Wednesday, March 30, 2011

THE FOUNDER'S: Ariel and Ines Andersen and HISTORY 1969 to 1986

These are Cordell Andersen's parents who in December 1969 joined with a group of their friends and organized what they called The Cordell Andersen Foundation.  A year or so later the name was changed to the Foundation for Indian Development.  This is a brief biography of this wonderful unselfish couple whose dedication has impacted the lives of untold thousands in Guatemala--The Land of the Mayas. 

This is followed by a brief summary of the history from the organization of the Foundation in 1969 to their passing in 1983 and 1986.

Ariel and Ines were both born in Cache Valley, Utah; Ariel in Hyrum in 1905, and Ines (Morgan)  in nearby Nibley in 1910. Both were LDS and grew up learning pioneer values of  self-reliance and hard work.


The Andersen family is seen on the left in 1941 with one of their dry farms in the background near the Idaho border.  The Morgans, with 9 children are seen on the right in 1940 with the Morgan Farm in the background. Their marriage photograph is seen in the middle.

They were married in 1932 and became the parents of  5 children--Marlo, Cordell, Gayle, Howard & Jolene. Ines was dedicated to the raising of their children, and also active in church, a seamstress, and an artist. Ariel graduated from Utah State University in 1932 as a chemist. In 1934 he received his Master's Degree in biochemistry. He then went on to receive his Doctorate degree at Iowa State University in 1941. He did research at the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and from 1942 to 1952 did research work at the Western Regional Research Lab for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Albany, California.

Later, they moved to Provo, UT and began working at the Dugway Proving Grounds as a bacteriological researcher for the U.S. Government. There he invented a bacteriological sampling device which detected airborne biological contamination in the air and patented it as "The Andersen Sampler." The sampler became the first line of defense for the U.S. military in its biological warfare detection program. 

It turned into a successful business known as Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service. Since ending his mission in late 1958, Cordell worked part-time in the business while completing his military obligation and studies at BYU.  In 1963 Cordell became the first to work full time in the family business, and by 1964 business had increased sufficiently for Dr. Andersen to quit his government job and also begin working full time.

The business was run from their homes--turning the garage, and basement rooms into machine and assembly shops, and a small 8 x 8 foot den as the office.

By 1967, when Cordell and family left for Guatemala, the Andersen Sampler had been sold in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries. It was also being manufactured in Russia, which had the FBI making a visit with the Andersen's, and it was finally deduced the Russians  had acquired one from the World Health Organization in Switzerland, and thereafter claimed  they were the inventors. If you are interested google it. For Cordell's part of this story click on HOW THE FOUNDATION BEGAN.

Cordell and his father were in constant communication through letters (no phones yet in Alta Verapaz), and what Cordell was doing was in total harmony with Dr. Andersen's desire to live his faith and help the needy irregardless of their religion--and there was a unique connection when dealing with indigenous peoples--as most Mormons will understand.  At the same time Dr. Andersen was prospering selling like hotcakes all the samplers Cordell had almost ruined his health putting together.  He decided to send Cordell a bonus for his work.  That made possible developing the poultry farm, Granja La Cabaña.

Then Dr. Andersen received a letter from Guatemala describing an incredible opportunity to purchase the Valparaiso Plantation.  Cordell described the property and painted the picture what could evolve there--a business that would support them and employ many Indians, but also "a community with a purpose" where those interested could learn to live and work more productive and happy lives.  He replied quickly to his son, saying, "Buy it!"  Cordell sent a quick reply, "With what?"  

Another bonus was quickly sent to make possible a down payment on Valparaiso and Cordell worked out a 7 year contract to pay the balance with no interest charged on unpaid balances.

Soon Dr. Andersen and his wife, Ines, jumped on a plane for Guatemala to see firsthand what was going on.  It was an eye opening experience for them. 

We see here Dr. Andersen and his wife, with daughter Jolene, and son, Howard at the grass landing strip at Coban.  Old World War II DC-3 airplanes made the flight to and from Guatemala City--when the weather permitted.  On the right we see Ines in front of the simple home at Granja La Cabaña.

 Desirous of helping Cordell in Guatemala, Dr. Andersen in 1969 sold the family business.   His son's effort was so totally in harmony with his religion that he determined to stop at nothing to make the necessary sacrifices to help—which as you see he did for the last 14 years of his life. 

In late 1969, Ariel organized the Cordell Andersen Foundation to help his son, Cordell, in aiding the needy people of Guatemala, to which Ariel and Ines dedicated the rest of their lives as volunteers and the major contributors.

Dr. Andersen is seen busy preparing a Foundation mailing to go to a list of 3,000 he put together.  

During this period Dr. Andersen also invented and patented what was called "THE IDEAL FRUIT CANNER."  Also a unique dietary  supplement, called "Nature's Stressguard."   Both of these inventions were donated to the Foundation.

Dr. Andersen truly lived what he believed was the law of consecration, and rather than become a wealthy man, dedicated his time, talents, and all that he had for the benefit of the needy in Guatemala.  He was very humble and reserved, but was a giant of a man.

The amazing history from the time the Foundation 
was organized is one of great inspiration due to the generosity and dedication of Dr. Andersen, his wife and many more. For the exciting details go to Success Stories and segments like THE CID #1, in fact, all of them were due to Ariel and Ines and the donors over all these years.

It's appropriate to end this biographical sketch with the following:

In 1983 Ariel Andersen passed away, and his wife, Ines, followed him 3 years later.  For her funeral donations to the Foundation were received in lieu of flowers to help construct a school in Guatemala in their honor for their years of sacrifice and devotion to the people. $20,000 was raised and the school was built in the Chuluc Village in the Patzicia Municipality and called "The Ariel and Ines Andersen Chuluc Village School."  That wonderful story can be viewed as one of the Success Stories clicking on Ariel and Ines Andersen School.  A summary follows that is a page from a calendar the Foundation created a few years ago.

For the first part of the story click on:
For the continuance of the history, go to: