  retelling of  an EMERGENCY HERNIA SURGERY--a physician nearly EXPLODING!
#29--A FEATURE LENGTH DRAMATIC MOVIE..almost....with Robert Redford?
#29--"THE GREATEST HONOR EVER RECEIVED" -- from a humble Indian--
Plus  many additional details added to  almost all of the 32 items. 
The theme of the QUIXOTIC/AMMON-like ADVENTURE always was:
and from the movie TWELVE STRONG: 
"The most important thing to take into combat is A REASON WHY"
Plus--if you really want to understand.....
 ''the key scripture,"  quoted near the end in item #29

Let me just say that what follows is a testament to the many who encouraged and gave generous support to all that transpired  over  more than 50 years. 

Likely not much of what I describe here would  have  happened as it did WITHOUT KEY EARTHLY INDIVIDUALS & CONTINUAL HELP FROM THE LORD. 
Especially was the above critical for one who in one way or another was really  a  "novice," or as some began saying, a"RODEO CLOWN," --explained how that began for the first time,  in a blue Note in item #10. 

plus supporting actors without whom....who knows?
FIRST and foremost, my father, ARIEL A. ANDERSEN,  who blessed my life in so many ways, and actually got me started right on our second attempt to leave for Guatemala, when he humbly accepted my request for a Father's Blessing, and was faithful to his blessing giving his all to help until his passing 16 years later in 1983.
Others in the family likewise were generous "supporting actors,"  like ALL OF MY CHILDREN, and my older brother, Marlo, one of the major contributors in the first years, and even persisted right up past the Golden Anniversary, with an extra donation.  
I can't mention everyone as the list is long, but other crucial "supporting actors" were those in the first years, like:  The very first contribution from  WESTON KILLPACK,  and his Highland High School LDS Seminary, a onetime thing but critical to help us get started. 

Then my friend since the first day of my mission in May 1956..... 

SECOND,  TOBY PINGREE, who was a big-time helper from even before the Foundation was organized, continuing over more than 50 years right up to the end,  and who in the 80's  brought on board others from his family, especially his brother, Dr. GEORGE PINGREE, joined at the hip with Toby, sharing this "Second" spot on the  critical list of THE STRONG;  

After my parent's passing, others from the family took up the baton:  Uncles, cousins,, and of special note--
THIRD, also right up past the end, my 2nd cousin JOSEPH JENSEN who was contacted about our work back before the new century when the Foundation was kind of desperate and I did a Family Promotion using my mom's old address book from 1986. My cousin Nelda, on my father's side of the family,  received that promotion and passed it on to her son, Joseph, that led to him making contact and it evolved into him becoming the greatest contributor in the Foundation's history, without whom the last 17-18 years would have been vastly different, likely only with just small, but still important--Educational & Emergency Aid projects.  NOTE:  He was gratefully another of those who made two other large donations after we had completed our 50 years of serving the Mayan people in August 2017.  One of them recently in March 2018 after the special SCHOOL SUPPLIES promotion.  THANKS JOE.

FOURTH, a couple who I called "The Most Persistent,"  DOUG CAMPBELL and his wife Rinez, whom since reading about us in the July 1971 ENSIGN have contributed every month, with sometimes large extra donations--Breathtakingly for 46 years--even an extra donation after the GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY in August!   NOTE:  Now in 2018 we can say they've done it for 47 years, as they are among the 5 who have donated in March as a result of the extra promotion among a few to help Federico and me with the 2018 SCHOOL SUPPLIES PROJECT in which we provided 1,560 of the neediest with supplies to get them started right.  THANKS DOUG &  RINEZ.  

FIFTH, he we call "The Most Incredible,"  HAL POULSEN & wife, NEVA,  whom, at the time of the Great Earthquake of 1976, gave 6 months of their lives with us, leaving their vehicle, trailer and tools, then continued as  contributors, and in the end when Hal was able to retire, after beginning to receive Social Security, worked one extra year as a part-time school bus driver,  and  had all of his salary direct deposited into the Foundation's bank account!  NOTE:  We have to add a SPECIAL THANKS TO HAL & NEVA, as they also donated again in March 2018 to help us with the SCHOOL SUPPLIES PROJECT.  Gratefully they are those who don't "GIVE UP.....EASILY!"    
Along with them  my special daughter MAHANA--who works full-time to support herself and son, Ryan--also  going to school full-time to become a Registered Nurse, after making a large donation in August, also donated again to help her people, becoming the FOURTH DONOR of the five for 2018.  THANKS,  MAHANA, you are one of the great "supporting actors." 

Best give credit also to the FIFTH  DONOR from the special promotion.  It was long-time donor, Alberto Bernard, Maria's older brother.  Thanks Albert

There are  so many more, for whom I'm most grateful as all helped in a great cause.  My cause became your  cause too, and  you deserve almost all the credit;

Others were key "supporting actors"  in crucial ways, like my old fishing buddy, BOB ALLEN & WIFE, LUCETTE, helping right up to the end.

Then, dear ex-missionary companion and life-long friend,.......
SIXTH, C. JESS GROESBECK,  who stuck with us since missionary days in 1957, when we called ourselves "Nicaraguan Elders," seen to the right--who inspired me as in my mind he was "the hardest working LDS missionary of all time."   He continued as a friend for  decades, with many years as Chairman of the Board of the Foundation, including when there evolved a lot of controversy.
I feel moved to  add here a non-contributor, but a person  I consider an important "supporting actor" whose statement was unexpected and extremely motivating  by well known, STEVE COVEY, who in like 1977, when one of the Vice-Presidents of BYU,  attended a special fireside up Hobblecreek Canyon, and at the end said something like: 
 "I came here expecting to find an Albert Schweitzer, but found someone who just didn't talk theory, principles and dreams, like the rest of us do, but more like a modern Brigham Young, who actually is doing what he says he believes." 

SEVENTH,  LDS Apostle EZRA TAFT BENSON, who had also been Secretary of Agriculture in the Cabinet of President Dwight Eisenhower, who impressed me, prior to us going to Guatemala at a BYU Devotional,  when he said, "If I were  young again, I'd go south!"  Then once in Guatemala in 1968 when I was working on one of my purposes of going to Guatemala, which was,   Get out on the front lines combating  the threat of communism that was coming close to turning Guatemala into another Cuba,  which effort involved me showing a USIS documentary, "Revolution Betrayed," about Cuba, and  created fear in Mission leaders that the Mormon chapel in Coban might be bombed, and I was ordered to desist.  I rather wrote two LDS  General Authorities in Utah, that resulted in two interesting replies:
One, from a very high level,  told  to just read the Church's statement about communism and then shut up!  The other reply was fascinating, from Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, congratulating me for my efforts and basically telling me, "GIVE THEM MORE HELL!"
He later, as President of the LDS Church,  stumbled a bit along with others believing sadly some  rumors, showing they were human like the rest of us,  but still  was tremendously motivating to begin our journey.

EIGHTH,   SPENCER W. KIMBALL, who has to be mentioned in this  PREFACE, who, when criticism was mounting from people who "had a spirit of competition & contention, rather than of cooperation,  and gratitude,"  in a 1971 private interview encouraged us to persist and said to....  "not pay any attention to criticism as such had also happened anciently to Ammon and his companions who were 'laughed to scorn' by their own people."  NOTE: One year later he was supportive of a unique effort by the Valparaiso LDS Group and helped win it's authorization by the Church Financial Department.  It became a key part of stopping death in the area for 3 years.  Nonetheless in 1973 the successful effort  was tragically opposed and stopped by a powerful faction resulting in babies beginning to die again and good people losing their faith. Then in 1974--as President of the Church, an effort   to get him to help end the confusion, spearheaded by his sister-in-law, BYU Religion Professors & others--was "stonewalled" by the bureaucracy--which he was strangely  unaware of--and sadly THE EVOLUTION OF HISTORY WAS ALTERED!  Of course, on his previous advice, we  reset and found a way to do the best we could anyway and kept working for the next 44 years.  To say the least his influence was powerful in the face of opposition--in a sense from the beginning to the end--as on his advise,  WE NEVER GAVE IN, NOR GAVE UP rather persisted against all odds for half a century (and counting). 

NINTH,  Regional Representative,  HAROLD BROWNfor the LDS Church, who was a true friend and came to us in "the moment of greatest need"  in 1973. He understood completely some negative things that were happening from the highest level of the LDS Church, and not only repeated the advice given by Kimball, but was the first to begin calling our effort "Ammon-like."   He  completely saw through the hypocrisy of the negative reports  and gave us encouraging news--about a World-Wide organization our efforts were inspiring.  
He  promised his support, and gave it faithfully, while others who should have known better failed.  Then later when my life became even more controversial, engaged with me in a long and frank conversation and not only understood, but promised and actually gave  his continued support  including volunteering to be a Trustee for the Foundation and persisted until age-related conditions ended his effective life.  See item #11. 

TENTH,  ENRIQUE RITTSCHER, also a one-time  Regional Representative,  the first key Guatemalan  of crucial influence and help, and one of the great men of my experience who was a genuinely honest  man and true friend--who helped and encouraged us in many ways.  He understood clearly why in the eyes of some I became controversial--him explaining, paraphrased, "Cordell is a pioneer helping the Mayan peoples, and an outsider free from the control of the  establishment and thereby  perplexingly  a threat to some  insecure bureaucrats with a few  feeling he had to be opposed no matter how right and effective his methods were!"    Brother Rittscher persisted as a sincere friend--and I can add that when he perceived injustice in any form would boldly speak up and refuse to be silenced.  This eventually made him controversial too--that evolved into what surprised some in the religious community, but not a shock to me.

ELEVENTH,  FEDERICO VELIZ PACAY, a dedicated and devout Catholic who became early on my partner in helping his people--persisting  for 42 years & counting.  He is 
 explained with much  more detail in item #14, but worthy of mention right here.  SPECIAL NOTE:  After the Foundation was retired at the end of 2017, he persisted on his own responding to the pleas of 5 of the most needy rural schools in his area, took all of the Emergency Fund of $1,103 the Foundation had given him in parting, plus he borrowed  $414 from a sister, and provided 1,560 students with supplies to begin the 2018 School Year.  Since his monthly retirement pay is only $468, he did ask me if he couldn't get  some help--to at least be able to pay off the loan, so I took the balance of $700 in my Emergency Fund, provided by the Foundation as its final expenditure, and sent it to him to "help a little,"  making his personal donation for the project, $817.   
Afterwards the FIVE mentioned above gratefully responded to a special promotion to help us with $1,295 of the $1,517 spent on the supplies. The generosity of the FIVE, has now made possible  building back up most of Federico's Emergency Fund, as well as mine.  So in the final accounting we also donated about $100 each. Federico is profoundly grateful for this help, as am I--since my retirement income is only a little more than Federico's.  But, it is clear that Federico's personal dedication to his people is breathtaking!

TWELFTH to complete my list of real heroes, one  who represents the Mayans, MIGUEL MAX, one of my first vocational students, but who didn't last long  as I
needed help quick, and so he also became my "first supervisor,"  my leading companion pursuing cattle rustlers in the mountains, the one who came dashing in from patrol duty interrupting  our evening Family Hour announcing "the guerrillas are here,"  as well as my companion in fighting off invaders and helping put a  bunch in jail.  He also was  the first Maya/Poqomchi to be called as a local missionary for the LDS Church, first from Valparaiso to become the manager of Valparaiso, then elected President of the Valparaiso Cooperative in an effort to help the Indians become owners, and then my counselor in the new Alta/Baja Verapaz LDS District.  At the same time he was  key in the Chulac adventure, and my companion in THE GREAT MACHAQUILA RIVER ADVENTURE in dugout, motorized canoes--another adventure not even told yet, but mentioned in the Note at the end of item #17.  Miguel is seen above with me when meeting him in 2016 after years of separation.  No other words but to say, I'm grateful for him, love him and have him in my prayers always. 

Last, let me mention a key "supporting actor," crucial also in the first years, my friend & brother MIGUEL ANGEL ORTIZ, who came to me in my time of need as an 18 year old, actually  my first vocational student--and in a year learned from me how to work with poultry, cattle, hogs, how to drive,  do accounting and business management, and at 19 became the Manager during a critical year of development, then returned later to help make a success out of the Victorias Dairy.....
.......and become the first Guatemalan to become the Valparaiso Branch President--only to sadly be damaged in his faith due to terribly mistaken and tragic leadership decisions.   He is still my beloved brother, one of the many Success Stories, now owning his own cattle ranch north of Coban--seen to the right with his wife, Miriam, and son, Oliverio, reported on in 2016 in Foundation reports. 
INTRODUCTION:  The original list  with 23 items, without photographs,  has been added to many times--now at 32  with  more than 200 photographs, along with many tweaks  and additions--
Three of the new items deal with successful efforts to support ourselves  as volunteers with no living allowance  from the Foundation  for doing religiously motivated altruistic activities. Without these key items the effort would have only lasted the predicted "six months," rather than 50 years and counting. 
Also added are mentions, by supposed "experts,"  of what they  called our "failures," which had us smiling.  It was coming from those who presented us with our greatest challenge over the  50 years, condensed down to:
"A spirit of competition & contention,  rather than  cooperation and gratitude." 
I'm not complaining--as actually opposition & criticism was tremendously motivating.   I'm rather adding a couple of interesting points without which the history is not complete.   I'll let you be the judge of these items. 
Admittedly we were novices--as you've heard me even joke about being called a "Rodeo Clown," as I was not a farmer, much less a cattle and dairy man, nor had a PhD in anything.  Additionally, in 1966 I made a presentation in an Ex-Missionary Reunion proposing something needed to be done to solve the "life & death problems" of those we all claimed to love,  but then told I "didn't have the necessary capital.....nor qualified with sufficient education."   So I have admitted openly  it was an "impossible dream....against all odds,"  and I  began having fun characterizing myself as  a crazy Don Quijote de la Mancha, as well as  proudly following the example of Ammon of ancient America, "laughed to scorn" by those of his own religious community.  
It was good and critical for me to recognize the deficiencies and weaknesses, just as I had done as a very small statured child and youth bullied by almost everyone, yet determined to do something about it so strengthened myself to not take any guff from anyone.  But from 1966 on in this case I believe those of my religious community failed to understand the power of being spiritually born of God and transformed with a quite well understood divine  mission--with metaphorically the "back being capable of being strengthened to carry whatever load was required."
So, in the learning process we struggled, stumbled at times,  and had our failures--but not the ones being gossiped about.  But,  with everything we learned--recognizing our weaknesses, and with the help of the Lord--plowed forward doing our best as our survival, and that of many Indians, depended on being quick learners--So I lit  the candles at night, and studied  to keep one page ahead of my vocational students, and employees, then literally worked with them, often taking the lead with disgusting and difficult tasks....then they would follow. Actually working and dirtying my hands had me breaking the Ladino tradition,  and earned the scorn of many--except for a few honest people who came to trust me so totally that it was almost scary, and because of it  the way for even more amazing developments opened time after time.  Now: 
This is a distilling of 50 years of twists, turns, and complexities-
--sometimes humorous, often inspiring-- 
At times  tragic and controversial when perplexing decisions 
& judgments were made based on "erroneous reports" by men who 
were supposed to be inspired--yet understandably very human. 
--Yet in the end fascinating stories of human  conflict & triumph --
--both social, economic, political & religious!
We'll begin with the item  being gossiped about as our

Chicaman, San Miguel Uspantan, Cunen, Sacapulas, Aguacatan and Nebaj, showing educational and good quality commercial movies to 50,000 people, with my camper also being  A MOBIL MEDICAL CLINIC & LIBRARY, as there were no effective medical services in most of an area of 200,000 people, and not one library until 1983 when we cooperated with AYUDA to construct and inaugurate one in Cunen.  This experience began adding to my Army training as a Medical Specialist, and preparing me to perform for many years thousands of medical treatments every year.  This literally was a PRIVATE PEACE CORP  of great success.

On the right you see me  in Chicaman  unloading the frame for our 9' x 12' movie screen and getting
ready our theater--which was an old abandoned Catholic Church.

Above is a  picture of Cine Chapinlandia--in Sacapulas, with a view of the spectators in the outdoor patio of the Catholic Convent  which was our theater and where we spent the night with the priests and nuns.  A most memorable experience was had with a surprisingly  young and beautiful "Mother Superior," who one night surprised me in my camper  reading the BIBLE
  which stimulated  a great conversation. 
NOTE:  The Traveling Movie--Cine Chapinlandia.  Yes, it finally had to end as the initial .10 and .15 cents charge was too much for most of the poor villages, so we reduced it to .05 and .10, concerned more for getting a large audience and serving the people, than profit.  However,  the need of supplying every town with benches--made during the off-week, and the rough roads that always required pickup repairs, and also in between it all, a quick trip to Guatemala City  (and back then it was an 8-10 hour journey,--one way,  fording quite a few streams, etc.) to get from the USIS, Canadian, Japanese, & Israeli Embassies more educational movies, and another commercial one--all of which  caused economically a loss. 
But, it was so enlightening for so many people, and provided me with invaluable experience in so many ways--that I became convinced that if I was ever like, say--a mission president, or supervising the Peace Corp, I would have teams of missionaries, or volunteers, doing precisely that in isolated areas with the goal of bringing enlightenment to every town in my area, along with it being in harmony with my "agricultural approach to helping a needy people,"  cultivating friends all over the country, helping people in whatever way they  needed and were ready for,  and preparing entire areas for even greater things.  
But,  our initial capital of $4,273 was disappearing--but the $500 loss over  6 months was covered by the first donation from Salt Lake City's Highland High School LDS Seminary, directed by my old friend, Weston Killpack.  But, to support the family , I needed quick to find a piece of land, have a vegetable/fruit garden, and get a business started that would support us.

OF GREAT IMPORTANCE:  The spirit of Cine Chapinlandia lived on for all our years in Guatemala, showing many movies, in many places, to instruct, entertain, and eventually we produced our own educational videos  to  awaken, inspire  and enhance the lives of all, as explained in item #24  In the beginning this included  movies educating the public about the menace of communism--which was one of my purposes:   More on that in a Note at the end of item #15.

