Thursday, September 5, 2019

The FINAL REPORT on "hold" to be fine tuned and reported more fairly -- THE SCARY, RISKY, BREATHTAKING JOURNEY TO GUATEMALA in 1967

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By Cordell M Andersen, for 50 years the volunteer Field Director
It was celebrated with no fanfare on August 19, 2017, at which time the Guatemalan Foundation was legally retired.  That date was 50 years after I and my family crossed the border into Guatemala in 1967 
to begin what for nearly three years was just a family effort we called, 

Above we see us Andersen's ready to leave Provo, Utah in 1967Cordell says, 
Now in 2019 I can’t even begin to envision again having the guts to do it. 
Whether you're in favor or not, it was a “JOURNEY OF FAITH!”  
Our team included Julie, David, Cristina and Richard "Dito"
This story--THE ORIGINAL MOVE TO GUATEMALA,  was just recently added onto 
the end of the FINAL REPORT, and not likely seen by hardly anyone, and not well written.
After a word or two about the Foundation, this history will be briefly told. 
 When the FINAL REPORT is ready to publish in its final form it will be built around this story. 


The Foundation's application for legal recognition was accepted mid-1970 --3 years after us Andersen's launched ourselves on our own into the mysterious "Land of the Mayas."  The Foundation's organization was accomplished in Provo, Utah spearheaded by my father, Dr. Ariel A. Andersen,  along with a group of friends interested in helping the effort.  They soon began helping in the altruistic activities of our family.  Initially, it was called the Cordell Andersen Foundation--but soon I insisted on changing the name to reflect better what we were doing, so for the next 40 years it was the Foundation for Indian Development.  In 2010 the name was changed again so that Google Searches would guide people to aid projects in Guatemala, rather than leading them to altruistic activities in India--the name becoming the 

On retiring the Foundation in 2017 an effort was made to do a FINAL REPORT of a 50 year-long adventure to experiment with an idea--THE GOOD LIFE Philosophy & Principles, designed to help effectively needy Mayan-Indians--an idea that was believed could have world-wide application to help needy peoples.   The effort was hoped to stimulate other's interest in helping needy people--and contribute some guidance from our experience.  Hopefully, the "others"  would be individuals and institutions that would have the finances and expertise to apply the proven ideas on a very large scale, at which time we would happily fade away, and just be left to continue as a family--working among Indians not reached by normal altruistic institutions.   

Along the way in 1973 the effort was labeled by Harold Brown, Regional Representative of the LDS Church, "THE EXPERIMENT,"  he insisting we had to continue in spite of powerful opposition, and he was faithful supporting me as a friend, as well as volunteering to be a trustee for the Foundation throughout his life. 
During the first years vicious gossip surfaced about our efforts that reached Harold Brown in Mexico City, but he was one of the rare individuals with an open mind and a spiritually sensitive heart who discerned the gossip was false but made a trip from Mexico to investigate, and observing the whole project and listening carefully as I explained our efforts,  he came to understand clearly and gave his support and encouragement throughout his life.     
The surprising opposition was sadly misguided by gossip and rumors, rather than facts and seemingly motivated by a judgemental spirit of competition, rather than one of cooperation.   
The original FINAL REPORT had a list of 23 key events and accomplishments described without photos in 23 internet pages  but over two years has been tweaked and added to many times and now includes many photos, increasing its size by 2019 to over 120 pages and 32 "events, experiences & accomplishments," with more than 300 photographs. Often there was mention that eventually "the rest of the story" would be told without which the REPORT would not be complete--including even clear explanations of aspects of the history considered by some "controversial."  So now there is a need of doing all of that carefully.
It became obvious that with each editing, what was written was sort of like an outline--at best incomplete, requiring gradually filling in the gaps with fascinating and essential details guided by a profoundly spiritual experience in which I was told to,  
That is what I'm doing my best to do in what will be the concluding version of the  
FINAL REPORT  that likely will "ruffle a few feathers,"   but along with 
the rest of us, they also need to realize we are all  included in what the Lord said........ 
......."we have all sinned and fallen short...."  
and all  need to have an honest chance to 
"be contrite"
and heal ourselves and others.  

For New Years 2019 I came upon what I called the "3rd piece"  of "the rest of the story," --mentioned below in the caption, and so I had to add a comment about the "first & second"  pieces of the story explained in detail in my autobiography that pretty well lays the groundwork for the whole life-long adventure. It can be accessed with the following link:
 "first, second  & third pieces of the Rest of the Story"     

The concluding pieces will be in the  FINAL REPORT. 
This autobiography describes the foundational experiences I had as a teenager, then the LDS mission experience ending in Guatemala and the Shangrila of Central America that set the stage for the future. 
Part of that experience was what I included previously--inspiration & guidance from the movie, 
WALK THE PROUD LAND, with Audry Murphy, and which 
will remain as part of the finished FINAL REPORT.