2.  THE 1st COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARM IN NORTHERN GUATEMALA, gossiped about as our "2nd FAILURE."  Note: Somewhere in the History Summaries I talk about and quote a friend who visited us and told us about all the "failure" gossip. 

My search for some land for a garden and an agro-business to support us, abruptly ended on December 5th when just such an opportunity presented itself by a "Capitain Penny"  from Florida who had just  bought a 50 acre farm in San Juan Chamelco, 30 minutes south of Coban,  and had a few laying hens ready to produce, but then due to an emergency had to return to the U.S.  His hobby was orchids  that he determined its world-wide capital was  Alta Verapaz and had purchased a property in his  Shangrila.

We took over, and quickly learned about poultry,  doubling the production, only to learn no one in Coban wanted our white eggs--famous then for very pale yolks.  I made an emergency trip to the city and with poultry suppliers I had already come to know found a solution--mixing an additive to the feed and producing dark orange yolks and tasty eggs.  After breaking our eggs open in front of  potential customers, contracts were made for all our eggs. 

A bonus from the family business in Provo, Utah, Andersen Sampler's & Consulting Service, due to work I had done prior to leaving for Guatemala, made possible more than doubling again the production with 1,000 chicks, and creating what was called the "First Poultry Farm in Northern Guatemala,"

Other circumstances had us being the only producer of eggs in the area, with people lining up in front of our house in Coban waiting for me  to come with the eggs, and in 30 minutes we were sold out every day.  
Note:  As a "Rodeo Clown"  and also a sort of nutty Don Quijote kind of guy, I was soon known--humorously to me as--the "poultry expert" in a vast area of Guatemala, with my only previous experience being--here comes a confession,  when moving to Utah in 1952,   with my new teenage  buddies from the Oakhills II Ward, stole a chicken one dark night, took it to my girl friend's house  (Janet Beck) where she cooked it for us--it was awful!   NOTE: By the way, after becoming a convert I repented of having done that!
But, by then we had quite miraculously acquired the Valparaiso Plantation and I became too divided.  Everything we were doing at the farm we could do at Valparaiso even more efficiently, so sold the poultry farm for the same amount spent on it, with the profit being:  
1.)  Effectively supporting us for 10 months;  
2)  Giving us an incredible education in all aspects of agriculture in Guatemala; 
3). Becoming acquainted intimately with the people of Coban and the quirks of marketing in rural Guatemala; as well as  
4)  knowing the important suppliers in Guatemala City; 
5.) Financing our beginning at Valparaiso; 
6.) Plus 9 pregnant cows and a bull we drove overland following mountain trails to Valparaiso, which soon were 19 head, and less than a year later, with a loan from my long-time friend and brother, Toby Pingree, the herd grew to 69 and soon to 100,  and then, as a cattleman,  failed as a "Rodeo Clown," not being able to save several employees put in the hospital by our mean Jersey  bull--we soon sold  him for slaughter, and replaced him, with Toby's help, by a much better, and gentler Brown Swiss bull. 
NOTE FOR LDS PEOPLE:  Out of the supposed "failure" with the poultry farm, was also harvested, so to speak, a dedicated alcoholic, Manuel Ajanel--seen below with his wife Julia in their home,  who continued with us to Valparaiso and years later, after a time as LDS District President, became the Patriarch of the Coban LDS Stake.
Wow, with all kinds of guidance and blessings from the Lord, what an incredible "failure!"
But, forgive me, you can make the decision for yourself.
THE POULTRY PROJECT, moved to Valparaiso, and soon we noticed boxes of laying breed chicks coming into the area on buses--people following our lead, so by the time the market was flooded with eggs, we had switched our main emphasis to raising  broiler chickens, which project employed for many years, young men, as well as women, who did the dressing and preparing for sale at our store in Coban in bags we designed you see below.

3. Developed and applied the GOOD LIFE METHOD of helping needy Indians, all based on the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life, that many, such as  Mormon missionaries, said was the most effective way to help the needy.  It worked at Valparaiso, at Chulac and other places around the country as explained further along. Many explanations of the details are found further  in this report, and in  Historical Documents, Historical Photo/EssaysYouTube videos, etc.  I insert below many of our efforts to teach  this Philosophy & Principles to help Indians.
Above we see the evolution of the educational process to teach 
The Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life

CRUCIAL NOTE:  This "Method" is mentioned often in this listing, but not explained.  Let me do so as simply as possible: 
 THE PHILOSOPHY: The present Indians are descendants of a progressive  and great people, some called "The Greeks of the New World,"   but who fell into a period of darkness,  yet have a prophetic destiny in the last days of,  "coming out of darkness into the light & blossoming."   But to do so they have to come to understand and apply 
THE PRINCIPLES:  Which are simply: 
7. SHARE WITH OTHERS the GOOD LIFE being achieved. 

For those Indians receptive religiously, the philosophy also included what their sacred book, THE POPUL VUH, states as having anciently had the original Sacred Book that was lost, but for complete application of the Method, needed to be restored to guide them, which included 

In the first nearly year and a half of being owners of the Valparaiso Plantation I was killing myself with intense activity trying to help what seemed like a people who were perfectly happy with half of their children dying, as well as adults dying of tuberculosis and other terrible diseases--which was all normal for them. 
A huge part of the intensive activity to gain their confidence, helping them where they needed and wanted it, is shown below, which was accepting their teenage boys as Vocational students--in classes half of each day, and paying them half wages along with giving each useful items they needed, like:  A machete, hoe, rubber boots, a pocket knife, pants, shirt, etc. We called this "LEARNING WITH A SHOVEL...or a chain saw, a garden cultivator, tractor, chickens, hogs, cattle,  the carpentry shop, a fish net, the office & business accounting/management, and more,"  as shown below:  Each getting half a day of experience in each project  for a month on a rotation basis--and ending knowledgeable at the end of a year  in each. 
In addition on weekends I was introducing all to the modern world showing a Sunday evening movie (for many their 1st). And, hiking the slippery trails visiting homes to find and treat the sick, but frustrated because most of them would hide their sick and dying babies from me.  In spite of incredible efforts they didn't trust me as their centuries of experience with what they called "ladinos" (tricky, shrewd European types)  had always exploited  them in one way or another.   
Then, in July 1969 I acquired several gallons of internal parasite medicine and invited all to come one Sunday afternoon.  160 came (about half of the residents) and we were busy giving the medication when Chavela arrived with her two little girls, Marta and Macaria--who somehow we came to call Elvira.  Elvira was a baby in Chavela's arms and we gave her a tiny dose, but all of a sudden she reacted violently, vomiting.  We got her normalized, so we thought.

After the treatment we invited those interested to see a movie--the first religious movie shown which was "Man's Search For Happiness," with about 60 who filed into the warehouse to see it.  Alfredo Rodas, my manager, translated it into Poqomchi and it seemed like the message was understood and well received. 
After the movie I rewound the film, and then noticed a group of women surrounding Chavela who had Elvira on her lap, but completely covered with her shawl.  All were crying as Elvira had died.
I quickly kneeled before Chavela, uncovered Elvira and sought for a sign of life.  Her tiny body was cold, with no pulse, or signs  of breathing.  I picked her up and stood telling all we were going to pray. Generally my prayers are simple and short, but this time in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ it went on and on as though it was a Patriarchal blessing, promising her life, and  good things for her future. Then I finished, opened my eyes to look at Elvira who was softly snoring and there was warmth in her body.
There was a hushed silence of reverence among all.  Chavela, without saying a word, gathered her baby in her arms and they drifted off into the night. Not a word was said as all exited the warehouse and headed to their homes.  I was so weak I couldn't walk to the Central House without help.  Apparently strength was drained from my body and transferred to Elvira giving her life.  
The next day the news spread like wildfire all over the Valley, and to the neighboring villages:  
"In Valparaiso there is a new Medicine Man with strange powers.  Something is happening that should be trusted!" 
That was a new beginning.  The Indians stopped hiding their sick babies and children from me, even asking for treatments, like.....below is seen the well-used photo of Julie helping me try and save Alfonso and Lic's mother.  From those beginning years we went on to perform thousands of medical treatments every year of every type imaginable.

NOW, BACK TO VALPARAISO IN THE EARLY YEARS:  Soon classes started teaching them how to avoid sickness and death, and after we discovered effective methods of teaching CLEANLINESS & NUTRITION, explained next--along with an additional handful of events, and initiatives--of most importance organizing the Indian vocational students to save their own people by a weekly  visit to every home and then advise me of those needing treatment before they became lost causes, and:    
NOTE: This was basically a program of ministering--commanded by the Lord in 1830 to "watch over the Church,"  but in our case "watch over all our brothers & sisters--members of the church or not," with a weekly visit to every home--initially by our youthful Vocational Students--most of whom became spiritual converts,  and who then took doubly seriously the  charge to "watch over" the families assigned, and then report situations of need so that adequate measures could be taken to save lives. In the LDS Church for years it was called "Home Teaching," or "Home Visiting," which usually was never managed properly and not taken seriously--except for a few cases, like at Valparaiso where we took seriously what we felt that the Lord was commanding us to do.  See: Doctrines & Covenants 20:42, 51-53

Here we are 48 years later having lunch in Elvira's home in the Valparaiso Community--she seen to the right, her daughter serving us while several grandchildren are to our left playing.  If I recall correctly she also  had a son at that time on an LDS mission.  In the picture to the left is my partner & traveling companion, archaeologist, Garth Norman, then Federico Veliz, and my daughter, Aura.

The critical need of CLEANLINESS, a lack of which, like--not one outhouse among the 39 original families at Valparaiso--contributing to homes and home sites being "incubators of disease and death,"  with 40% of the children born to the 39 families dead already for an average of 8 children dying a year.  We found more sick and dying in many homes.

NOTE:  The "haunted" Central House did have a 6 holer -- all together like a "community-friendly outhouse" with the stuff dropping down into an underground canal from the sugar refinery that washed it all into the creek that went behind the house, and wound  its way all the way through the valley--where some families got their water, and then into the Cahabon River continuing on to Coban and eventually to the Polochic Valley--So, for years VALPARAISO DID SHARE WITH THOUSANDS!   The first thing I did was to close it down--that perplexed  many as it was known as quite a unique system--except for all those downstream!    We dug a hole below the house for the first outhouse in the valley outside of the Central House.  The "2nd" I dug myself for Miguelito and his family when I tried to care for them on their own home-site. 

As I started to treat the sick, but frustrated as they would often relapse--with no end in sight,  I began the attempt to teach preventive medicine beginning with the invisible world of microbes that brought laughter from the Indians. We had to show them, so began using Petri dishes to grow microbes from dirty hands, contaminated water, dust, a cough, a captured fly walking on the nutrient agar, etc. Then  show them the colonies that grew with a foul odor, then let them see them using a microscope--conclusion being that said "invisible monsters" created nasty odors, rot,  sickness and death.  The outcome was nothing short of miraculous.   

The Petri dishes showing colonies of microbes are along the front of the table.
Obviously, my father, a bacteriologist, helped us design this method 
and sent/or brought to us the equipment we needed.

NOTE:  We began a program of constructing floors & box/seats for any who would dig their own hole.  Soon after showing them the "invisible world of microbes"  I was advised of the first hole dug--by Felipe Laj, which tiny news for me WAS GIGANTIC! 
 By the end of 1970 100% of the 39 families had outhouses, and death stopped for the next 3 years.  
Eight years later, Felipe Laj, one of the original "colonos,"  seen to the right with his wife, son Esteban & a granddaughter,  was named by me as Supervisor of the Victorious Dairy--that had him shocked,  he reminding me he didn't even hardly know how to read and write.  But he had my trust and I assured him I would teach him all he had to know, and all he had to do was--continue to be special and do as taught, which  he faithfully did  in that key position until the END.

Teaching NUTRITION,  and that "we are what we eat,"  we did nutrition experiments with broiler chicks, using 4 pairs, each fed different diets: 
One, white ground corn--that nutritionists say "is not capable of sustaining and supporting human life" (representing the typical Indian diet);  
Two, yellow ground corn (that is high in Vitamin A); 
Three, commercial broiler feed--representing a balanced diet; 

Four, A pair taken home by a family and turned loose with their poultry.
White corn chickens, small, little weight gain--4 oz,  sickly, anemic in  appearance--sometime dead,  and an economic loss.  
Yellow corn chickens, twice the weight gain--8 oz. of white corn chickens, small still but healthy in appearance, an economic small profit.  
Balanced diet chickenshuge--4 lbs. 8 oz. of weight gain, healthy, huge profit.  
Home chickens, weight loss or dead. 
It was easy to translate the results to the need of humans eating a balanced diet.  We then taught them inexpensive ways of doing that which, along with greater cleanliness,  contributed to no death for 3 years Death only began happening again due to bureaucratic interference in our group working together to solve the life and death problems.
These methods were used in many schools, repeated every year or so, reaching thousands of people and influencing many to apply these principles in their family lives, the end result being saving literally thousands.

6.  Evolving from our family efforts my father and a handful of friends organized in 1970 the Foundation for Indian Development, now the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION, to help us in the altruistic aspects of our life in Guatemala.  That had not been part of my original plan which was to just as a family work to support ourselves, employing and training as many Indians as we could, and out of our profits and in our spare time apply the saving principles of the Good Life.  
The Foundation, and all its many donors over the years have made possible much more than me and family could have likely done on our own.  So the Foundation was crucial to say the least, and we are deeply grateful to all our partners who donated over the years to help make possible this effort.  It is the greatest blessing of my life to have  been the volunteer non-paid Field Director, and trustee for all these years, working to support myself and family, rather than receiving some kind of living allowance or wage as is common today in most churches and non-profit organizations.  

 My father, Dr. Ariel A. Andersen, founder of the Foundation, earned authorization by the IRS as a non-profit organization in mid-1970.  For most of our history he was the main contributor, having sold the family business, ANDERSEN SAMPLERS & CONSULTING SERVICE, and then spent the last 14 years of his life as a non-paid volunteer managing the Foundation.  
He is the most virtuous  & generous person I have ever known, who helped make the Foundation's history a great success,  having.....
  "Saved thousands and helped many tens of thousands receive an education." 

7. Coming out of the application of the GOOD LIFE METHOD, the Valparaiso Plantation came to be known as: 
 which was suggested in 1972 as the best way to help the Indians by the most outstanding student & first full-time Indian missionary for the LDS Church, DANIEL CHOC from Patzicia. By 1979 government sociologists who studied the Valparaiso community  in an INDE (Institute for National Electrification Institute) report, called it: 

Indians were effectively working as volunteers saving their own people.
Above is seen our sign at the junction of the highway from Guatemala City to Coban, that became known--and is still known as, "The Crossroad of the CID"  -- "El Cruce del CID" 
NOTE:  If you look carefully to the left through the uprights of the thatch hut, you can see one of the many mounds and ruins of what archaeologists have determined  Valparaiso as being an  Ancient Fortified City  mentioned in the Indians original Sacred Book

8. CID VOCATIONAL STUDENTS became the first full-time Indian LDS missionaries for three important Indian language groups:  The first from the Cakchiqueles (Daniel Choc) in late 1975, the first Poqomchi full-time missionaries--short term & full-term in 1977, the first full time  Q'eqchi'   missionary in 1978, and the first full-time missionary from Chulac explained further along as the fastest growing Indian  LDS unit in history.
          Daniel Choc   Crisanto Chiquin & Pablo Cal   Felix Rosales        Arturo Coc
1st full time Cakchiquel  1st full time short term Poqomchi  1st full time Q'eqchi'   1st from Chulac
 Q'eqchi', Poqomchi,  & Cakchiquel,  

The actual first missionary from Coban and the Q'eqchi'  language was Sister Carlota de Yalibat, who you'll notice from my "Checkered" autobiography  was a key influence in my life from my time as a missionary in 1958.  On being transferred elsewhere, I told her that she would one day become a missionary, and introduced her to Elvira and family who she should teach first.  
That did happen when she was called a few years later as a "local missionary" and did the first preaching in  Q'eqchi'.  On doing so her lesson was surprisingly well received, and Sister Yalibat asked what Elvira thought about it.  She replied,
"The time Elder Andersen and his companion prayed for me when I was sick, the Lord appeared to me and told me that the time would come when I would be taught  what he was preaching and that I should believe because it is true."

The next native "local missionaries" called in Alta Verapaz were from the Poqomchi language group, at Valparaiso in 1971, when Miguel Max was called, along with Carlos  Yat Valdez, and became companions to two Cakchiquel  vocational students from Patzicia, Gonzalo Cujcuj, and Daniel Choc.  We see them below, Miguel on the left, in the middle-- Gonzalo & Daniel, then Carlos on the right.    
Especially successful as missionaries were Carlos and Daniel, I recall with 26 baptisms.  Miguel went on to become the first resident of Valparaiso to become a Supervisor, then Manager, soon after the  President of the Valparaiso Cooperative, and in 1976 became my counselor in the District Presidency--and I must add that Miguel Max is remembered by me as one of the three most outstanding Guatemalans of my 61 years experience in the country--with more details in the PREFACE.   Carlos, in 1976 when the Valparaiso Branch was organized (for the 3rd time!) became the President, and from 1981 until Valparaiso was sold in late 1993, was the Manager of the plantation. 

As mentioned above, Daniel Choc, went on to become the first full-time Lamanite LDS missionary in Guatemala.  To help make that possible we helped the Choc family in Patzicia establish a broiler chicken business, supervised by Daniel's brother, Serapio, who we also had at Valparaiso, along with his wife, Victoria,  as a Vocational student--training him to be able to manage that project.  However,  in 1976 Daniel lost his life in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake.  

Gonzalo, the other Vocational student from Patzicia, called in 1971 as a local missionary,  would eventually become for a time a full-time employee, and married Florencia Rivas, Supervisor for many years of the Central House.  They live today in Patzicia.

Carl, with Juan Carlos on his shoulders teaching the  growing of  strawberries  with the cooperative we helped established in the Las Mercedes hamlet of the Saquiya Village, Patzun.  See mid-#15
Later on one of our first vacations in the U.S. after 7 years of arduous work, I mentioned in a presentation I made in the auditorium of the LDS Church Office Building, that Carl was "one of the most Christi-like men I had ever known!"   He also became a key "supporting actor" in the drama, who is mentioned further along in item #20, The Adoption Scandal.  

10.   THE "LAS VICTORIAS DAIRY"  THE LARGEST IN NORTHERN GUATEMALA--but had gone bankrupt--We acquired it in another sweetheart deal on February 2, 1972, confidant that we could turn it around:
Let me quote the pertinent portion of the email notice mentioning it sent on January 6, 2018
You might have noticed in the first draft of the  list of Accomplishments & Experiences, none of my personal, agro-business activities that laughably a couple of supposed "experts"  said were "failures," but which were really some of the greatest adventures of my life that supported us and made possible serving as a volunteer the Mayan Indians, with your generous help and encouragement. 
Let me just end...PLEASE FORGIVE bragging about just one--that sort of represents what  all of my Lamanite vocational student/graduates, & children, converted into incredible workers, managers, supervisors & working companions all accomplished, represented below with one picture resulting from us taking over a bankrupt dairy with 3.5 liters/cow/day production--a disaster, which 21 years later was 16.5 liters/cow/day production, with one cow, Suzana, producing a record 12 gallons of milk in one day, and two of our cows, and a heifer all defeating in a Livestock Show the Central American Grand Champion of the Jersey breed.  Here they are with three of my incredible children: Julie with MAJA, the new Grand Champion;  Dave with MILADY; and Rich with WALESKA--a heifer. They all defeated the Central American champion.

Many things were done to turn the dairy around, for example receiving key  help from  Dan Noorlander, seen in item #11. Key in increasing production was solving the non-clinical  mastitis problem in 80% of the herd, and solving the rampant infertility problem caused by a critical mineral deficiency in the otherwise healthy looking pasture grasses--but lacking important minerals due to constant rains in the area.  We improved the quality of the pastures by planting an Africa variety high in protein, and from the first day began making available to all the cows all they wanted of a  ground-up mineral mix, rather than the ineffective blocks of minerals--resulting in 30 days later more cows coming into heat than my dairy supervisor, and myself inseminating, and our bull working overtime--could handle.  Note:  At one point in our history we were visited by a Professor of Animal Husbandry/Agronomy  from BYU.  His first sort of mocking question was, "Where are your alfalfa fields?" -- Alfalfa being crucial to dairying in the U.S.  I pointed to our lush African grasses with 23% protein--as high as alfalfa.  He just shook his head....and started the rumors about me being a "Rodeo Clown."  

Commercially we eliminated glass bottles,  door to door deliveries and credit sales with everybody having to buy their milk at our store.  Our  disposable plastic bags made that possible, seen below--another first in the country, designed with the lovable Jersey cow inviting all to use our milk, which almost all of Coban did for  many years.

Maria del Carmen, who joined our family as a teenager early on, eventually took charge
of our store in Coban and managed it to the end--acquiring her was another 
of our most important accomplishments .

The quick email response from our friend & supporter was:
What you did in the dairy industry was amazing.  I used to be in the dairy business while living in Cache Valley  Utah  & what you achieved in such a short time is truly a miracle.  I’m sure you had heavenly help to make this happen.  This is no  small thing.  May the lord continue to bless you  for all you have done.  We love you. 
 Douglas &  Rinez  Campbell

11. A SPECIAL SOURCE OF INCREDIBLE SUPPORT & A SURPRISING STATEMENT--PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT HISTORICAL HAPPENING IN THE 50 YEARS.  In spite of resistance and opposition  to our efforts from a very high level in 1973,  visionary LDS Regional Representative, Harold Brown--who doubted rumors passed on to him,  in November 1973 made a surprise visit coming all the way from Mexico and told me:
 "Your work in Guatemala has influenced the leaders of the Church to establish world-wide welfare services. The crucial experiment," as he called it, "has to continue." 

This seemed to be the fulfillment of my original purpose to "hopefully be a catalyst for action on a big scale by qualified individuals and well funded institutions."   Brown encouraged us to continue what he called "the experiment," and promised his support and attempted  to help the General Authorities understand what was really happening and who I really was--even though later sadly admitting he failed with them, but did have some success with the Mission President.     Later my life became even more controversial, which Brother Brown and me  discussed in great detail, and, rather than turning against me as many did, he  volunteered to be a trustee on the Foundation's Board, which he continued to do until age related issues caught up with him.

What Harold Brown told us had  been evolving for several years with a number of key and important  connected developments that  Brother Brown told us were the first such in the Church, all beginning in Guatemala and in one way or another, connected to our work.
It all began  early on in our Guatemalan experience with the famous Lamanite branch in Patzicia--at times  highlighted by us in newsletters reporting many sick and dying LDS babies and children.   Reportedly, due to those reports, I became  sort of disliked by some from the U.S., but  yet it was influential in decisions made--even though only Brother Brown gave us credit for this.

In mid-1970 a couple, Leland Watts and his wife, Selma, were called and sent to Patzicia.
There was no such thing yet as "Welfare Service Missionaries,"  but that is what they basically  were as they were not proselyting missionaries.  However, they were  unaware what they were getting into. 
On their first Sunday  I was there just by chance,  and described the situation which they couldn't believe. I assured them if we uncovered babies in the arms of mothers at the end of the meeting we would find at least 2-3 sick and malnourished babies that would likely die if something wasn't done.  
That literally happened and they got involved trying to learn what to do, yet frustrated because of rules.  Eventually they requested finishing the last six months of their missions at Valparaiso where they felt they could do more good.  To do so they had to accept  being released early,--which they did, and spent productive months with us.  They were even with us the first time the guerrillas appeared, Leland, an ex-Marine, saying to me, "Cordell, let's go check those guys out!"  The next day I got through a friend a .38 revolver for him--so we were one fearsome pair!  They headed home on  December 22, 1971 on their motor cycles.
Here the Watts are on their first visit with us, coming all the way from Patzicia.  
You can see in the background the construction of the Cultural Hall built 
where previously there was a flower garden seen in item #4.

In July 1971, the new Church magazine,

THE ENSIGN, published an article representing the work with Lamanites in Latin America, entitled, "AWAKENING GUATEMALA"

It strangely refrained from ever mentioning the Foundation for Indian Development--as was the case perplexingly in all Church publications.  But, it dealt with the work we were doing in Valparaiso and Patzicia, Guatemala, and seemed logically to be another step in the increased focus on what we called "TOTAL DEVELOPMENT,"  the spiritual & temporal, soon to be followed by contact with Dr. James O. Mason, explained next. 

Dr. James O. Mason, Director of LDS Church Health mid-1971,  became part of the drama.....
....... contacting me  requesting  I take him and President Glade on a tour of Valparaiso and AYUDA's projects in Cunen.  

 So in June 1971 I picked them up in Guatemala City, drove to Valparaiso and Dr. Mason and President Glade were introduced to Valparaiso, and stayed the night sleeping on narrow bunk beds made by our Vocational Students. President Glade was a bit husky, and on the top bunk, and during the night the bed collapsed, him falling on top of Dr. Mason.  Dr. Mason thought it was terribly funny, but President Glade I don't think ever forgave me.  We then visited the AYUDA projects in Cunen.  Dr. Mason seemed to be very positive about what we were doing.

Next,  in 1972,  the first "Agriculture Missionary"--Dan Noorlander, was called and sent to Patzicia,

Dan Noorlander, wasn't permitted by Mission leaders to help the only dairy run by mostly members of the LDS Church at Valparaiso--which frustrated him and us--as both of us  believed  that  such was why he was called to Guatemala--but,  as a world renowned dairy expert,  he was pretty determined and came anyway in the  beginning when still managing the dairy in Coban,  and in one quick visit helped the Lecheria Las Victorias begin to solve one key problem--mastitis.
Then, a year later, after we moved the whole dairy to Valparaiso, he came again as seen above and gave further guidance  which helped us solve another critical problem contributing to the dairy eventually becoming successful beyond anyone's fondest dreams.  
Him not being permitted officially to help us, was perplexing to us, however,  we  rather turned around and helped him in his projects in Patzicia--donating machinery, poultry, a couple of prize heifers and more.

Also two nurses--"Medical Missionaries,"  were called and sent to Patzicia
However I'll confide that they were totally frustrated as they were told they couldn't treat, just teach. One of them, reportedly, came near to having a nervous breakdown because of it.

Then in 1974 on our first trip back to Utah in 7 years, Dr. Mason invited me to show a Foundation slide program in the  LDS Church Office Building to the WELFARE COMMITTEE:  Presiding Bishopric and the Relief Society Presidency.

President Barbara Smith was the first and only person in my experience to object to me showing pictures of malnourished, sick and dying babies. I told her simply, "That's the way it is and something has to be done!"   Dr. Mason was our cheerleader and defended the program, then Bishop Featherstone stood and in a booming voice said, "If that's the way it is, that's the way we should show it!"

I was then  invited to spend time  with personnel from Health Services

 As I understand it, these services eventually became part of World Wide Welfare Services.  They wanted me to give them a "no holds barred"  critique, which I did--in a 4 hour intensive session, giving  them suggestions how to improve the program, most of which ideas, including the Principles of the Good Life, were blended into the program.

During that period Dan Noorlander was  convinced Welfare Services needed a full-time supervisor in the mission
  He suggested to the General Authorities my name--as the only one who understood the difficult circumstances of the Indians, knowing first-hand  the medical, economic and educational needs, including agriculture in Guatemala, familiar  with suppliers, etc. which as reported to me was discussed in their Thursday meeting in the Temple, but tabled as I was just too being as some experts were calling something like a "rodeo clown" and worse.  Apparently some of the criticism against me was being believed by otherwise very good men--but human.  
NOTE:  World Wide Welfare Services, which Brown insisted we--meaning the Foundation & all of us donors,  inspired, today in 2017 is called LDS HUMANITARIAN SERVICES.
12. BYU'S LAMANITE GENERATION's  MIRACULOUS PRESENTATION AT VALPARAISO:  On our first trip back to Utah in 1974, I had meetings with Janie Thompson,  director of BYU's Program Bureau,  and helped the Lamanite Generation organize a tour of Latin America, part of which was an open air presentation at Valparaiso in a natural amphitheater,  and another in the Olympic Gymnasium in Coban.  As described in our Historical Documents the July 2, 1975 presentation is described as "miraculous" as time after time walls of water were converging on the presentation and the 1,200 spectators, but after many heads bowed in prayer, we opened our eyes to find the walls of rain had dissipated and a window of blue sky persisted above us.  They went on to have a great success in Coban, where Carl Jacob was in charge, 3,000 in attendance.

Sadly, in a cleanup effort by volunteers two days afterwards,  our 2 year old daughter, Michelle, lost her life in an accident.  
Michelle "Pepita" was buried  at Valparaiso--her marble plaque provided by Dan Noorlander

Later the group returned from South America to give a concert in her honor in the largest theater in Guatemala City at which presentation I was awarded a symbolic necklace and made an honorary member of the Navajo Tribe.

13.  SEEMINGLY MICHELLE BECAME MY GUARDIAN ANGEL.  Her multiple interventions  to literally  save me  happened  the first time one day when very early I had to make a trip alone to Guatemala City, when about an hour from Valparaiso as the day was dawning, I dosed off and was angling off the highway into a ravine when, all of a sudden I was slapped and awakened, actually hearing the slap, and feeling the stinging on my face, and in time saved myself from disaster.  I have believed since that it was Michelle, as my guardian angel, who saved me impressively that day the first, but not the last time.  One day it will be fun to see what really goes on in such situations.

14.  THE EXTENSION OF OUR WORK HAS PRODUCED MANY PROJECTS IN ALL 33 VILLAGES OF SANTA CRUZ VERAPAZ--IN MANY OF THEM MULTIPLE TIMES, from life saving medical treatments, construction of medical clinics, construction of schools burned down by the guerrillas & others, adding on classrooms, kitchens and sanitary facilities  for many schools, building of homes in special cases of need, sponsorship of the Indian Folklore Festival for 14 consecutive years, providing for many years  educational materials for students in all the rural schools--for example, for 5,300 children last year (2017),  and for 1,560 students in 2018 paid for by me, Federico and 5 special donors.  
After the first 8 years, my companion in all of this, and eventually our volunteer-Regional Director, was my friend and brother, Federico Veliz (Pacay) who worked with me for 42 years (and we are still doing it together--now without the Foundation) as the most dedicated man to his people I have ever known, or heard of.  Thus, I have called him:  
 I'll insert below a photo of Federico, who is with one of the Indian Queens we aided in her reign.
The sum total of all of this dedication  was completely free of any direct LDS involvement, as Federico was, and is, a devout Catholic.

NOTE:  I should add that eventually the LDS image of our work began creating resistance to our efforts from many of these village areas, and even offensive actions, such as invasions of Valparaiso--while we were in Sunday evening Firesides, that had us turning off the projector, me and my young companions grabbing clubs and racing off to fight the invaders and putting many in jail.  As I report somewhere, for years I had as a sort of trophy,  a white blood stained shirt with ripped pocket, from one of those encounters.  With this anti-Mormon attitude, contrary to their attitude towards me in the first years,  they began letting their sick die, rather than ask for my help.  So we began removing the LDS image from our work, began working through our dedicated Catholic friend, Federico, and opened up the way for literally hundreds of development projects in the 33 villages of Santa Cruz, that..... make this: 
This category alone could easily fill a book, including incredible adventures, confronted with death threats by Ladino land owners who didn't like us helping the Indians, an attempt to force Federico and me to join the guerrillas or die--which eventually was lifted as a friend became leader of the guerrillas in our area and instructed his troops to leave us alone as I treated fairly my workers--as though they were family, and we were effectively helping the people in the villages.
Then the  unbelievable heroic efforts by our Indian companions doing things probably none of us gringos could equal, led by Miguel Max, one of "The TWELVE."  

For example:  When invited by the teacher, Federico Veliz,  at the very remote Pambach Village to help them finish building their school, a team of 3 volunteers, led  by Miguel took off one Sunday afternoon after Church, hauling a 150 lb. generator, a 16mm. movie projector, and movies.  Two would carry the generator up the steep trail into the mountains south of Valparaiso,  the third carrying the projector, movies and gas can, who would rotate once in a while carrying the generator.  The normal hike of 3 hours, took them  more--I don't recall the total, up and over a high pass switch-backing down into see in the picture with Miguel Max and Federico shacking hands to agree to help.  They then showed movies--the first ever in Pambach, and afterwards, in the dark headed back to Valparaiso, arriving in time for their work the next morning.  INCREDIBLE!  How I love and admire these people. and was privileged to be part of their team.

 For photographs of the hundreds of projects, see at the top right of this website:  SUCCESS STORIES, plus the many YouTube videos, photo/essays, reports and newsletters.   

15.  THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF FEBRUARY 4, 1976 THAT KILLED 25,000 -It was an incredibly hard blow for the county at 3:00 AM that morning, which  for a few hours had us only being able to tune in to radio stations from Honduras saying, "There is no radio or telephone contact with Guatemala, as if Guatemala is dead!"
But, Valparaiso was alive as well as  Alta Verapaz with only 14 dead, but our urgent need was to find a way to survive isolated from the rest of the country for who knew how much time. Therefore on the first day, imagining that we would not be receiving anything trucked from the capital for a long time, I sent our vehicles to  Táctic, San Cristóbal, Cobán and San Pedro Carcha to buy all the cattle and poultry feed we could get our hands on.  Then, since the electricity was lost in the first 5 seconds of the quake we would need diesel fuel to run our emergency generators, and gasoline for our delivery vehicles. Fuel was already being rationed, so I went to the governor of Alta Verapaz, who quickly recognized the critical need of all of Coban for our milk and poultry products, so he authorized me to fill all of our  55 gallon oil drums, plus whatever additional ones we could find.  So, by the end of the first day we were ready to survive on our own for at least a month or more--even if the rest of Guatemala was dead!
The north end of the barn, walls made of adobe, had collapsed.  The interior walls of the Central House were all damaged so no one was willing to sleep there.  Dr. Buz Sandburg, seen to the left, from Salt Lake was visiting and didn't know that in a quake you get outside quick.  So he just rolled over, pulling the blanket over his head and ended up covered with plaster, but OK.  

Jim Penrod and some of his kids were also visiting, sleeping in their van and slept right through the disaster until being awakened by all the people who had fled from the house with their blankets and were screaming and carrying on. 

Jim Penrod, seen in the middle with a couple of his kids--they slept through the quake in their van!
Luckily it was the dry season, so we set up a sort of refugee camp--seen above  at our soccer field where everyone camped out  until we replaced the interior walls with wood. 

A few days afterward we filled our Plymouth van with blankets, clothes, food and medicine, all donated by the people of Valparaiso, to help their Cakchiquel cousins, and I headed for the Central Highlands accompanied by Gonzalo Cujcuj who was from Patzicia. 

A few weeks before I was prompted to begin making a weekly trip to Patzicia for some reason.  I had arrived on a cold, dark Mutual night with only 15 in attendance. I asked one of the Mitch boys, who was in charge, if he wanted my help to wake up the members, and he excitedly agreed.  I promised to come the next week.
A week later, to a  very large group seen above,  I began slide and movie presentations of the Good Life, in which they could see that they were in many ways still living with many of the elements of the curse, outlined in 2 Nephi chapter 1, and needed some help to, as the book says, "come out of the darkness into the light" and begin to "blossom."  The night of the earthquake I had promised to be there to show them how to begin blossoming with a new life.