 NOTE:  I will now remove the current FINAL REPORT from public view on the internet 
while working on it and when expedient will publish the final version--hopfully..... 
......."before it's too late!"  
I think most of you will know what is meant by that for an old guy in his 84th year. The same thing was told me repeatedly in my High Uintas Project as I would meet people on the trail beginning in my 80th year--all advising me to "get to it before it was too late," which I finally took seriously as coerced into it by health issues when 82 and a year later published the High Uinta Mountains book on my 83rd birthday. (see
The FINAL REPORT will still begin with THE TWELVE STRONG, who were keys in the adventure, plus very strong SUPPORTING ACTORS, followed by THE 32  CRITICAL EFFORTS, EVENTS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS by the family, friends & Foundation, with historically critical additions to some items.
There will also be
comments and analysis about the conflicts that arose 
because of our efforts to help religiously, as we weren't called or asked to do what we did--
--it was sort of like:
The humorous and enlightening story about the Boy Scout who on seeing an elderly lady he thought was fearfully hesitating about crossing a street, went into action to do his "Good Deed for the Day," grabbed her arm and lovingly took her across, but it was surprisingly difficult as she seemed to be resisting his help and on  getting her to the other side safely, paused to give her a chance to thank him, when she rather screamed,
NOTE: Every element of that story has an application in our years in Guatemala

So, that discussion--concerning the possibility our voluntary efforts were not wanted, 
nor appreciated, plus  "the rest of the story,"  will make it, even more, an interesting.......

......historical distilling of 50 years of twists, turns, and complexities-
--sometimes humorous, often inspiring-- 
At times  disastrous and controversial when repeatedly perplexing & tragic  
judgments & decisions were made based on "erroneous reports"  and 
"widespread misunderstanding."  
--Yet, in the end, all fascinating stories of human  conflict & triumph --
I will now go to what I very late added on at the  end of the FINAL REPORT--not likely seen by many, but it is the recently edited story, with photographs of us leaving Provo, Utah, then failing to get through Mexico on the first attempt--because I had sworn to be totally honest in everything and not give in to the "bribe system."
What then?  What did we have to go through to finally get to the "Land of the Mayas?"
1/2 MILLION MILES OF TRAVEL & ADVENTURE:  Utah through MEXICO and on to GUATEMALA, then later--back and forth between Guatemala & Utah 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 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 Michelin tires--both working to get us to Coban, but then noted that all of the 4 rims were cracked!--but we did make it.......finally! -- 
As you have seen already at the beginning of this post, after 9 years of quite complicated preparation for the move--described in early Foundation historical reports (2nd page), we were ready, drove to my parent's home in Provo, Utah to say goodbye. Below we zoom in on it again to remind us.  Our Ford 150 pickup was this "modern pioneer family's covered wagon." 
 It was a tearful parting, except for an elderly neighbor, a Sister Cannon, who sarcastically smiled and said something like, "I'll give you 6 months, and you'll come running home with your tail between your legs!"
The camper on the back of our Ford pickup was loaded almost to the ceiling, just leaving enough space for us to squeeze in on top to sleep.  We couldn't afford to stay at motels, as the total cash in our pockets for the life-long journey was only $4,272.  But, as mentioned we did have a load of valuable equipment in which we had invested $10,000--some mentioned in the initial paragraph, with which we were to begin a business venture that hopefully would support us, as well as place us in rural Guatemala where the need was critical, and we would be able to learn and do a lot of good while preparing for even greater things.  
That relatively tiny amount of cash, plus equipment sounds pretty quixotic I will admit.... as emphasized the year before (1966) when I presented the program at the October Ex-Missionary Reunion for Central American missionaries.  I had showed them graphically with slides the desperate life and death needs of the people we had worked among and suggested something had to be done.  That provoked a discussion afterward, some of the group being supportive of doing something, but saying they were in no position to do anything, then telling me, "You be the guinea pig. If the experiment works, we'll follow!"  But the overall reaction summarized from two who would become Church leaders was:
 "You don't have the necessary capital.....nor qualified with sufficient education."
To all of them, I suggested that
If we had the Spirit of the Lord to guide and bless our efforts, our basket would be replenished from time to time enabling us to do a lot of good among a very worthy and needy people.
With that experience, we decided to talk no more, but act.  A month later we rather left on one last 2-1/2 month exploratory trip to pave the way for the move.  That experience convinced us it was time to go, and announced to the family we would leave in four months.  So, in mid=1967, with a lot of faith, we headed south to Nogales, Mexico to cross the border. 