But, Buz and Jim arrived, and so I sent a telegram saying I'd be there a couple of days later.  If I had of been there that night, I would have likely been sleeping where I usually did, with my foam pad on the stage where sometimes missionaries also slept.  
One, an Elder Ellsworth, was sleeping there and when the heavy cement roof beams collapsed he was pinned under one for hours and badly injured. 
Back to Gonzalo and me making our first trip to the main area hit by the quake:  The Atlantic Highway was destroyed, and so from the junction of the Atlantic Highway with the Coban highway, we had to head for Zacapa and swing way around by El Salvador and then back to Guatemala City, and from there it was a wild drive up into the Highlands with landslides everywhere.  In Patzicia we immediately began visiting all the members we knew and found dozens injured and sick. Daniel Choc's mother and young sister tragically were killed when their house collapsed on top of them.   No aid had got to any of them, and I immediately began treatments, making a list I would leave with the doctors and nurses I understood the Church had sent. 
As we neared the chapel we found a large group of people coming our way, and it seemed they were angry. They told us they had gone to the Mormon chapel to get help,  but were turned down since they weren't members.  I tried to smooth over the situation telling them there must have been a misunderstanding, and opened up the van to distribute among them almost everything we had brought from Valparaiso. 
At the chapel compound they had tents set up.  We told the doctors and nurses of dozens of members in need we had began  treating.  They told us they had been instructed to not leave the chapel compound, but just treat those who came to them. I gave them my detailed list and tried to make it clear that people would die if they didn't get out of the compound and continue the treatments. 
Thus began our efforts to help, which basically were not too well received by the foreign helpers and leaders--once again it seemed I was looked on as "competition," rather someone willing to help-- which was very disappointing to me as quite frankly my being moved to begin visiting and preparing the Mormon people to build a new life, had me quite convinced I should have had something to do with the reconstruction, but…what the heck, never give up was my motto.   

So, we soon began looking for a more remote area where help hadn't got to yet, and where the people had not been contaminated with the idea of receiving everything for nothing and not really doing anything to help themselves and their own people.
We found such a place in the Hamlet of Las Mercedes in the Saquiya Village of Patzun,  where we developed an aid program that kept going for several years with a united and humble group of Indians that worked with us to build right in the middle of the hamlet a Cultural Center of typical construction with polls and wood the Indians would get from the surrounding forests. The roof was thatch, the floor was dirt, but it was large enough for all the area Indians to fit for meetings, and which  became my "home away from home" where I would spend every other week. We called it the Centro Indígena de Desarrollo--EL CID No.2. 

From the beginning we had meetings to understand the needs and get organized, but just usually with the men in someone's home.  With the Cultural Center, we really got moving with Good Life classes, educational and good quality commercial movies, illiteracy classes, especially for the women, and we organized a Credit Cooperative that had a Cooperative Store--seen to the right, and of course there were many medical treatments, saving many, and improving the health of the whole community.

 But right from the beginning we worked with the community leaders, with cooperation from the Canadian Embassy,  to build temporary school for the whole Saquiya Village--seen below,  and it became the first place in the entire country to start classes again for the children.

During my week in the Central Highlands, I spread out from my "home away from home" at Las Mercedes and got a project started in rural Patzicia among very needy LDS families, and in Comalapa began working with another friend, Rigoberto Miza--seen with his family to the right  to organize a Cooperative where I began giving Good Life lessons.  NOTE:  We met Rigoberto when he brought us two youth from Comalapa to be Vocational Students at THE CID.  He had heard about us through Mormons from Patzicia.
NOTE:  Tragically the Government went to extremes in its desperation to defeat the  guerrilla movement supported by Cuba--especially difficult as President Jimmy Carter stopped giving military aid to the government.  It never became publicly known, but for a time the main Guerrilla group in the country was led by a Mormon University student--the guerrillas supplied by said leader's brother with stuff from Cuba brought in through Mexico. Eventually both of them were killed by government forces.  
Clandestine extreme right-wing  groups evolved called "La Mano Blanca," that were basically death squads. They interpreted cooperatives as being communistic, and sadly 9 of the 10 directors of the Comalapa cooperative were murdered, along with their entire families.  Only Rigoberto Miza escaped, hiding in the Peten area for several years until the danger had passed
Another Tragic Note:  My vocational student/tractor supervisor/local missionary, Daniel Choc, had become a full time LDS missionary at the time of the earthquake, working in Sumpango.  Missionaries formed teams to help in the reconstruction, and he was with a group in Patzun knocking down damaged buildings, and sadly killed when a wall fell on him.  That was the end of a plan Daniel and me had for after his mission to establish in Patzicia another CENTER for INDIAN DEVELOPMENT with Daniel as director. 
Daniel's real mission was performed at Valparaiso where as a  teenage "local missionary"  he was credited with 26 convert baptisms, using the Good Life method,  as well as being of key influence in many ways, such as the "total development program" becoming THE CID--a Center for Indian Development.  Sadly this was never mentioned in his Funeral Service, nor in writings about his life. 
He is for me one of the  most outstanding Guatemalans  of my experience, joining the ranks of ENRIQUE RITTSCHER, MIGUEL MAX & FEDERICO  VELIZ  (PACAY).

16. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE LDS DISTRICT OF ALTA & BAJA VERAPAZ --Once recovering a little from the earthquake, we began hearing rumors that President Arnold of the LDS Mission was coming for some reason. 
The Background:  Since 1974, while us Andersen were on our first trip to the U.S. in 7 years, the LDS Branch was abruptly taken away from the Valparaiso members, and transferred to Coban as the Mission President wanted to send full-time missionaries to the area for the first time  in 15 years, and wanted there to be a branch  to help the missionary work.  The relatively poor members from Valparaiso were abruptly abandoned, or rather, required to travel to Coban if they wanted to be active--which due to their work running a dairy, poultry, hogs, and travel expenditures, made it  impossible for families.
My dear friend Carl Jacob had joined us and was there in case our first native manager, my young vocational student graduate, Miguel Max--seen with Carl on the right,  needed help. To try and save the members he began using my two work vehicles to transport everyone to Coban for meetings, and paying bribes--coming and going,  to the police as the vehicles weren't authorized to carry hordes of people.  It was pure hell for the poor members to meet their work commitments and also be active.  
I was shocked on my return, in November 1974,  and tried to keep the system going, now also with the Plymouth van the Foundation had got for us to be able to return.  But all of a sudden the members couldn't take it any longer, and one day only two showed up to go to Church--Miguel Max and Santiago Caal Max.  On return, we found the Priesthood, led by the Branch President, Miguel Ajpop (of Coban branch) destroying on the soccer field the team from Tactic.  It was over! ...... so it seemed.  NOTE:  Miguel Ajpop  had been a Vocational Student from Patzun (near Patzicia), then in 1973  returned with his new wife and was accepted as an employee, and in the 1973 Church debacle--reviewed below,  was called to be the Valparaiso Branch president, but then the branch transferred to Coban--had him as the Branch President of the Coban Branch!  Got it?  Carl Jacob  soon after moved to Coban, and was called as the Branch President.
Then I tried to save our people by not going to Coban anymore, but having a FAMILY HOUR, and invited all to attend. Soon everybody was active again, and with the missionaries not having any success in Coban, they began visiting Valparaiso and all of a sudden many  baptisms were reported by the Coban missionaries, who, in a January 1976  Missionary meeting in the Mission Home, were congratulated by President Arnold for "many Coban baptisms."  A missionary raised his hand and informed a surprised Mission President the baptisms were all from Valparaiso.  Thus a rumor soon got to us that he was coming, likely to organize our Family Hour into a Branch--again, for the 3rd time!
I wrote objecting, telling him he wasn't welcome unless he was willing to talk frankly about all the confusion and injustice that had been going on for years. 

The CONFUSION & INJUSTICE?  Coban and Valparaiso had been part of the Zacapa District, some 200 kms. to the southeast through rough mountains.  Earlier in 1956 on,  the Coban Branch had been part of the Guatemala City District. Then in 1970 it was closed, and transferred to Valparaiso, where in 1968 we first had an un-official SEMINARY CLASS, then by 1969 a SUNDAY SCHOOL & RELIEF SOCIETY, but in 1970 the Coban branch was transferred and became the VALPARAISO BRANCH by Mission President Clark, but a week later new Mission President Glade accused me of having made that change without authorization and threatened Church sanctions, so from 1970 to 1973 the Valparaiso Branch became a GROUP--but said to be "the only Lamanite Church unit that wasn't a parasite to the Church,"  and "pays more tithing to the Church than any of the Wards in the Guatemala City Stake!"  But, as a GROUP we developed--following the Priesthood Manual, a Group run program, with encouragement from Spencer W. Kimball, with a donation to help from the Foundation, and authorized by the Salt Lake City Church Financial Department, that was all part of the 3 year period of no death at Valparaiso, plus a leading baptizer in Guatemala.  Yet, that was opposed and erroneous information was forwarded to Salt Lake that was believed and "due to widespread misunderstanding" at the highest level of Church leadership, stopped the effort, discouraging the members and basically ending the effort.  But in that difficult 1973 period we persisted finally meeting requirements that no other branch in the Mission could meet, and  the VALPARAISO BRANCH was organized again, but with instructions that destroyed the branch president, Miguel Angel Ortiz,  and all the good, with babies dying again. 

I was determined to not accept injustice and persist, but what really gave us a big boost to salvage  the 6 year effort was the sudden visit of Harold Brown, who, rather than using the bureaucratic way of blaming problems on the lowly servants, he looked honestly at everything including the leadership, and promised his support….but it took some time to finally convince, at least President Arnold by 1975, and early 1976, that I wasn't a lost cause. 

President Arnold promised to have an open mind and discuss all the confusion apparently including my suggestion to a Mission counselor in 1975, who tried to call me to be the Zacapa District President, countered by my suggestion of organizing a more logical Alta Verapaz District.  So President Arnold arrived in April of 1976 and we had a long visit, both doing our best to be humble, recognizing some terrible errors, lack of inspiration and damage done in the past by bad decisions--and both determined to do better in the future.  He then said he believed the Lord wanted the ALTA VERAPAZ DISTRICT to be organized with me as District President.  The new organization was actually for a year the ALTA /BAJA VERAPAZ District, 
He then said: 
 "Valparaíso is the only place in the Mission where positive accomplishments and progress are being made, so I feel inspired to establish in Valparaiso a TRAINING CENTER FOR WELFARE SERVICE MISSIONARIES,  where missionary couples will spend two months at the beginning of their missions helping you with your projects and thus be prepared to be productive where ever they are assigned.  Do you accept? "

I accepted and we immediately began construction, with Foundation help, building three A-frame homes where the couples would live.  

President Arnold didn't want to wait for the homes so the first couple, the Barnetts, were sent soon after.  We fixed up a simple room for them in the Central House.  Hal and Neva Poulsen were with us then, and I turned the Barnetts over to Hal to orient them, but soon I noticed they were in heated conversation.  Brother  Barnett insisted that the only "work of the Lord" was that instigated by the President and Prophet of the Church. I calmed the conversation down, and suggested they read some printed items about what we were doing.  After reading one, they would come and get another.   Within two weeks they became convinced that what we were doing was "the un-official work of the Lord."

However,  a new Mission President, John O'Donnal, immediately cancelled the "inspired" program established by President Arnold, leaving me holding the bag with the 3 homes under construction, and an entire training program I had written up to be able to meet the inspired  hopes of the previous mission president.  We never heard from the Barnetts again. 
Where President Arnold had recognized Valparaiso as "…the only place in the Mission where positive accomplishments and progress are being made."  .........

......the new Mission President saw nothing of value and recommended I "end the Foundation, sell Valparaiso and go to the South Coast, buy a plantation and make some money!"    

Apparently our modest life, and living with and helping Indians, wasn't very impressive for O'Donnal and other leaders who thought our efforts were a joke.  

One such humble meeting was a District Conference I directed, but presided over by General Authority, Elder William Bradford.  It was held open air in the "Lamanite Generation Ampthitheater" with a small sugar cane thatch roof giving shade to the leaders, with sawdust covering the ground--all similar to early LDS conferences held in what the pioneers called  "boweries."  To that point it was the largest Church meeting in history for the area with 456 present.

Above the leaders in  said Conference are seen.  Right to left:  My counselors, Miguel Max, Jorge de Leon, me, William Bradford, John O'Donnal, Maria, and Carmen O'Donnal. 
A conflict arose as all of a sudden Elder Bradford made a statement that had Elder Bringhurst--translating into Q"eqchi',  turn and say to me, "President Andersen, I can't translate that as it will just confuse the Indians!"  I agreed with him....and he smoothed it over in the dialect unbeknownst to the leaders, saving in a sense the success of the Conference at least for the Maya/Q'eqchi' --but among others there was confusion as the statement they heard in Spanish reflected the spirit mentioned several times in this report as that of "competition & contention, rather than cooperation and gratitude,"  the greatest challenge faced over the 50 year effort.  
There followed three years of conflict, but I nevertheless  found a way to effectively direct the work in my area of responsibility, basically using the Method of the Good Life with my District Missionaries, and following the Priesthood Manualcalled District Missionaries, and  for the first time in Guatemala:  Full time/short term native missionaries,   and District Welfare Service Missionaries, all of whom I could call and supervise as District President. 
My calling was actually facilitated as a year later the Mission was divided with   Alta Verapaz--my area strangely--surrounded by the other mission-- and becoming a world apart from the Mission Office of the new Quetzaltenango Mission, an 8 hour drive away--down through Guatemala City, and then way up into the Central Highlands, leaving us luckily pretty much on our own with no possibility of attending Leadership Meetings.  The 14 full-time missionaries in the District became in many ways dependent on me, and so we helped each other, with monthly meetings to coordinate our efforts, and all went smoothly with great success--at least for a while.    With miraculous guidance from the Lord, great progress was made by these humble people, along with sowing the seeds of great progress for the future.  
Important Note:  It is worth noting that several times over the years in interviews with Leaders I was accused of "doing things" my way, rather than obeying the Leadership.  On those occasions I asked for an example or two--which they never were able to give me.
To some--what was described in previous paragraphs, are examples.  However, first I was following The Manual, and 2nd -- since being called in 1967 as a "local missionary" continuing up to  1979 and then as District President, I was never told what teaching methods to use, but was free to follow the inspiration of the Lord.  I was never given outlines or manuals, nor invited to a "missionary meeting,"  except the one mentioned next-- OF GREAT HISTORICAL VALUE:  

In the beginning of President Glade's mission--1970 to 1973, he invited me to the Mission Home to make an all morning presentation to the missionaries working with Indians, explaining how they could be more effective.  After I was finished, he admitted  for incomprehensible reasons  that they couldn't do as I was suggesting, and said to me, 
"You be our Indian Mission.  Find a way to make it work!"    
With the guidance of the Lord, we did exactly that.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  It was all very simple and basic, similar to what I  suggested to the Ecuador Mission, explained in #18, which helped them in just one year move from being "spit on, stoned and thrown in jail,"  to become the leading Lamanite mission in the Church

As District President once again Valparaiso was organized as a BRANCH--for the 3rd time,  even though years later--1989,  it was abandoned again, but kept alive with our FAMILY HOUR  from 1989-1993, until it was finally organized again as a BRANCH for the 4th time--part of the COBAN-GUATEMALAN MISSION, and then on January 22, 2017 organized as a WARD in the COBAN LDS STAKE. In addition, work during my District Presidency began in several new areas, and of great importance, the Polochic area using the Good Life Method,   described next. 

17.  THE EXTENSION OF OUR WORK TO THE POLOCHIC -- a lush  tropical valley southwest of Coban, accessible by a dirt road that very quickly switchbacks down 4,500 ft. from the mountainous Valparaiso/Coban area to this near sea level valley that touches very large Lake Izabal that leads to the Caribbean-where the Good Life Method  was tested among strangers with whom I had no influence, and it worked like a charm  beginning important work in the remote Chulac Cooperative Plantation, including the eventual emergency building of a temporary chapel. The trip from Valparaiso to Chulac took 5 hours in 4 x 4 vehicles, and from there two hours to also   work in the Municipality of Senahu, plus an 18 month development program at the Church of the Prince of  Peace in Saxsuja and Santa Maria Actela,  which culminated in 260 copies of the Indian's original Sacred Book being requested by the Indian congregations, and distributed, all paid for by the Indians. 
Much of that was accomplished  by first calling  from Valparaiso Full-time/short term native missionaries,  as well as, District Welfare Service Missionariesfor the first time in the LDS history in Guatemala, which according to the Manual I could do as a District President without consulting the Mission President.  The Welfare Service missionaries werethe men:  My vocational student from the Tanchi Village,  Miguel Chub, as translator,   and 72 year old Gustavo Ramirez, seen below as an "itinerant  dentist," working with me as a team, my job doing the medical treatments.   
On our 3rd trip to Chulac, at the request of the 5 catechists who ran the Mass, and who were the first to accept their original Sacred Book and begin preaching from it in the Mass, wanted us to take charge of the meeting, after the Mass.  Elder Bringhurst who was proficient in Q'eqchi'  spoke first, and at the end of his sermon, teaching "as Ammon did anciently," he asked how many accepted their newly found Sacred Book and be baptized. Four hundred hands were raised high.  We ended the meeting with our group singing in the dialect and in Spanish, I AM A CHILD OF GOD.  Our group: Gustavo, Miguel Chub, Miguel Max, Dean Black, Dr. Bob Blair and several of his kids, and Bringhurst and companion.  
Gustavo is seen above, and above him the group coming out of the Catholic chapel after our successful meeting with them;  then a group on the patio near the central house  watching the movie, TEN COMMANDMENTS, 

Judith Ovalle, and my daughter, Cristina Andersen, seen to the right were the first two Distict Welfare Service missionaries, and part of our team for the weekends of intense activity at Chulac, at Senahu, and then at the Saxsuja Church of the Prince of Peace down in the Polochic Valley, pictured below.       Another "first" was following the dictates of the Spirit and creating  a combined meeting schedule  (when such didn't exist yet in the Church)  to make possible my team helping in Chulac, beginning with Sunday School, then dividing for the classes, which were:  Priesthood looking forward with me and translators;  Relief Society, looking backwards with Judith; and Primary, in the shade of trees with Cristina; Then back to the chapel, seen two pictures down,  for Sacrament Meeting.  We  then traveled 2 hours to Senahu, to repeat the process.  After Senau, we would go down out of the mountains to Saxsuja where I was invited to preach in evening meetings every two weeks for 18 months with an average of 600 in attendance.
At the Church of the Prince of Peace I had introduced myself as the Director of the Foundation for Indian Development and their brother,  resulting in me being invited to speak and   working there for 18 months preaching--using very carefully the Good Life Method  and when they were all asking for their original Sacred Book, 200 copies were distributed among them.  They then took us to another chapel up in the mountains at Santa Maria Actela, where our friends from Saxsuja had already prepared the way and in a meeting with 160 in attendance, 60 more books were distributed, and I was asked to then give blessings to babies, children and some old folks.  It continued for around an hour,  one after another  in a great spiritual banquet of love and faith.  
Note:   Gustavo was also teaching me Q'eqchi'  and it was to begin that meeting in Santa Maria Actela that I gave my first prayer in the dialect. 

Out of that great two year adventure--in  the remote Polochic area,  I was harshly reprimanded by the same leader who threatened me with serious Church sanctions because he believed I had built the chapel seen above without Church authorization, and also, as described in item #20, believing I was guilty  of "illegal adoption work" which had hurt the missionary work, yet I defended the truth and prevailed.
The work progressed very rapidly with native District Missionaries, the first two--Jorge Choc, and Rafael Maas in their confirmation, were also ordained to the Priesthood and set apart as the first two District Missionaries and continued with increased enthusiasm what they had already been doing using the GOOD LIFE METHOD.    The only slowdown was about a year after beginning when full-time missionaries were sent to live and work there, which had the members at Chulac backing off a bit wondering, "Aren't the leaders pleased with our efforts to convert our own people?"  But, all went forward and  eventually 18 months after beginning I organized in April 1979 a branch there with 160 members,  and  there are today for the LDS Church in the Polochic Area:  Two Districts, and one Stake.  
It goes without saying that without the cooperation of the Foundation and its donors that provided 4x4 vehicles, generators, projections equipment, medicines, etc.  the history would be vastly different, so you all have my profound gratitude for making the "best missionary experience of my life" possible.  

 NOTE:  More about Gustavo Ramirez:  In the beginning of the Chulac adventure, he wasn't even a member of the Church--yet receptive, but as my translator & teacher,  he soon came to be a real believer and a convert along with his very young wife, Rose Mary.  During that period we also had some of the greatest adventures guided by him into the jungles to the north in motorized dugout canoes going down the River of Passion (Rio de la Pasion), and up the Machaquila River where he had a property. We were accompanied by my boys David and Richard, along with Carl Jacob and Miguel Max--who was the first to introduce to the Q'eqchi'  of that area their original Sacred Book. The pictures are of my son Richard "Dito" with one of the fish we caught.  On one of those risky trips my 9.5 HP Evinrude outboard motor was ruined, that literally "left us up the creek with no paddle!"   Once we struggled back to civilization, I had no choice but to replace it, but with a 15 HP Evinrude, more capable of helping us escape the country down the Chixoy River ....if needed--mentioned at the end of  #32, just before CONCLUSIONS.

Oh, and I should add that 11 years later I was visited by people from Chulac requesting that we help them build a school. For all those years no education was available and many adults still didn't know how to read and write, and the one school was so far away that their children weren't getting an education.  So from 1990-93 a whole bunch of trips were made again building a school in the Seococ Village of Chulac, you see below, and then employing a teacher until the Ministry of Education took charge. 
During that period, we learned of another school on the other side of the mountain in the Sajonte  Village where Santiago Ical was heroically struggling to teach the children but with no wage and he was at his extremities.  We began paying him a wage, helped remodel the school, get them furniture, and in the end left with Santiago a generator, TV, VCR and educational videos.  Finally the Ministry of Education also accepted our request to take charge of the school and pay Santiago.   

Santiago, by the way,  was so outstanding he became my representative at the huge Chulac Cooperative Plantation, with 2,000 native residents. 
It had been developed many years before by Germans as a coffee plantation when they had to take to the area machinery, piece by piece on mules following the mountain trails, carving out of the wilderness a touch of civilization, but at the time of World War II, Germans became suspect with plantations being confiscated by the government, Germans either sent back to Germany, or to concentration camps in the U.S.  Eventually the government run plantation was turned into a cooperative with a government appointed manager.

In 1976 the missionary son, Elder Blair,  of the Foundation's then Executive Director, Dr. Robert Blair, linguist professor at BYU, wrote me detailing their struggle to begin missionary work among the Indians--getting spit on, stoned, and even put in jail.  He asked for an explanation of our successful methods, which I described to him in a long letter. 

 Elder Blair seen  above  was involved in applying some of my suggestions, one being to  call  native missionaries & relaxing the dress restrictions .

 A year later Bob Blair excitedly showed me an Ecuadoran Mission newsletter describing how the Mission had become in just one year the leading Lamanite mission for the Church in all of the Americas, and pointed out our influence as described.  Consequently the Mission President requested we make a visit and share our experiencies to see if they couldn't gleen a few ideas how to proceed.. 
That resulted in Dr. Blair and myself in late August 1977  making a visit to Ecuador, putting on firesides in Otovalo for the missionaries there, in the home of the leading Indian leader, and then in the Mission Home for all the missionaries in the Quito area.  

Seen above is what we called "the handshake of the revolution" -- a spiritual and peaceful one -
-the meaning:  Fingers pointing at each other:  
"You and me are brothers & sisters, and together  [thumbs joined pointing upward] 
we will rise up and blossom."
The Mission President was profuse in thanking us as he took us to the airport. 

19.  AT THE Brigham Young University 1977 HOMECOMING  BANQUET I WAS  PRESENTED THE BYU DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD, for which the Foundation and its donors deserve most of the credit, as it was out of the cooperation and generosity of all that achievements had been accomplished.   It was jokingly said afterwards that I was: 
 "the youngest, least educated, and poorest to ever receive the award, as well as the least likely to ever repeat!" 

Prior to the Alumni Banquet in 1977 I was invited to participate  at:
BYU's Education Week  
They wanted me to talk about our experience of to that point 10 years  in Guatemala, which event is worth including as this part of our history.

It was in one of those amphitheater-like lecture rooms-- quite well attended, when a physician expressed serious concerns about me and my 10 year old daughter, Julie, doing all kinds of medical treatments--in the U.S. reserved only for doctors.  
I carefully explained that there were no medical services available and if we didn't do what we could, many would have died.  Then added, "I even did an emergency hernia surgery!"  The Dr. really starting to  get fidgety,  but I went on, 
"I had no choice but to do my best.  I got the supplies I needed--as  all of that was available then at the pharmacies.  We strapped the patient down, and I went to work putting the patient to sleep, and using local anesthesia started cutting, and exploring what seemed like the best way to solve the problem.  Then sewed up the incision, and administered antibiotic to prevent infection.  I then had to make a quick trip somewhere, and on thinking about what I did, realized I had done it wrong, so on my return--repeated the surgery, and felt good about the correction.  But a day or so later, thinking about it, I understood better the physiology and concluded I had still done it wrong.  So repeated the surgery the 3rd time!"  You could have heard a pin drop as I described the ordeal, the Dr. of course red with rage wanted to explode--but I went on.  "I finally had done it right, and over a 30 day recovery period, all seemed good--then on the 31st day, the hernia ballooned out again!  So, with heart felt pity for my patient, I pulled  out my .45 pistol and shot the patient and ate the pig!"  
It took a few seconds for the stunned group to realize what had happened, and they then burst into laughter--except for the physician!

20.  THE INTERNATIONAL BABY SMUGGLING SCANDAL --In early 1977 LDS Mission President John O'Donnal and his wife, Carmen, invited us to make a trip to Guatemala City and meet with them at the Mission Home.  There they asked us to take over an adoption project  they had been doing for several years in partnership with Children's House International from Salt Lake.  I explained I was too busy, but Maria volunteered to do it.  I became her taxi driver--which is important to remember, as you will see Maria helping their project.  
The O'Donnals explained the procedure, using Carmen's cousin who was a lawyer.  We assumed everything was legal, and so Maria went to work with the help of Hortensia de Ovalle from Coban who would locate needy babies.  Several were processed and in one case a representative of CHI, ex-mission president, Harvey Glade, came to take the baby back to the U.S.  

Soon a glitch occurred when a mother left her baby with Maria, and then disappeared before legal papers could be signed.  The O'Donnals suggested to Maria a maneuver they had used that was illegal, which we refused to do.  
Right after the Ecuador trip explained in item #12, while we were on vacation in the U.S.,  with Carl Jacob filling in for Maria, he and Sister Ovalle were arrested by the police and thrown in jail, and eventually transferred to  the Federal Prison--El Pavon.  We were headline news in Guatemala for at least 5-6 days:  
FIRST DAY:  Jacob and Ovalle, in jail for "International Baby Smuggling."   
SECOND DAY: after raiding Jacob's house and finding Foundation literature, headlines were, "Cordell Andersen, Director of the Foundation for Indian Development, the Ringleader, Just Escaped the Country & Sought by the FBI in the U.S.!"  
I was called and warned by an acquaintance and  newspaper reporter to not return to the country as there was a warrant for my arrest at the borders and at the airport.   
Hearing that supposedly the FBI was after me, I called the Salt Lake City office of the FBI told them they were supposed to be looking for me--which they knew nothing about.  So a meeting was arranged and I had a session with several agents telling them what was was being reported as headline news in Guatemala and what the truth of the matter was.  They thought it was all pretty funny, and commented that such  ridiculous "scandals"  were common in Latin America.  They contacted  the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala to give them their report and that they knew where to find me if there was any need.  
THIRD DAY:  "Valparaiso raided by Judicial Police: Manager,  Miguel Max, and Supervisor of the Central House, Florencia Rivas, captured and in Jail."  
FOURTH DAY:  now in El Pavon, Ovalle panicked and said the Mormon Mission President had started the effort, so headlines became, "LDS Church a partner with the Foundation in Baby Smuggling Ring!"  The O'Donnals had been told to go into hiding and say nothing.  The lawyer was in Europe and advised not to return.  Sister Jacob contacted the O'Donnals and begged them to come forward, tell the truth and get innocent people out  of jail, but they refused.
Catholic nuns and priests, hearing the LDS Church was involved, circulated rumors in the rural villages that balloned out of control indicating "LDS missionaries seeking babies sent to the U.S. by the Foundation to be turned into soap!"  Missionaries were consequently run out of rural areas at machete point.
FIFTH DAY:  Enrique Rittscher, LDS Regional Representative, was ordered to pay for a page in the newspaper, deny the Church had anything to do with it, and blame it all on me.  He resisted-- yes saying the Church wasn't involved, but about me--advised people to wait until the matter was investigated before judging me and the Foundation.  He knew me, was an honest man and a true friend.
In the meantime, through the newspaper man, I employed a lawyer, and, in addition to paying him a hefty fee, sent him $5,000 which he distributed  among the right people and after two weeks Jacob and Ovalle were released and the warrant for my arrest lifted.
The O'Donnals and Children House International had apparently never complied with the laws to acquire authorization for such work in the country and Maria & team--including the taxi driver--me, walked into an ambush.  Neither the O'Donnals, nor Children's House International, ever accepted responsibility, nor helped with the thousands of dollars spent.
In January of 1978 I had a visit with the Mission President and  asked O'Donnal why he hadn't come forward to tell the truth  so innocent people wouldn't suffer, he replied, "I couldn't risk being put in jail!"  I immediately remembered the story of Les Meserables and Jon Val John--most will get that point as it deals with a true honest man.  
By the end of the conversation O'Donnal was denying he and wife ever had anything to do with adoptions, much less had asked us to do it for them. Strange...something seriously wrong--soon to be repeated, but even worse.  
NOTE:  This occurred just after a period at years end (1977) when it was reported to me President O'Donnal had experienced a nervous breakdown, and the supervising General Authority had to take over for a couple of weeks.  The health problem stemmed seemingly from O'Donnal early in the year  at a Mission President's Seminar in Mexico City,  predicting, in his words, "I was inspired to say we would have 5,000 baptisms for the year."  But as the year progressed it wasn't happening, and more and more pressure was put on the missionaries--which seemed to make it worse.   In September the only baptisms in the mission were from Valparaiso. By year's end the Mission total was only 667, about half of them from the Alta Verapaz area using the Good Life Method, which O'Donnal had opposed. 
A couple of months later at the time of the open-air Conference,  with O'Donnal present,  I was threatened by a General Authority with excommunication, "because of your illegal adoption work that destroyed missionary work in many areas!"   I told the truth, with O'Donnal, refusing to look me in the eye, but when he was asked--he nodded his head  agreeing that  my recounting was correct.  That was followed by another accusation of having built a chapel at Chulac without authorization, followed by me telling the truth again, and O'Donnal, staring at the floor, admitted the story he had promoted among the Leaders was false.  
Nevertheless, the next night--even though I didn't learn about it for a few days when several missionaries shared with me the shocking news-- That those  false stories  were  repeated by the same Leaders in a Missionary Meeting for Alta Verapaz full-time missionaries. Additionally they were told "the Good Life Method has been presented  to the General Authorities 3 times and rejected."  Note:  Two days later in a long all day visit, he learned he didn't even know what the Good Life Method was, much less had it been presented to and rejected by Church Leaders.    Apparently the false stories were also disseminated widely in the U.S. and were believed--and, likely  still believed by some to this day.     This, I'm just not capable of understanding, except that apparently among some, "The seriousness of the accusation, is much more  important than the veracity of the evidence!"   
This whole series of unjust  actions were depressing to say the least, and a friend from the U.S. visiting, who knew about the confusion,  wondered why I continued. But my faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ was heavenly based, and a multitude of people depended on me.  I couldn't let all of  that injustice  hurt them, so  rather than whining about it, I hit the reset button,  focused on serving the Lord and His "little ones," and doubled my efforts as  District President serving for another 14 months the people of my District as reported in items #16 and #17.  
My final act as District President was in the Church of the Prince of Peace in   Santa Maria Actela--bidding farewell by giving requested blessings for over an hour to babies, children and some old folks--one after another  in a great spiritual banquet of love and faith
Then to avoid further conflicts between Leaders, and missionaries--I requested my release, deciding I just wasn't cut out to be a good politician, unable to handle--except head on,  the dishonest and  unrighteous exercise of authority  that  was all part of our biggest challenge, described  throughout this report as:
"A spirit of competition  & contention rather than one of cooperation, and gratitude."
Now, let's get back to more understandable and fun history.

21.  "THE GREATEST SOCCER TOURNAMENT OF MY LIFE" .......when in 1980 our team, called "The Lamanite Youth--La Juventud Lamanita," was invited to participate in a regional tournament, with the agreement they wouldn't be required to play  on Sundays.  But,  as our youthful team was winning, and winning, the "Committee" decided they had to stop us and required them to play one Sunday.
Our team stuck to their principles and didn't show up, so the Committee had us forfeiting the game. The next day the team and many supporters showed up at the Municipality  to protest, so the Committee agreed to have them play that game the next Saturday at 9:00 AM, but we also had a game at 11:00 and we weren't permitted to rest in between--the committee was determined to have us lose at least the 2nd game, and be eliminated. 
Our youth won anyway--both games, and went on undefeated with the Championship game against Holanda--a team organized by,   "The Tico,"  their goal keeper and a onetime professional soccer player from Costa Rica--his team made up of his mature truckers and assistants.  The game came on Sept. 15th--Independence Day in Guatemala.
Prior to that game the  Tico and his team were making fun of our youthful team, but our guys played with incredible passion, and won
 2-0.  In the 9 game tournament we scored a total of 38 goals to 3 for the opposition.  I've never seen anything that even comes close to equaling the Valparaiso team's performance. 

In the beginning at Valpaaiso, there wasn't even a soccer field, but we carved one out of the "Colony'" area, and later established one of  official size in the very center of Valparaiso, which was  the "last line of defense"  in the Ancient City of Valparaisosurrounded by fortification trenches.  
Gradually our kids learned and became  champions in more ways than one.
I have that trophy in Utah, and  before it's all over, I've got to return it to Valparaiso to remind them always of that AMAZING EVENT.

My son, David, was there for the summer and until he had to return to continue his education in Provo, Utah,  was tied with Anibal Gonzalez in goals.  Also, for the championship game, my son,  Richard "Dito,"  who had just turned 14,  was also on the team.  

Both Dave and "Dito" went on together to  become All-State soccer players in Utah. 

I'm obviously very proud of them, and our entire team at Valparaiso.

22. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE VALPARAISO COMMUNITY aiding each of the 39 original families to own their own land and live in their own homes, as well as doing the same for the families of all of my full-time workers who originally were my vocational students. This included building homes for three widows, and later for two more.

Later  the LDS Church purchased properties I had donated to 5 Indian families and constructed a beautiful chapel complex that dominates the Valparaiso Community.   

Initially I ran a water line to the community, but it wasn't adequate for so many families, so  I helped them create a potable water system with a water line coming from 2 miles up in the mountains.  After selling the plantation I  was often invited to put on firesides in the homes of my brothers and sisters, and medical help was also given.
Below, we are seeing the community from the east above the highway.

Below we are seeing the community from the west, zooming in from 
what was the Central House

In these pictures it is obvious that all the homes have electricity which  was mostly achieved  by the community organizing and working together, but at one point they had to take their meters for calibration all the way to Zacapa--200 kms. to the southeast.  They borrowed my diesel GMC work vehicle.  The driver was Jose Caal, who for several years I continued to employ as my carpenter.  On that trip along the Atlantic highway there was an awful accident, Jose ending up in the hospital. The other six, including Mauricio, we see on the right below were injured, but alive.  The truck was obviously in  bad shape, and cost me $5,500 (Q.40,000) to repair, but it was never the same.  So, I obviously made a good sized contribution to them getting electricity installed in the entire community, including in the Mormon chapel, constructed a few years later, which you see high on the hill dominating the community.

The 160 lives saved through thousands of medical treatments, and teaching of preventive medicine, in the first years, included from every family someone:  grandparents,  a mother, a  father, or both and children, all saved from death--without which the Valparaiso Community wouldn't exist today.
In the early days of the new century the youth contacted me and wanted me to help them understand their history.  So I went to work and created a 43 page photographic history with 275 photos, and sent them a few copies.  Below, is one group gathered in the Mormon chapel, the missionaries providing a digital projector with which they were shown their history, the cover page of which I'll insert below.