When the Mexican border officials saw our load they just shook their heads saying it wasn't likely possible to go through Mexico. One suggested we look for a Customs Broker to help us.  I talked to a number of them explaining everything had to be done legally with no bribes, and they all shook their heads.  I returned to the Customs House and was told that I had to keep looking and was assured there would be one willing to help us.    

We finally found that "one" 
who requested authorization from Mexico City to pass through Mexico, and said it would take a while--from one week to six months! 
So we unloaded all the prohibited stuff in the Broker's warehouse and drove south to San Carlos Bay for a week-long wait on the Sea of Cortez. 
We there experienced 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!  
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.
We returned to Nogales but no authorization had come to travel with our load through Mexico, so we had no choice but leave our stuff in the warehouse, 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 facing my parent's neighbor, Sister Cannon, who had predicted we would only last  "6 months,"  but all of a sudden we were 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 and rumors mentioned below that evolved soon,  and I believe she became an avid supporter over all these years!
I went back to work producing Andersen Samplers, earning enough in a couple of weeks to pay for all the losses due to extra travel,  enough for the Custom's Broker, and the bond he required.  

Two weeks or so later a telegram came and we packed up for the 2nd time and headed for Mexico. But this time--just before leaving, having a 2-hour heart-to-heart talk with my parents who had been understandably doubtful and scared to death about what we were to attempt.
    I described emotionally the long chain of spiritual experiences had since I was a young boy, then as a missionary, and later when I was President of the Spanish American Branch in Provo--they all convincing me and finally giving us the courage, to make the move.  Additionally I explained the Good Life Method of helping Indians that had come to me as a missionary in the Coban area in 1958, and believed the Lord wanted me to experiment with it and perfect its application among the Indigenous people, while also experiencing the struggle of surviving in rural Guatemala--along with our Indians, all of us learning and rising up together.  And, in so doing being available to help the local members of our Church, helping in any way the leaders in Guatemala felt appropriate.  It was a humbling and tearful experience for all of us.  I  then asked my father for a "Father's Blessing," which he tearfully gave me--and was faithful doing his part in helping its fulfillment for the last 16 years of his life.

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 later.
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, and so we could get our bond back from the broker (which he never sent anyway--said money, along with our expenses for the  extra trip and time spent at San Carlos Bay,  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 near 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 FOURTH 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 three 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, and NO PAYMENT OF BRIBES.  
The FOURTH MIRACLE had happened, and all the trouble caused by being honest was more than made up for.  We only had to eventually pay duties on the pickup, but considered a work vehicle, so duty was cheap.

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 like us "living from crisis to crisis," but also by me as "miracle after miracle...after miracle--blessed, guided and protected by the Lord." 

During those 7 years, three more children would be born:  Joe "Joey," Marcia "Nita," and Daniel "Danny."  Maria was a beautiful mother,  incredibly courageous having each with the help of a midwife at the government hospital in Coban, most of those years living in a rental house in Coban. 
In the meantime, I worked hard to get profitable business projects functioning to support us. First the traveling movie venture--Cine Chapinlandia (item #1 in the FINAL REPORT).   Then on December 5, 1967, it blended into Granja & Tienda La Cabana, the poultry enterprise (item #2).
That in turn on February 2, 1968, blended into the Paradise Valley Plantation--Finca Valparaiso (item #3).   
A portion of Valparaiso is seen below after creating a lake, then
clearing and mowing an area that revealed mounds that along with the rest of the property 
was discovered to be an ancient  fortified city.
Until then I had continued every two weeks the traveling movie, but now with two properties to manage and develop, plus a large debt to pay off, I finally had to end the traveling movie--Cine Chapinlandia.  Then,  7 months later, realizing that everything we were doing at the Farm could be done even more effectively on the plantation, we sold the poultry farm.   For the next 26 years, I focused on Valparaiso--that became THE CID--the Center for Indian Development—El Centro Indigena de Desarollo (item #7), specializing in what we called A PROGRAM OF TOTAL DEVELOPMENT.  From here we extended out all over the country with aid projects.  
All the while applying the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life  to awaken and help those we met on the movie tour, then our people at the farm, followed by the plantation and arousing everybody's interest not only in helping themselves improve their lives but also in saving their own. (item #3) 
For half of this period--up to 1974,  we were on our own as the Andersen Family Peace Corp (1967-1970),  then the 2nd half with the help of the Foundation for Indian Development, which was never part of our plan, nor requested--but much appreciated.  It was all an initiative of those in Provo, Utah interested in helping, spearheaded by my father, and is important regarding item #3 below of the rumors and gossip that people congered up in their minds.