In Februay 2017 Garth Norman and myself visited the Valparaiso Community and had a meeting with the people and talked to them about the Ancient City of Izapa, and it's connection to the Ancient Fortified City of Valparaiso. Up on the wall they had a display a picture of which I'll insert below, showing still a good relationship with the people as brothers and sisters to whom I dedicated a good portion of my life.

23.  IN 1981-82 REPRESENTING AYUDA INC. I RE-ORGANIZED A CREDIT CO-OP IN PATZICIA, among LDS men, and established strict accounting procedures........Daniel Noorlander had financed the organization, if I recall, with $5,000 seed money.

....then I began teaching the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life.......continuing from where  my previous effort had been interrupted by the Great Earthquake of 1976.....

..........and as I was teaching, learned that most of the children of the Cooperative (and branch)  were not attending   school, so developed an educational program helping 34 Indian children, seen below,  to begin studying--providing each with $10/month for education expenses.
But, for some strange reason some of the remaining people in the AYUDA organization in the U.S. objected to me teaching the PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE, saying only "the LDS Church had a right to teach such,"  and the relationship eventually cooled.
That led to an invitation by one of the members to visit the JOHN PAUL II SCHOOL. It was a school started by Indian parents after the 1976 Earthquake  when government schools were all closed and their children weren't getting an education.  They had the help of a Catholic Priest, who was able to get financial help from WORLD VISION, a Protestant organization.  The private school fascinated me as it had a Catholic name, spearheaded by a Catholic Priest, supported financial by a Protestant organization, but directed by a Parent's Committee made up of Mormons.  
But World Vision required them to have a BIBLE Class each Friday given by a Pastor.  The Catholic and Mormon parents didn't like that, and World Vision didn't either as in 5 years they hadn't converted anyone!  So World Vision was beginning to cancel out it's support and me and the Foundation for Indian Development took over and saved the school--reported in item #26. 

... in Guerrilla territory,  and when AYUDA disappeared due to the guerrilla war threat, we kept alive the projects in Cunen, one of my traveling movie towns,  for 10 years--involving 10  neighborhood pre-schools, the finishing of the library construction, and operating a Dental Clinic., all projects initially started by Jim Penrod, wife Aurora and their children who spent 18 months there getting it started, under the supervision of Drs. Melvin Lyman, Harris Done and others.   Aurora was Maria's cousin, with whom she had been raised in Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, Mexico.

25.  FOR A WEEK OR SO--BACK TO  THE SPIRIT OF  CINE CHAPINLANDIA--We were the first in the country to rent a 16mm. version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS  and in one week or so of non-stop travel all over the country showed it to  10,000 people, from the Chulac & Valparaiso Plantations, the Saxsuja Church of the Prince of Peace in the Polochic Valley, Alcoholics Anonymous in San Cristobal Verapaz, Mother Teresa's Project and the LDS Guatemala City Stake in Guatemala City, the Patzicia LDS branch in Patzicia in the Central Highlands, and last, the Federal Penitentiary--EL PAVON, where all of a sudden I was showing a movie about escaping captivity to more than a thousand inmates, seen in the two pictures  lower right.  
We're missing Patzicia, & Alcoholics Anonymous--but it was a frantic 8-10 days, 
yet extremely satisfying
The end of Cine Chapinlandia, didn't mean the end of using educational and commercial movies--which eventually became also making our own educational videos,  to teach, entertain, and cultivate friends in all kinds of places, like:  Chapels of the LDS Church,  and other churches , like, the Prince of Peace in Saxsuja, and plantations as seen above, plus at jailshospitals, many schools, Cooperatives, many groups in homes & communal halls in village areas, in the Army Base in Coban, in public parks, and even using the white wall of the Catholic Church in San Cristobal where over 1,000 would gather. 

26.  FOR 32 YEARS OPERATED IN PATZICIA A PRIVATE SCHOOL BASED ON THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE, with approximately 1,600 graduates, many who went on to become doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, veterinarians,  one mayor, 5 Catholic Priests, one who became a Special Envoy at the Vatican, and Mormon missionaries, and a bishop or two.   The beginning of the school is explained at the end of item #23.   
After the Foundation began supporting the school, we joined with the parents in an effort to build their own school.  A property was acquired by me meeting a promise I had made to come up with the money--which the Foundation didn't have, so I sold 5 old cows for slaughter and the property was purchased.  
At the time of the "groundbreaking" I had promised them the Foundation would have the money to begin the construction, but again the Foundation came up short, but a Q'eqchi'  Indian, Maria del Carmen who had lived with us for years, then in charge of our Store in Coban--had just inherited a little money, and loaned her Cakchiquel cousins $5,000 to get the construction going. Eventually Toby and George Pingree stepped in to help, and for around 9 years George supported the school.
When the new school was inaugurated, the parents and teachers unveiled the new name of the school--The Andersen School.   

My good friend and brother, Humberto Xicay was Director all those years.


Helping to keep the school going for the last 15 years was a volunteer, MARIO de la CRUZ, who came to help, and we in turn helped him get his education. Then, three years ago Mario became our Regional Director, and 
teacher at the Chuluc School described next. 

We in turn have helped Mario with a scholarship to pursue his degree as a Lawyer.  He is seen to the left with his family in 2016, and to the right in 2017  their newest addition,  Kenny Julio. 

Both Humberto and Mario have been crucial "supporting actors" in the Foundation's 50 year drama.

27.  IN 1986-87 CONSTRUCTED THE ARIEL & INES ANDERSEN CHULUC VILLAGE SCHOOL,  honoring my parents on their passing--building the school with donations by mom & dad's friends, and admirers as founders.  Then aided it paying one teacher's wage for 30 years, plus many other aid projects, like, building the school kitchen, constructing a potable water system--with a hand dug well 55 meters deep, sanitary facilities with flush toilets and septic tank, installation of electricity in the entire village, school maintenance, etc. --helping it to become a "MODEL RURAL SCHOOL."   
Below is seen at the School, Humberto Xicay, our Director in Patzicia for 30 years, along with Toby Pingree, donor to this work even from before there was a Foundation, and since, along with his brother, Dr. George Pingree,  who made a large donation that supported the Patzicia School shown in item #25  for 10 years.
To the right are seen  brick structures  protected by cute little thatch roofs.  On top of the structures are marble plaques, very common in such projects, giving credit to those who made possible the project.  One to my parents--seen above,  in whose names the school was built and is known.  The other gives thanks to the many who helped:  The Foundation, the Patzicia Mayor & government, Humberto, and the people of the village.  
Note:  You might have heard there were some people from the U.S. who began the rumors imagining these structures were  altars  where I had taught the Indians "to worship me and parents," even "lighting  candles and burning  incense!"  A handful of key individuals in Utah actually believed the gossip resulting in seriously harming people in Guatemala.   When the Indians heard  this they all had a good laugh--except for the ones hurt!

28.  THE CORN IMPROVEMENT PROJECT SHOWING INDIANS HOW TO TAKE THEIR NATIVE VARIETIES & INCREASE THE QUALITY AND YIELDS.  The case in point being a native summer corn called VERANERO, with which over 6 years we increased yields from 50 to 650 lbs. per 1/9th acre, with three crops yearly, while doubling its nutritive quality--all with no use of chemicals, rather only natural organic fertilizers & methods available to the Indians.  

The Indians in said  1/9th of an acre had an average of only one plant with two ears.  We began with seed from that plant, crossed it with seed from a superior ear that had the right coloration  and patiently developed seed that produced plants with multiple ears--as seen above on the left, even a growing percentage with 3 and even 4 ears of good size and quality.  Then worked on improving the color and vitamin content from the normal red, to a rich golden yellow, which we proved was a vast improvement in vitamin A content.  Then we worked on improving it  so a high percentage of plants  would mature in 3-1/2 months rather than the typical 4 months, making possible 3 harvests per year.  Not bad for a "RODEO CLOWN!" 

29.  MY BIGGEST MISTAKE --BUT A GREAT SUCCESS -- THE FARM OF THE HOLY MAN--LA FINCA DE NAHUAL GWINAK: Towards the end of 1993 the Valparaiso Plantation was sold, due to a number of critical factors.  In the previous years we had organized the Valparaiso Community , as described in item #21, so the people would be alright. 
For the first time in my then  26 years of residency in Guatemala I was in a position to use  my 60% share from the sale building my own.....sort of "dream home," using a lot of natural wood to give it a rustic flavor.   First, we bought an 18 acre property near Santa Cruz Verapaz that was 95% planted in coffee.  I wasn't interested in producing coffee, but believed I had to  maintain the production to continue employing the Indians who had worked there for years.  
In the picture on the right you can see in the background some of the nearly 18 acres of coffee trees.
If you are shocked that a Mormon  would be producing coffee, so was the case with one quite orthodox Mormon visitor.  I was quick to note his concern and told him, "But we grow the decaffeinated variety."  He seemed greatly relieved, not getting my joke.  If this still bothers anybody, maybe you can realize intentions are critical, and mine was that the processors would use my coffee to produce Decaf!   If they didn't, it was their problem.  (still sort of joking)
When I say "we" I'm referring to me, and my five children I would spend the next 20 years raising alone as a Mr. Mom. I had lost their mother, Maria Elena, my 2nd wife, due to complications in her life.  Note:  Maria had bailed from our marriage years before--never quite finding happiness in the pioneering adventure in Guatemala.  The children were--with ages at that time in 1994:  Aura Marina, 11; Cordell Ammon "Lito," 9;  Jesse Benjamin, 7, Nephi, 3; and Mahana, 2-1/2.   I'll insert a picture below of me with them in the new house, a  year or so later.  You'll notice in the picture that us Mormons really do have horns!

Aura had been brought to me dying by her mother, and saved twice. After the second time, at 15 months, she was  left permanently with me.   She is still in Guatemala, just having finished with our help her Master's Degree in Social Work.  Soon we hope to reunite her with the family in the U.S.
Mahana's mother died giving birth to her in the Valparaiso Community, and the father, who had 3 small children to take care of by himself, asked me to save and raise the baby. By 1998 the legalities were met and they became my adopted daughters. 
.....and here's Mahana's story from birth, when I got her, to graduation from Springville High School -- She went on to graduate from Stevens Henagar College  and is one of those "angels" that go around making house visits and taking care of the needy.  At our farm they all  had to be protected, night & day.
In the middle of the rolling hills of the farm we built our home where we were hidden from public view. Logs I had cut at Valparaiso with my chain saw, were hauled to the farm, actually
called there a "plantation," albeit a small one.  The boys chose the name derived from the wonderful Poqomchi legend of a white creator/God who had visited the Indians  anciently, so, the name became PLANTATION OF THE HOLY MAN --LA FINCA de NAHAUL GWINAK.  In the entrance I created the Museum of the Holy Man, you'll see in item #29.   
Below is the "dream home."
Theoretically, capital left over--after the construction, was to be invested for our support.    I already missed the lake we created at Valparaiso where I would swim/bath daily, so a small swimming pool was constructed.  All my years of being out of contact with the world--except for my Zenith shortwave radio, was remedied with a quite large dish antenna that gave us everything we could have ever wanted and more.
All of our neighbors around were attacked and robbed at gun point, and my kids would often see suspicious looking men lurking around seemingly checking out the house from the concealment of the trees.   So, a year later when we were making a good profit, we used the excess  to build a security fence all around the house compound to protect us with two guard dogs standing guard duty.  As the boys grew up, they were trained, each with their small handgun (Walther .22--with deadly Israeli Terminator bullets, Berreta .25, and Seacamps .32)  to help me defend ourselves in event that the bandits decided to take us on as a challenge.
The home came to be the place where the Indian queen candidates and visiting queens from other areas, would gather with us every year and I would show and explain the Museum, the Legend of the Holy Man, and introduce to them the  Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life.  The Mayan Priestess, Dona Ana--seen below, would orient and guide them in Poqomchi,  preparing them for their  Folklore Festival participation.  

Just outside,  at the entrance,  I placed a Mayan altar brought from Valparaiso--seen to the left  with me and our guard dog, Goku, praying for our production and safety. 
A real serious problem arose as the house ended up costing twice what the architect had estimated and our capital for investment disappeared.  This left us with no income. So, I had no choice but to put on my learning cap and become a relative expert in the coffee business. A technician from the government's ANACAFE was contacted and Zoel Sierra came to help me with the  basics and we became good friends.  With what he taught me, along with my basic understanding of agriculture in Guatemala surviving and thriving with it for then--26 years,  I  began working overtime  plowing forward to turn 18 acres into a profit producing business to support us. This was unheard of in a country where coffee plantations were like national parks covering mountains and valleys, each with many hundreds and thousands of acres planted.

By 1996 the Guerrilla War was over with--a Peace Accord brokered by the United Nations, but there was a serious problem.  Young men, who for years had been fighting the war, knew only how to use a gun, so many of them turned into thieves, highway robbers, and formed marauding, well organized  gangs, specializing in robbing others at gun point, killing with no mercy or concern whether their victims were helping the poor or not,  with  kidnapping  a specialty, and soon drugs increased the problem as Guatemala was a bridge between Columbia, Mexico and the U.S. 
All my children were enrolled in schools in Coban, and to protect them--early every day I would take them, then return to work.  At noon I'd drive again the 30 mile round trip to pick them up.  I couldn't let them out of my sight.  There was too much danger of a kidnapping, especially for the children of a "gringo" everyone assumed was a millionaire. 
I didn't sleep well at night, and was always alert for danger, often laying down dressed in black clothing with my running shoes on.  At times I would have to slip out the back door carefully to see what the dogs were going nuts over, or to see why they all of a sudden had gone silent--perhaps poisoned, opening up the way for an attack.  

One night at about 10:30 the excited barking of the dogs had me on alert when just outside of my window on the other side of the security fence, the dogs barking was all of a sudden answered by a loud guttural roar that startled me--something I had never heard before.  In the next couple of days I first learned that a neighbor had heard the same and his goat had disappeared. Then I heard from Mormon missionaries, coming back to Santa Cruz from Coban one night,  were totally shocked seeing a black panther cross the road.  In my Chulac experience I recalled Rafael Maas telling me having actually seen in a remote part of the plantation a fight between a jaguar and a rare black panther.  Apparently one had for some reason wandered up into the high country visiting our area briefly.  Quite a unique experience.  

 Sometimes the kids would all join me in my huge king sized bed, like you see them doing below.  
If you look carefully, you'll notice Lito's small .25 caliber Berreta near him on the cabinet. 
 Note:  "Lito" comes from Cordelito, the diminutive in Spanish.  Both he and Jesse, years later would become Marines and serve 3 tours in the Middle East. 
But, I also  had to do the improbable during the day applying my strategy to do better than anyone thought possible growing coffee, and by our first harvest had doubled the production of what was already a  fairly productive farm for its size.  So, once again we had profits to support us.
We all worked, especially at harvest time,  as it didn't seem right to me for all my employees to be harvesting on  cold, rainy days--very common in that area, with us in our warm, cozy house.  So, we'd put on our rain gear and join them, trying our best to be as productive as them.  I doggedly tried every day to equal our best picker--Teodora, who was only 14 years old, but nobody ever  equaled her, much less beat her.
This--working with them as equals, and in other ways, like inviting them to our home for movies, and for Christmas, created a personal relationship with our workers,  and so we became endeared to each other.  Then, on a supervisory trip to Guatemala  in 2016, I was invited for a special lunch and presentation at the Chicoyoj II School  where  my then grown up champion picker surprised me, representing all my pickers from 14 years ago,  with a nicely wrapped present--which was a simple,  typical bag as an  expression of gratitude for the way we worked  and helped each other from 1994 to 2002.. It's hanging in front of me now and always, more precious and important to me than any trophies, plaques, or diplomas.   Below you see me with her and her children when giving me the gift...which is seen on the right.

I also have to mention that a similar gift given me, of also equal sentimental value, is the SHIRT I'M WEARING above, given me in 2016 by the PEOPLE OF VALPARAISO, where we also were endeared to each other as family for  over 26 years where I gave my all to be a blessing in their lives, as mentioned in item #21.  The presentation was  made by Mauricio, the same pictured as one of the injured in the terrible accident when I was helping them get electricity installed in their community. 

NOW BACK TO  The FARM OF THE HOLY MAN.  We eventually tripled production and  Zoel told me it was the best yield per acre in the country.  We had plenty of profit to support us, and continue working with Federico in Foundation projects--with money left over.  So I went for what Zoel said just wasn't possible--QUADRUPLING THE YIELD  by investing in all the ways I knew would work.
All was going well, but.....then Vietnam entered the world coffee market with cheap coffee that brought the price down to half of what it had been.  Many coffee producers in Guatemala panicked and were trying to sell their plantations--dirt cheap.

With that problem, plus a few others mentioned below, we decided to pack it in and return to the U.S.--for me, finally after 35 years of continual  residency in Guatemala.  But, it was a bad time to  sell a property, so we kept working and continued to make a profit by just not investing  anymore in our trees.  Production continued  high for two years on the back of what I had invested to have healthy, productive trees.  But the 3rd year would be different with hardly any harvest at all.  
Everything was more dangerous with the bad economy, and then I was attacked in Guatemala City, mentioned in the CONCLUSION  paragraphs........

.......followed three days later by my wood working shop being broke into by thugs who took over $7,000 worth of tools.  I reported it to the police who told me what I had to do:  "Get a couple of shotguns, hire some guys, and when the thieves come again, kill them, dump their bodies somewhere and tell no one!"
Every day I was confronted with just that, and daily I would fine-tune my shooting ability, but also do it  so that anyone within ear range would hear that  I was well armed.  Especially that effect  worked with a 9 mm. fully automatic sub-machine gun that would shoot a frightening 30 bullets in less than 2 seconds.   I was told that the bad guys already knew I was ex-military which had them hesitating some.  NOTE:  Someone might scream, "Machine guns are illegal!"  No, the average citizens doesn't have such--but it is possible in the U.S. and in Guatemala to get a license.  But,  to get it from the Departments of the Army & Justice in Guatemala, it took me about 6 months, requiring me to justify the need for such--which explanations were accepted, and after a quite thorough investigation I was awarded  "Special automatic weapon licence No.5"--sort of indicating that such is rare--except for elected politicians  who don't need a license, and of course the sophisticated criminals who have them illegally, but apparently those having hit our neighbors  were simple thieves not having such......yet.      
IF THEY CAME I HAD A PLAN--A SORT OF QUIXOTIC PLAN:  When the thugs decided to take me on as a challenge, I had it all figured out how to win--the AMBUSHER (me) always having a huge advantage,  and--as I was  picking them off one by one, my boys would wake up, get their little guns,  and help me finish them off.  Then while my  boys were helping me load the bodies in the pickup  to go dump them somewhere, Aura and Mahana would be mopping up all the blood.  Of course the Guatemalan way, as I already explained--repeated to me over the years by the Army and Police,  was to then  " tell no one."   

That I didn't ever want to happen, even though I knew it would eventually if we continued, so when the chips were down, a buyer appeared and  we sold, and by 2002 returned to the U.S.
But, it wasn't quite that simple, as the buyer still owed me the last payment of around $29,000, and soon, to my dismay,  I learned he was the No. 2 drug lord in the area-to -whom I unwittingly  had also sold  most of my weapons!  I had to be careful as I was told he always found devious ways of not paying his debts, but with the help of a good lawyer, he finally finished paying me 2 years later on one of my supervisory trips.  At that time he sold the property to one of his partners in crime.
 A few years later, I was given the news that the Army had raided the farm, and in my "dream home"    found huge quantities of drugs and automatic weapons and the government took over the property that the drug lord had cleared of coffee  planting pasture grass for his horses.  I understand the last owner is still in prison.

At the beginning of this section the heading says:  
First, to build and live in what for the area  was a large, luxurious home--was totally out of harmony with the people I had come to help, and in conflict with my philosophy to live simply and use all I had to help the Indians--in the spirit of the New Testament parable of the "Rich Young Ruler."  The basic philosophy comes from Jacob 2:13, 17  of the Indians Sacred Book--the BOOK OF MORMON, which says:    
"And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly,
that you have obtained many riches;  and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel... suppose that ye are better than they.
"Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar [friendly] with all and free [generous] with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."   

You might have noticed that for most of the years in Guatemala we lived on the Indian's home ground, and kept things simple--so that we were just a little above our people but  not out of reach,  showing them  a quality of life  they themselves could achieve if they were willing to apply the Principles of the Good Life, and work hard for it.
NOTE:  If you have read my "Checkered" autobiography, you should recall what started all of this. First, when 16, I had an NDE--Near Death Experience--in the family car I was permitted to touch--a 1939 Plymouth, an event  in which by any logic I should have been dead.  That was followed that night by one of those dreams you never forget, which answered my question why I was so miraculously saved--which had me feeling that my life didn't belong to me.   I saw myself relatively quite well off financially, but living in a very simple wood frame home, dressing very simply, and using all my time, talents and assets to help some needy people....somewhere......SO THIS IS A PERSONAL MATTER THAT MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT APPLY TO  THE  READER.

I'll insert below  pictures of the now simple home I live in--the modern equivalent of what I saw in my dream.  I have now lived in it for  5 years  and from it have managed the Guatemalan Foundation.
I've built into it everything I need, including, after the above pictures,  some efficiency modifications expanding the bed to accommodate two people, with increased storage space.  It's a simple life of independence where I'm no burden to anyone, and free to pursue now my High Uinta Mountains project, and  at the same time have reduced living expenses to continue my cooperation with Federico & others helping the Lamanites.
Apparently among us "believers," there are different levels of interpretation for whatever reasons--as we are all free to choose how we apply our faith.  One interpretation--at one extreme of the spectrum, was offered me by a Leader,   who said, 
"Don't try so hard to help these people.  They are getting in their earthly life what they deserve, as they were inferior spirits in the pre-mortal existence.  On the other hand those of us experiencing prosperity have every right to live it to its fullest!"   
I wanted to scream my  objection, and quote a scripture or two, like Jacob 2,   but I did my best to be respectful of his position. Rather tried to change the subject and by so doing fascinatingly jumped out of the fry pan into the fire! 
My journal dedicates  14 typed pages to the report from said 8-10 hour chat--which one day will become part of the complete history.  But,  I was attempting to finally win the favor of the same leader who had first ignorantly--but then falsely,   accused me of  "destroying the LDS missionary work in many  village areas due to  illegal adoption work,"  etc. to the missionaries of my district.  I should have known better than to go overboard trying to win his acceptance. 

But, I thought I had the trump card to impress him, and so told him about the 7 hours of intensive interviews in the Church Office Building--NOTE: Not told the General Authority--that the interviewers explained they knew my life was controversial, but explained, "If we don't tell the history in a nice way, it will eventually be told in a way that will hurt the Church!"  I was advised to not sign--by my father and F. Lamond Tullis--an ex-missionary from my mission, and at that time an Associate Academic  Vice Presidents of BYU,  who both felt it was an effort to stop me from being able to tell my complete history, but I trusted the Church, and..... back to the 8 hour chat with the General Authority telling him,  I signed the  contract, and  was paid for a one year option--with the LDS Church owned Bonneville Corporation to make their first feature length dramatic movie.  It was to be about my life and experience in Guatemala, and I even joked about Robert Redford maybe playing me in it.

But then I noticed he wasn't laughing at my Redford joke, rather he  exploded about "those people from Salt Lake doing things behind my back!"    The writer the Bonneville Corp. had promised was to arrive  any day to be with us a couple of months to write a script  never showed up. Said leader immediately put an end to  that contract, which  project could have provided us a quite a large sum of  money with which we could have done much better with our family mission among the Lamanites--and undoubtedly been one of the items in this Report--although maybe not as the contract wouldn't have permitted me to publish my history as in this report.  However,  the breaking of the contract left me free to one day tell the true story of my life......which I'm gradually doing.

Through the  eyes of Oskar Shindler or Jacob 2:13-17

But, back to the point-- obviously I have a different level of personal  interpretation of the scriptures than he had, and I should have stuck to my convictions, rented a small home sufficient for our needs,  and  rather invested the capital to produce enough for us to live on, with a lot left over--enough every month to finance ourselves projects to help the needy. 

With that, which  I have considered my "biggest mistake,"   I could  add other selfish actions that have had me feeling a lot like Oskar Shindler,  when near the end of his effort to save many Jews, he broke down and shed bitter tears mentioning ways he could have done more saving others,  if he had of just been less selfish.  
Well, we "have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," and so more often than not we exaggerate or rationalize a lot needed relaxationrecreation, culture, and  luxury--more than what is necessary, or justified.  Especially this might  be a problem for those of us who know that by being just a little more  caring,  wiser, a bit more modest in dress, living,  maybe  in eating, especially eating out,  and more sincere in our faith--we  could easily be  saving a little here, and a little there, and could often literally save a baby's life, or make possible children getting an education, etc.  We literally can help others move closer to us in living a life of dignity as we learn from Jacob 2  we should be doing in living our faith. 
As mentioned in the Introduction, Steve Covey, indicated we should be ".......more like a modern Brigham Young........ actually .....doing what ....[we] say we believe. " 
At least that's what I learn from all of this….and I'll be the first to confess I fail a lot--"I have  sinned..."  but at least I have decided that to spend an extra $15,  $50, or more on such, I have to also be willing to donate that same amount  helping the needy--over and above what  many religious people do in   paying offerings and tithes to their Church.  If that over and above amount ends up seeming like too much, we might best back off a bit, re-evaluate our priorities,  and begin exercising more sincerely our faith.  
Second:  Now, back to perhaps my 
The challenge of  learning  a new aspect of agriculture and actually being very successful at it was for me very invigorating, and therefore I was  able to support successfully for another 8 years my 5 children--making sure they got a good education laying the foundation for their future success-- while at the same time employing many wonderful humble people I was able to help--and we came to love each other, all of which made it.........

All of this culminated in 2016 with the gift presented to me by my employees from the Farm-- 14 years before, which loving gift on their part was the greatest  worldly honor I have ever experienced--along with the appreciated gifts given me lovingly by the people of Valparaiso--including them placing my picture at the head of  "the faithful"  display in their Communal Hall,  during that same trip.  I'll confess my weakness by saying it's nice to be appreciated in that way by people I quite literally gave my life to help in all the important ways.  

30.  THE MUSEUM OF THE HOLY MAN --established first at the Valparaiso Center for Indian Development,  and then at my last Farm of the Holy Man (La Finca Nahual Gwinak), the name referring to the Poqomchi legend of a white, bearded creator/God who  had visited them anciently, teaching them to love and help each another, and promised to return in the last days, all coupled with the discovery that Valparaiso had been an ancient fortified city of great importance mentioned prominently in the Indians original Sacred Book.
 This was the Museum at Valparaiso in the Central House

"The tiniest, but  perhaps the most important museum in the world."

The top part is believed to actually be half of the exterior portion of a mold to make pieces similar to the one underneath. 

When we sold the farm and packed up to leave, all the artifacts were carefully wrapped and packed into very tough vinyl containers, and along with the altar, were left with Federico Veliz.

Hearing that we were leaving, the Mayan Priest from Santa Cruz asked if he couldn't have the large depiction of Christ appearing anciently in the Americas. He explained that for him it was a perfect representation of their Legend of the Holy Man -- La Leyendo of Nahual Gwinak.  I was pleased to give it to him and happy to hear that it took a place of honor in his ritual room.

And last of all ….. which also in a sense was the first:

31.  COOPERATING WITH ARCHAEOLOGIST GARTH NORMAN IN HIS IZAPA ANCIENT CITY -- TREE OF LIFE MONUMENT PROJECT:  It started in 1963 when I met him on my first return trip to Guatemala after my mission,  exploring how on earth I could return to Guatemala with my family to do what I knew quite clearly I had to do.  Then in 1966 I became his volunteer "freelance photographer" and driver taking him on an expedition in my Ford pickup with camper converted into my dark room, and using night photography with a professional 4"x5" camera, I got the pictures used since, mainly of the Tree of Life Monument, along with my first fight with malaria that started when having dinner in Guatemala City with my dear friend and brother, Berkley Spencer and wife, Carolyn, they providing me with medicine--and then having to drive home alone while treating myself--only able to drink soda pop resulting in me since loving to tell the story of how to get through Mexico,  I spent more money on soda pop than on gasoline!  
Garth went on to publish scientific books on the subject and become the world famous expert on that area, while I was having my adventure in Guatemala and making my own archaeological discoveries, all part of what started as THE ANDERSEN FAMILY PEACE CORP.

Then almost 50 years later we accidentally ran into each other at the Fresh Market parking lot in American Fork and have partnered up again to finish what we started half a century ago in 1966.  Several reports about the work are on the Foundation's website, but we expect great results from helping each other.

32.  1/2 MILLION MILES OF TRAVEL & ADVENTURE:  Guatemala thru MEXICO to Utah, then back and forth every two months for many years--to keep alive the family, & THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM! 
This category alone could fill a book, beginning with our first failed attempt to get through Mexico with our  pickup 2,000 lbs. overloaded with generators, four 16 mm. projectors, A P.A. system, two 9' x 12' professional movie screens, aluminum boat and outboard motor, etc. Note:  I had installed overload springs & bought Michellin tires--both working to get us to Coban, but then noted that all of the 4 rims were cracked!--but we did make it! -- and our week-long wait for authorization to drive through Mexico, spent at San Carlos Bay on the Sea of Cortez, and the first miracle when David and Julie were saved after having been set adrift alone  on the open sea in our aluminum boat when the anchor rope was cut by a surging sea;  and,  the 2nd miracle recovering the anchor from the depths--which we see to the right today painted gold, which   became a symbol  of our "faith"  for our entire 50+ years in Guatemala, which was our Savior.
Then, with no authorization to travel with our load through Mexico, we had no choice but to return to Provo and go back to work for Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service, while waiting for the news of authorization from the Customs Broker.  
This meant, returning to Provo--after my parent's  neighbor, Sister Cannon, had predicted we would  only last  "6 months,"  but rather returning "with our tail between our legs"   in ONLY TWO WEEKS!   When she came out to welcome us home, she wasn't able to contain her laughter and for a moment I thought her heart would fail.  She, eventually would pass on and become one of our "guardian angels,"  with eyes wide opened--easily seeing thru all the gossip mentioned below that evolved soon,  and I believe she became  an avid supporters over all these years!

Two weeks later a telegram came and we packed up for the 2nd time and headed for Mexico.  It still took time at the border to do all the red tape, pay off the Broker, etc. but I stuck to my covenant to not give in to "the bribe system" south of the border--and was suffering the consequences for my principles, but persisted as we finally headed south towards Guatemala. NOTE:  To the right Maria is playing with Dave and Julie on the Veracruz beach where began my "CANTINFLAS...comedian ordeal" 11 years later, described below.
At the Mexican side of the border with Guatemala, I parked on the railroad bridge we had to drive across and the customs officials came out and I showed them the detailed list they had to check to make sure something hadn't remained in Mexico--so we could get our bond back from the broker (which he never sent anyway--said money was what I had earned during the extra two weeks of work in Provo).    They said we'd have to unload everything, and I said that would be fine as we had all the time in the world.  But when I opened the camper door and they saw it loaded right up to the ceiling--which would take all day to unload and then load, and a train was behind us and had to get across--so then occurred the 3rd miracle--they just read each item on the list and asked if it was in our pickup, and with my,  "sí  señor,"  they took my word, checked each item and in 10 minutes--with no bribes, we crossed the bridge into Guatemala on Saturday, August 19, 1967.
At Guatemala's Customs, I set before the official my folder of invoices, and list of everything we had, saying "I know it will likely take some time, and we'll have to pay import duties on some items, but we have lots of time--so let's get to work!"  
It was Saturday afternoon, and apparently they didn't want to work too hard, and besides they were blown away by my frank honesty.  The official went down the list, and with each item asked if it was new or used.  With the "new" items, like a couple of generators and 2 16mm. movie projectors, I said they were "new."  But the official seemed to be irritated by my honesty, and came back saying, "But didn't you at least turn them on, or start them up to see if they worked?"  I agreed I had done that, so--he concluded, "Then,  they are used!"  

Within 45 minutes of having left Mexico, we were on our way towards Guatemala City without having to unload anything, no payment of duties on anything--only paying a $4.50 fee to have crossed the bridge.  The FOURTH MIRACLE had happened, and all the trouble caused by being honest was more than made up for.

Seven exciting, even breathtaking, adventurous years would go by before being able to make a trip north,  a friend visiting during those years--Kay Franz, characterizing them as us "living from crisis to crisis," but also by me as "miracle after miracle...after miracle--blessed, guided and protected by the Lord."  
We went 7 years working hard to get profitable agro-business projects functioning to support us, while at the same time applying the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life to save our people, and awaken their interest in saving their own--for half of that time on our own as the Andersen Family Peace Corp, then the 2nd half with the help of the Foundation for Indian Development, which was never part of our plan, nor requested.  This is important regarding item #3 below.

In 1973 we learned from Harold Brown that it was being rumored that: 
 1.) I was crazy for what I was attempting (and I guess my wife, Maria, just stupid);
 2.) That so many years had gone by because I was afraid to return to the U.S. because I would have to face prosecution for something horrible I had done, and, 
3.) I was giving a charitable appearance to our life, but it was a scam as my real purpose, according to the gossipers, was to build myself a business empire and use the Foundation for that purpose.  
NOTE:  The "gossipers" would never have been willing to do as we were doing, so they naturally had to criticize the effort imagining the worst, and feel justified in their opposition.  They greatly underestimated the power of being spiritually born of God and motivated to literally live the gospel with no ulterior selfish motives. 

Until all of that reached an important climax in 1973, I was having such an incredible time realizing my dream, beyond anything I had imagined possible so quickly--my previous intense interests in BYU sports,  hunting, fishing and the High Uintas had been pushed into the background of my life. However, the unfair ambush by people I had never dreamed would be our opposition, had me somewhat disappointed, and weakened, resulting in me all of a sudden wanting more contact with the world of Utah.  
So, first, I bought a roll of copper wire and installed it as a radio antennae from the Central House 150 yards up to the top of the tallest pine above us.....hoping even to pick up at night KSL radio from Salt Lake City.  Later, when the Utah Jazz moved from New Orleans to Utah, with games on KSL radio in the beginning, I found that I could pick up the last quarter of night games on my pickup radio by driving way up the mountain into guerrilla territory, on the edge of the Chixoy Canyon where I had a direct line on Salt Lake, and in the spooky darkness I'd listen to "Hotrod" Hundley announce excitedly the last quarter of games--and I became the 
Utah Jazz fan who risked his life most to support the team
Later, at the Farm of the Holy Man, our dish antennae made possible us watching those great games against the Chicago Bulls for the NBA Championionship as seen in the picture on the right, with John Stockton on the TV in our living room.  

But, back to 1973-74 and the disappointment of amazing  success being ambushed by "friendly fire," and  the beginning of these renewed interests--we began thinking of making our first  trip to the U.S. in 7 years, and take in BYU football games, do a little fishing and go deer hunting. 
 With Maria,  it became for all the rest of her years in Guatemala, wanting to go to Coban often with our delivery vehicle and associate with relatively educated, high class Ladino women.  By 1981, when I moved her back to  Provo, Utah, she admitted that unjust criticism and lack of gratitude from, as she said,  leaders of our religious community,  had her concluding that her years in Guatemala had "been hell,"  and eventually she never wanted to live there again.

In some ways this change in reverting to previous interests maybe wasn't such a bad idea, as perhaps it helped us have a little more balance and variety in our lives--and did give us experience we never imagined would be part of our lives dedicated to the Lamanites. 
By 1974 we had our business projects functioning successfully with our original Vocational Students, now employees--running the business.  We began thinking about making a Fall trip back to Utah.  But, we only had two work vehicles so had to consider flying--with the Foundation promising us a vehicle for a return trip if we could get to Utah on our own. 
So, we sold a bunch of old cows for slaughter, got on a Pan American 747 jumbo jet and made our first trip--and,  rather than be put in jail for whatever, we were treated like war heroes returning from the front lines.  From then on we usually made a trip each Fall, and sometimes in between, like I did in 1978 when needing to get a delivery van for our business--funny story told below.