For the first 6 years, we were appreciative of a great deal of positive publicity we received from our own people--mostly from Utah, but also perplexed, and often amused by criticism of our efforts that all seemed to come from what we began calling "friendly fire."  It wasn't actually very friendly at all, but it did all come from our own people--U.S. citizens living, working, and or visiting in Guatemala--and interestingly all from people who had never visited us, but thought themselves to be experts. 
It was from them that came the gossip about my failures
It seemed like certain people who admitted they would never do what we were attempting, were obsessed with finding something wrong in what we were doing and criticism got our of hand. I'll leave the psychological analysis in your hands.
I had come knowing there would be opposition but was pretty naive about not expecting it to come from my own people.  I should have known better as one of my heroes, whose example I was attempting to follow, was Ammon from the BOOK OF MORMON, who was "laughed to scorn" by his own people for wanting to go on a self-appointed mission to help the Lamanites (as Mormons call them).
By 1971 I was reminded about this when LDS Apostle, Spencer W. Kimball, on a visit to Guatemala City, requested a visit with me.  He congratulated me for what I was doing, suggested ways to promote the Foundation, and then warned, 
"Don't 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."
I know he was referring to criticism from what was called low level "friendly fire,"  but I'm not sure whether he also perceived it would come from his companions in Church leadership.  I soon was prepared for almost anything—although I’ll admit years later that I wasn’t a very good diplomat, and sort of had ingrained in me perhaps too much what I learned as a young, very short kid bullied by everyone, TO NOT TAKE ANY GUFF FROM ANYONE  and be HONEST calling a Spade a Spade.  I could not accept false stories, lies, and injustices no matter who they came from nor whether their motives in some strange way had some noble motive in the perpetrator's imagination.  Strangely telling the truth time after time got me in trouble.
In 1973 we learned from friend and LDS Regional Representative in Central America, Harold Brown who visited us in 1973 and in a Church meeting explained 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 using the Foundation and the LDS Church TO GET RICH. 

As explained in the FINAL REPORT, Harold Brown went on to explain in that meeting that he didn't believe any of that, and then began calling our effort "Ammon-like" and described forcefully his heartfelt beliefs in our effort, having the packed congregation all in tears.  He became our supporter and friend all of his life, while many others failed. (item #11)
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--saved by the angelic visit of Harold Brown, 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 antenna 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. 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, from 1994 until 2002, our dish antennae made possible us watching those great games against the Chicago Bulls for the NBA Championship as seen in the picture on the right, with John Stockton on the TV in our living room.  (see item #29)

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, 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 because of the guerrilla war, she admitted that unjust criticism and lack of gratitude from important leaders--and especially the blaming of us for "illegal adoption work," while letting those actually responsible go, not only unscathed but later given even higher callings, had her concluding that her years in Guatemala had "been hell,"  and eventually she never wanted to live there again.  Note:  The adoption story is told in item #20 in the FINAL REPORT.
However, 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 the experience we never imagined would be part of our lives dedicated to the Lamanites. 
So, 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 did as always when Foundation money was lacking for a project,  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-- a funny story told at the end of the FINAL REPORT.
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. 

In 1981 a "death threat" from the guerrillas led to me quickly taking Maria and the kids back to Utah--ending Maria's exceptional "Ammon-like 14 year"  mission helping to make possible a great work among the Mayans, as well as great contributions from all of my children who never faltered in being with me in the adventure. Without their 14-year contribution, laying a great foundation for success, I would likely have never been able to do very much. 

 After establishing the family in a rental home in Provo, Utah and getting them a car for transportation, I was quickly back in Guatemala as I had to keep the business going that supported us, as well as continue the Foundation projects.  

But, I had to do so clandestinely--disguised and armed as there was evidence that a rebel group of guerrillas refused to obey the main leader in our part of the country who had told his troops to leave me alone, as well as the plantation.  The Central House Family ended as the threats from the rebel group of it being torched had no one wanting to live there anymore.  I had to hustle to find safe homes for everyone.

I also had to keep the family going in Utah, so I began spending two months in Guatemala, then 2 months in Utah, making 5 to 6 trips a year to keep everything going in both countries.  At that time I also became AYUDA's  (see item #23) representative in Guatemala as that aid organization's representatives from the U.S. decided it too dangerous to travel to Guatemala, and eventually, they disappeared and we kept their projects in Cunen going on our own for 10 years.  

During all those years, with traveling back and forth every two months,  I accumulated around 500,000 miles of travel. 

Below we see the family back in Utah, including for 18 months the outstanding student and member of the Central House Family, Moncho, or Victor Ramon Yat Valdez, we see to Maria's right in the background.  Today in 2019 he is Bishop Victor Valdez, of the Valparaiso LDS Ward.

  And it seemed like on every one of those trips I narrowly escaped serious accidents and likely death, as well as having many dangerous experiences.
During my months in Guatemala--over 10 years, I quite miraculously escaped from the guerrillas a few times and once at Valparaiso, we were in the middle of a shoot-out between the Army and guerrillas after which my Dodge van delivery vehicle was used to carry dead and wounded to Coban--all Army and guerrillas, with nobody from Valparaiso ever injured.

Previously me and   my Indian brothers literally had to fight off invaders and put many in jail;  Then  in the 90's with my new wife, Maria Elena,  we had to deal with a well organized "mafia," called "Los Colitas,"  murderous bandits--posing as guerrillas,  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--they got a submachine gun, and a couple of pistols, but I talked them out of taking my dad's Browning .22 rifle,  but, because I reported the assault  to the police and Army, the thugs promised to kill my family and burn down the Central House!
But,  I was determined to not let that happen--re-armed quickly and night after night I was waiting in ambush--the ambusher always with a tremendous advantage, each night in a different position,  to eliminate them--armed (this will sound quite Quixotic) 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 .380,  and fully intended to become a "MODERN AMMON"--who killed 7 rustlers of the King's flocks and gained the confidence of the King and people.
NOTE:  The "Colitas" were saved from me by being arrested by government security forces and I got back my submachine gun!  I  participated in the trial and have the only video VHS tape of the  "Los Colitas" trial of those who were captured. 

Well, to say the least, our family and this "RODEO CLOWN"  had the time of our lives with adventure after adventure and a bit of success along with Harold  Brown informing us that we had stimulated the organization of world-wide welfare services--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 and that of my family. You'll get that point once you see the complete FINAL REPORT. 
For example,   In doing thousands of medical treatments, especially in the first 15 years,  3 times dealing with deadly rabies, then treating almost  every tropical and deadly sickness known to man-- tuberculosis, pneumonia, malaria, dengue, typhoid, typhus, tetanus, etc. and a continuing epidemic of malnutrition, kwashiorkor (protein deficiency)--and I even did an emergency hernia surgery that I  had a lot of fun retelling at BYU's 1977 Education Week in item #19--and,  while saving others from those serious diseases and conditions at times  found myself coming down with the same,  and then had to save myself. 
I yelled for my kids to bring me my medical bag!

For a number of years, we helped sponsor the NATIONAL INDIAN FOLKLORE FESTIVAL, but then decided our local area needed our help most, so for 14 consecutive years we sponsored, along with the Foundation,  the INDIAN FOLKLORE FESTIVAL in Santa Cruz Verapaz.  
We were privileged each year with crowning the new queen and blessed with unique opportunities to participate in their private religious ceremonies and even 
permitted to take rare video footage. 

Below we see a photograph of the country-wide Mayan candidates for the 
National Indigenous Folklore Festival, called by some
each with their distinct typical clothing, language and customs.

The FESTIVAL is held on the last Saturday in July each year.  

For us Andersens and the Foundation it was a blessing to help in these great activities along with an unending chain of projects in every one of the 33 villages of Santa Cruz Verapaz, as well as surrounding areas, all the way down into the Polochic Valley, and across the country in the Central Highlands, mostly centered on Patzicia and Patzun having fulfilled the goal of 
which blessing we will always cherish.

If I finish the FINAL REPORT with the complete unvarnished story--
-- "before it's too late," -- you will be advised. 

If not, my extensive files and many journals--which will be donated to a University library, will have to be used to unravel the life-long "Checkered Faith & Work Journey"--if anyone is interested in the challenge, about which one leader, who for a brief moment comprehended, advised me,
"Don't tell anyone as no one will understand." 

On the other hand, one unique man, Harold Brown, showed that it was possible 
to understand fairly by having an
 unbiased open mind, an understanding heart, and a spiritually perceptive spirit.


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