On the 1974 trip the  Foundation provided us with a Plymouth Van for our family transportation as well as for everything else we were doing.  We see it below on the left, after our return trip, which included driving all the way up to Seattle, putting a Fireside on arranged by my brother Marlo, and then down the coast, putting on several Firesides along the way and ending at my sister Gayle's home in San Diego for Thanksgiving.  Then entering Mexico and driving down Lower California and from La Paz took a ferry to Mazatlan and on to Guatemala--thus adding to our original trip and beginning to accumulate over the next 30 years many, many miles traveling through Mexico and having some very memorable, and scary experiences.....two of which I"ll relate next. 

In may of that year I flew to the U.S. to purchase and drive back to Guatemala a Dodge delivery van for the business.    Back in those days I nievely still would often park almost anywhere at night to sleep in the vehicle.  North of Veracruz, Mexico I had done that but early in the morning was awakened by flashing lights and the police asking me what the heck I was doing.  They told me it was too dangerous to do that in isolated areas--rather park around gas stations where trucks would park at night.  Note:  I'm having trouble finding a picture of the van, but one below  shows it on the right--at the time of a Valparaiso Annual Race  among the youth  with Julio Ovalle in the dead center--he today, in 2017 is the Patriarch of the Coban LDS Stake, taking the place of Manuel Ajanel.

At their suggestion I moved on and as the sun was coming up drove through Veracruz and on the south side pulled off on a beach area with the idea of taking a quick dip to wake myself up.  I parked parallel to the gentle waves with the sliding side door looking onto the beach. 

I was carrying a used roll of carpet, my simple luggage, and a suit case for someone in Cunen at the request of a sister who lived in Provo. 
I got into my swim suit, locked the car doors, leaving open just a tiny bit the windows in the front doors and took a very quick dip.
On my return, I noticed that my shirt, and  pants   left on the roll of  carpet, were gone.  I frantically looked everywhere  and sure enough they were gone--including my passport, wallet and money.  I could see where they had forced open the window and the driver's side door--that was not in view from the ocean side.  Fortunately they had to  act quickly and so didn't get my attaché case, extra pants and shirt in the back of the van and the suit case of a friend.   I got dressed, and determined that I had .07 cents.
I drove to the nearest police station to report the robbery, and ask them,  "What could I do?"
They replied I had to go to the U.S. Embassy or Consul  and gave me an address, and they provided  me with  a document that permitted me to travel without passport, Tourist visa, and driver's license. 
At that address it wasn't the U.S. anything, but some kind of Maritime office where I was informed that the nearest U.S. Embassy was in Mexico City, and that what I had to do was go to a bank and have funds transferred to me from the U.S. or from Guatemala. 
At the bank I was told that it was too late in the day to do a transfer, and--being Friday,  I would have to wait until Monday.  I begged them for a little borrowed money so that I could at least eat something to get me to Monday, and offered to leave my new fangled calculator (very new at that time), plus check books I had in my attaché case, but there was no way.
I had to survive until Monday, so had to park somewhere.  I drove to the north beach, parked and opened the slide door for ventilation and continued reading a book by Og Mandino, that got me into an understanding and charitable mood……then dozed off.
When I awoke, I noticed a box of used donated clothing I was taking to Guatemala and had left by the open door…..WAS GONE!  I HAD BEEN ROBBED FOR THE SECOND TIME THAT DAY! 
I decided to drive into the middle of town and park on a busy street where perhaps I could sleep safely through the night, but wanted to at least comb my hair and not look so much like a homeless guy.  I walked to the back and opened the doors to look into the suit case I was taking for a friend and see if there wasn't something that could help me. There was nothing, and so I closed, locked those doors and walked back to the sliding doors, when all of a sudden I was ambushed by three bare chested youth in shorts.  One of them stuck a knife in my stomach and said, "DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID OR I'LL KILL YOU!" 
The other two went up front gathering my toiletries, cassettes, maps, and whatever, and very expertly removed the radio/cassette player and speakers.   The guy with the knife was demanding money, and I explained his buddies had already robbed me twice that day and there wasn't anything left.  He looked at the attaché case, and asked what was in it.  I moved to use the combination lock and open it to show him there wasn't anything of value for them….but he stopped me, imagining I would pull out of it a weapon.  Then he saw my wedding band and started trying to pull it off.  I kept just enough tension on it so it wouldn't come off--as he was spitting on it, twisting and turning, and he said, "If it won't come off we'll cut off your finger!"  I relaxed the tension and lost my wedding band!
At that moment the two buddies had filled their bags and were running behind the van, the first one tripping, and the other falling over him, spilling my stuff all over.  The guy with the knife was distracted by that and I jumped in the van, slammed the door shut, locked it, slid up front and started the van and put it in reverse hoping I would run over all three of them, but missed--except for my stuff scattered all over, and screeched  out of there.
I drove downtown and got through the night, sweating profusely as I was afraid to even open the windows a crack for ventilation.
In the morning I went through my attaché case and found a phone number for William Bradford, LDS General Authority  in Mexico City.  As reported in item #16, and especially #20, I had some experiences with him and didn't want to have to rely on him, but my situation was desperate and I had nowhere to turn.  I went to a Telephone Office where you could make phone calls.  I explained to the young lady my predicament and gave her the name and number, emphasizing it had to be a "collect call" as I had no money.
I waited and waited, and then noticed she was talking to someone, then hung up and signaled for me to talk to her.  She said she had talked to him, but he had refused to accept the collect call!   Then said, "You owe me 37.50 pesos!"  I reminded her I had been robbed three times and had no money.  She insisted, and said, "If you don't pay me, I'm going to call the police!"
My mind raced, and for an instant I thought, "Well.....maybe they'll at least feed me in jail!'  I was getting pretty hungry.
I painstakingly begged her to listen again to my situation and try and understand.  Apparently my silent prayer--and begging,  worked as she said, "Here are some coins.  Go to that pay phone and try calling your Bradford friend direct!  If you ever get some money you can pay me back." 
It finally worked and Bradford gave me the address of the Mission Home in Veracruz and said he would call the missionaries and instruct them to cash my U.S. Zions Bank check.
I finally found the address and parked.  As I was heading for the front door and crossing a mud filled gutter, two gringo missionaries came out, noticing this "homeless gringo,"  I--at that instant in time was bending over reaching into the muddy gutter as I  saw a comb sticking out of the mud, and wanted to be able to at least comb my hair!  The Elders just shook their heads in disgust and went on their way.
I knocked on the door and was invited in by an Elder who was expecting me.  I wrote a $75 check and filled my pocket with its equivalent in pesos. I cleaned up in the Mission Home bathroom, and washed my newly acquired comb.   Soon I was at a small supermarket buying a razor, and other toiletries, and some food, then back to the  Telephone Office, paying a surprised young lady what I owed her,  and soon I was on my way south, stopping  that night in Arriaga--choosing a motel that was surrounded by high walls with broken glass embedded in the top, and an armed guard with a sawed off shotgun. 
The next day I was one humble and grateful traveler finally getting back to the paradise of Guatemala! I probably shouldn't have told that story, but--hopefully someone who reads this will learn some important lessons, and, as a "Rodeo clown"  I  have to be willing to laugh at myself--of course since it happened in Mexico, I have always rather thought that my ordeal more correctly had me looking like the famous Mexican comedian, CANTINFLAS. 

INTERESTING NOTE:  I dutifully  delivered the suit case to the Cunen friend.  Later, back in Provo after I moved the family back, as described in the next paragraphs, the sister in Provo called and accused me of having taken something of value out of the suitcase.  She was unwilling to accept my word, and made threats.  Later, a neighbor in the Edgemont area of Provo, where we rented a home, came out one day to find all of his tires slashed, and on the front door step found a Guatemalan doll full of pins and needles--a common witchcraft action by some Guatemalans to take vengeance on an enemy.  Apparently she had mistaken the neighbors home for ours.  I didn't have the heart to tell him, or the police who came to investigate!

We quietly prepared and one morning when our employees came to work we said goodbye and left quickly.  Two weeks later, after establishing them in Provo, Utah, I was back in Guatemala disguised--growing a beard for the first time.  That began a 10 year period  spending two months in Guatemala, and then travel to the U.S. and be with the family for two months.....back and forth 5 to 6 times a year, and in the process accumulated overall around  1/2 million miles of travel. I many times had close calls in that travel, but I had to keep the Foundation projects going, and especially the  business in Guatemala as it supported us-- and, in the U.S. had to spend time doing my best to keep my family together, and from 1983 when my father passed on, also had to run the Foundation.  

One of those trips was in 1988 in a red Mazda two wheel drive pickup that I had to use after the 1986 carjacking of the 4 x 4 Toyota pickup mentioned recently.  On one of my two months in the U.S. taking care of the family in Provo, and also managing the U.S. Foundation,  I took with me my 3 year old son, Cordel Ammon I have always called Lito.
While in the U.S. there was a mechanical problem with the pickup and I was told that it eventually would need a motor overhaul, but if I was careful and kept the oil level up I could make it  back to Guatemala where I had funds to be able to fix it.
But, as we headed south to Moab and into New Mexico, the problem worsened.  I tried some additives that helped some, but had to add a quart of oil with every gasoline fill-up--every 300 miles.  Then as we approached San Antonio and headed south towards McAllen where we would cross the border, it got worse needing a quart every 100 miles.  To get through Mexico I would need a whole case of oil.  
We were hurrying along to get to McAllen and change enough money  before the Change Offices closed, but all of a sudden we saw a car up ahead with the hood up and a young fellow trying to flag someone down to help him.  I was once helped when in desperate need and made a sacred promise to always help anyone who needed it.  I made a U-turn and went back--ending up taking the young man back to an uncles place.  
We then turned around and raced for the border, but didn't make it in time, and so slept in the parking lot of a big store--like Walmart.   During the night I went over the challenge we had of getting through Mexico, and by morning realized I had to get in the store more oil.  On doing so I noticed an additive that I hadn't seen before and reading the instructions saw that it was seemingly very specifically made to solve the problem my motor had, and bought two cans.
I added a can to the crankcase, and soon noticed that we only needed to add one quart of oil every 300 miles.  In reading the instructions I also came to understand that one thing that was happening was that oil leaking into the cylinders caused a build-up of carbon that impeded proper ignition, causing loss of power and acceleration,  and the thought came to mind that when I began loosing power and speed, I had to put it in a lower gear and accelerate down the highway to the point of about blowing up the motor--but in so doing  burn  off the carbon deposits and restore power and speed, as well as  reducing the need of so much oil.  
But before I learned that, we came to the Change Office and I was prompted to change into pesos twice as much as I had figured necessary.  That bit of inspiration, also ended up saving us. 
None of the developments mentioned in the last two paragraphs would have happened if I hadn't of got behind in our schedule by helping that young man, and my Mazda would likely have remained in  some Mexican junk yard and who knows what would have happened to me and Lito!
With my speed up & burn  technique, which I had to do once every 100 miles, we made it to Tampico, passed the cemetery and a couple of miles down the road took a short-cut, and soon were stopped by Federal Police.  I showed them my driver's license and they said I was in trouble as it had expired....but they would help me if I paid a little something to them, and their "jefe" in the back of their patrol car.  I showed them the license was new.  Then they began saying, "But, when you passed by the cemetery, you were speeding!"  I asked how they knew since that was several miles back up the highway.  They insisted they had ways of knowing, and I was guilty.
Obviously for whatever, they were out to get me.  I offered them $5 in pesos, and they were offended.  Finally they agreed to $25, but for each of them, plus their "jefe."  With that  they would do me the favor of not having to stay the weekend and go to court on Monday.  So, all of a sudden half of the money I had exchanged at the border was gone--leaving us with exactly enough to get to Guatemala--which was like arriving in heaven, as there my options were many, with an agency of my Bank at the border, and telephones where I could call and have Carlos come and get us if needed.  But I'll admit having gone through several very scary days, always with a prayer in my heart and never being able to relax and enjoy MEXICO.

We made it to Valparaiso, and the pickup died.  But we were home and safe with our people.  If anywhere in Mexico the pickup would have died, I would have been in deep trouble, with 3 year old Lito to care for, and a pickup loaded with urgent dairy replacement parts, and equipment.  
We made it on constant faith and prayer, along with happenings and intuitions that got us safely home--for which WE WERE MOST GRATEFUL!  
Above you see me with Lito--on the left, and Jesse--on the right.  Lito and me had just got through some fun  fishing at our lake at Valparaiso.

Last of all, the  picture  of us leaving Provo, Utah in 1967,  used a lot, showed our camper with our 12'  aluminum boat on top--seen to the right on the 1966 archaeology/exploration trip.  We also had an Evinrude 9.5 HP outboard motor. Sure, it was used to go fishing once in a while (and almost catch a record 27 lb. large mouthed black bass), and entertainment at our own lake. 
But I'll confess here something for the first time:  I also envisioned....sort of joking, that eventually we might have to flee the country like the Trap family in THE SOUND OF MUSIC  movie had to do climbing up over the Alps to get to Austria, but with us it was to get in our boat and escape down the Chixoy River that downstream becomes the Usumacinta that forms the border with Mexico and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.  Remember, only a "Rodeo clown," or "modern Quijote" would think of such!
NOTE:  You see it to the right covered with volcanic ash due to the eruption of one of Guatemala's many volcanoes, on my return from the 1966 trip with Garth Norman, when I "spent more on soda pop than on gasoline" to get through Mexico, due to struggling with my first malaria attack. 

Well, to say the least this "RODEO CLOWN"  had the time of his life with adventure after adventure, and a bit of success--all of which, as I now look  back on the 50+ years of effort, has me almost incredulous that it could all have happened--while at the same time feeling profoundly grateful for the blessing it all was in my life. 
For example,   In doing thousands of medical treatments, especially in the first 15 years,  treated almost  every tropical and deadly sickness known to man,"-- tuberculosis, malaria, typhoid, tetanus, etc.--even did an emergency hernia surgery that I  had a lot of fun retelling at BYU's Education Week in item #19--and,  while saving others from those serious problems,  at times  found myself coming down with the same,  and then had  to save myself. 
Then, quite miraculously narrowly escaping from guerrillas a few times;  Surviving a shoot-out at Valparaiso between the Army and guerrillas--my Dodge van delivery vehicle, mentioned in item #32.  used to carry dead and wounded to Coban;  Previously me and   my Indian brothers, literally fighting off invaders and putting many in jail;  Then  dealing with a well organized "mafia," called "Los Colitas," of murderous bandits who assaulted us, catching me off-guard and threatening to take my wife into the mountains unless I gave them all our money and weapons-- and, because I reported it to the police and Army, they promised to kill my family and burn down the Central House!  
But,  I was determined to not let that happen--and night after night I was waiting in ambush, each night in a different position,  to eliminate them--armed with my father's Browning .22 rifle--but loaded with deadly "Israeli Terminator"  bullets (not available to the public), plus my Para Ordinance .45 pistol and  back-up,  and fully intending to become a "MODERN AMMON"--who killed 7 rustlers of the King's flocks.  NOTE:  The "Colitas" were saved from me by being arrested by  government security forces!  I  participated in the trial and have the only video VHS tape of the  "Los Colitas" trial  of those who were captured. 

Last of all, in 2000 winning a furious fight, with the help of my 13-1/2 year old son, Jesse,  with gangbangers on Guatemala City's 6th Avenue--the story, along with one other experience--when I had to fire a warning shot--which worked,  written about in  COMBAT HANDGUNS  magazine (Jan. 2001).

Yet out of the 50 year adventure,  the most difficult--without question,  was dealing with bureaucratic establishment individuals who had a:
 "spirit of competition & contention rather than one of cooperation, and gratitude."   

Nonetheless I wouldn't trade any of it for any worldly treasures, and am so thankful to the Lord that He protected and guided me, stretching out my residency in Guatemala from the predicted "six months,"  to  35 years before I finally came: 
  "running home with my tale between my legs." 
If you want to see many more photographs of what is outlined of the 
MOST IMPORTANT EXPERIENCES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS--from 1967 to 1972  -- go to the four photo/essays listed below:
"Living from crisis o crisis"
with 275 photos

Many more details & photos can be seen in the section on the right at the head of the website:  SUCCESS STORIES
And in the many YouTube videos, photo/essay reports, Historical Documents & newsletters, especially  from Nov. 2015 thru 2016 where can be found HISTORY SUMMARIZED in the newsletters with a lot of detail up to 1980 & then in Newsletters up to the present.


NOW....on to also bringing to a conclusion....
"before it's too late".....
In which my theme has been similar, but now in my 82nd year forced to add one word:

But, you might ask, WHY IS SUCH IMPORTANT? ---and, I quote what I 
applied to  my life in Guatemala:
From the movie TWELVE STRONG: 
"The most important thing to take into combat is A REASON WHY"
and my reply is as mentioned at the end:
"I'm convinced through it lives can be saved, and everyone's enjoyment hugely enhanced of our Creators magnificent swath of color and wonderment we call the
The task being first,  an e-book--with abundant color photographs--that no print book can have, unless you're National Geographic..
Later a simplified print version will be created--both unique as the--guide book, both for hikers, backpackers, horse & goat packers, plus a guide for auto tourists doing a 500 mile loop tour--will have intertwined throughout the fascinating history, legends, tall tales, and importantly the survival stories…of those who didn't make it and why, and my survival  experiences and why I've survived and in my 83rd year will  crown the effort  with, for me,  en epic no-resupply backpack of the entire Highline Trail following the spine of the Uintas from Mirror Lake to near Flaming Gorge.
The Preface, and Introduction are finished, with  the 500 Mile Loop Auto Tour chapter also almost finished, but I've got to now focus on getting it done as I'm convinced through it lives can be saved, and everyone's enjoyment hugely enhanced of our Creators magnificent swath of color and wonderment we call the HIGH UINTA MOUNTAINS

No comments:

Post a Comment