Sunday, June 5, 2011

How the Foundation Began

The history leading to the organization of the Foundation for Indian Development began in 1956-58 when Cordell Andersen was an LDS missionary in Central America. He witnessed the incredible poverty and suffering of the Mayan Indians in Guatemala and felt something had to be done to help them temporally, without any elements of organized religion which he had noticed greatly reduced the number of needy willing to accept help.

 He envisioned a strategy which he felt could effectively help them, but never had the opportunity during his mission to apply it--except on a very limited scale. That "stategy" became known as The Philosphy and Principles of the Good Life.  

By the time he returned to the U.S. he was convinced, by a long chain of events, that one day he had to return, experiment with and develop the strategy helping the Indians create better, healthier and more productive lives for themselves and their children.

The next 9 years were dedicated to preparation—marriage, fulfilling his military obligation— becoming an Army Medical Specialist, graduation from BYU, and working in the family business—Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service, punctuated by a number of exploratory trips to Guatemala to pave the way for the eventual move.

By 1965 he had helped the family business grow and prosper to the point that he feared if he didn’t act soon on his feeling of “mission” he and family would never make it. He knew that the key was strengthening himself spiritually, and so dedicated himself completely seeking the kind of spiritual rebirth he needed. This quest reached its culmination high on the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains where he had his encounter with the Lord and his hesitancy and fear were dissipated in a flash of overwhelming love and assurance that much good would result and that he would be protected as long as he persisted in doing good among those he felt a responsibility for.

About that experience he wrote at that time:  
"I was flooded with a feeling of love I had never known before  
and felt clean and filled with unspeakable joy and happiness.
"As I was warmed by His love, fear fled and I found myself 
making commitments to Him.
"I covenanted to do what I had known for some years that
 I had to do.  I now really believed, I really cared,
 I really loved, and I was more than willing to stake my life
 on that belief.
"I then slept peacefully as perhaps never before in my life . .
. . Fear had been overcome by love."

He realized that he himself couldn't even make much of a dent in the overall problem of the needy in Guatemala and other countries, but he had to do all he could.  It was torturous for him to be taking so long to act on those deep feelings and ideas he had as a missionary.  But, finally his faith and the love he felt for so many he knew were suffering pushed him into action.  More than anything else he envisioned:

  "....stimulating powerful individuals and institutions into significant action and I perceived that once it was accomplished I would gladly accept being forgotten."  

He was well aware that he couldn’t go off half-cocked, but had to prepare properly. He knew that several others had acted on similar feelings had during their missions in Guatemala, but none had lasted more than 6 months. Many others had similar profound feelings, but never acted.

He worked overtime in the business, and trained a younger brother to take over some of the office work, and shipping.

In mid-1966 he had the opportunity of making a month long trip into Southern Mexico as the photographer for archaeologist, Garth Norman. His camper was his dark room where he would develop the 4” x 5” pictures taken to make sure they got what they needed. His portable generator and photo floods lighted up the jungle for effective photography making the relief pop-out, like of Stela #5 at Iztapa near the Guatemalan border, known as "The Tree of Life monument." NOTE: If you have seen a photo of it, you have seen his photograph. The monument is now eroded smooth. A jazzed up version of a young character from this stela has become the symbol of the Foundation.

Garth is examining 4x5 photos in the camper/darkroom on the expedition.   On the right, a view of Stela 5 in his publication for the New World Archaeological Foundation.

He then traveled into Guatemala and his target area, Alta Verapaz where he began laying the groundwork for the big move. This was an isolated mountainous area in north central Guatemala occupied mostly by the Kekchi/Mayan Indians, one of only 3 indigenous groups in all of the Americas never conquered by the sword. It was known in conquest times as the “Land of Eternal War,” but after a religious conquest the name was changed to what it is today, Alta Verapaz, translated as “The Land of Eternal Peace.” Coban was the capital city of the area where Cordell as a missionary in 1958 was inspired with  the “strategy” that was to guide his efforts.

On that trip, two weeks after lighting up the jungles for his photography and attracting clouds of mosquitos, he had his first encounter with malaria. It started in isolated Alta Verapaz

In the Fall of that year, 1966, he was invited to present the program at the Central American Missionary Reunion.  For some time he had a multi-media slide show on Guatemala that he showed all over to Spanish Classes, the Rotarians, the Lutheran Church, and in LDS firesides.  For the Reunion he redid it to focus on the problems so many were suffering, and his plan about what could and should be done.

A large group remained afterward to talk about it, and it went on and on until the blurry eyed janitor begged them to leave.

One quite educated ex-missionary felt that Cordell didn't have enough education to be able to accomplish much. Cordell countered saying that he felt that with the guidance of the Lord, great good could be accomplished.

Another ex-missionary objected saying Cordell would have to have at least $100,000 in capital to be able to accomplish anything of importance.  Cordell had faith base solutions to this realistic suggestion too.

The majority of the interested ex-missionaries were supportive, but explained they had new families, were just getting established in life and so couldn’t take any risks. They basically said: “You go and experiment with your ideas. If you are successful, we will follow.”

He determined to talk no more, but take the decisive steps he had promised the Lord he would take.

NOTE:  On April 1, 2011 Cordell and Toby Pingree were invited to give in a Reunion of the same ex-missionaries, what Cordell called "The 45 Year Report."  The transcription of the speeches can be read, including the "missing minute" in a Foundation newsletter you can see clicking on VOICE and there also find a link to seeing the video on YouTube.

Later that year, and extending into early 1967 he took his family on a 2½ month expedition to make way for the final move.

On returning to Provo he announced to his father that in 4 months he would be leaving, but promised to put together a 2 year’s supply of the Andersen Sampler, so his father could continue the business alone.

For several years he had invested some of his profits in hopes of acquiring the capital he needed. The gold mine in Mexico ended in failure. The oil well in Wyoming was stopped by the SEC and investment lost. The movie project went broke, as did the real estate venture in Heber and Provo Canyon. The insurance company merged with a company in Oregon, then with one in South Dakota. NOTE: A few years later when finally settled in Guatemala he received a dividend check from the insurance company—for .07 cents!

He rather began investing in the vehicle and camper he would need, and in movie projection equipment—3 16mm. projectors, 2 portable 9’ x 12’ movie screens, sound equipment, portable generators, etc. and then all the cash he could scrounge selling his guns, and everything they had.

More than anything else he focused on the family business to earn and save as much as possible, and leave the business in good shape. He rolled up his sleeves and went to work and over 4 months worked an average of 19 hours/day, 6 days a week, and then hauled the 2 years supply of Andersen Samplers to his father’s place.

Dr. Andersen examining Samplers manufactured by Cordell that helped pave the way for the move to Guatemala.

In the summer of 1967 Cordell, his wife, Maria, and their four children--Julie, David, Cristina & Richard, loaded up their pickup. It was 2,000 lbs. overloaded but he had installed overload springs, and bought Michelin tires. As they were saying goodbye to his parents, an elderly neighbor, Sister Cannon, came out to bid them farewell. She was laughing as she said, “I’ll give you 6 months and you’ll come running home with your tail between your legs!” Cordell gritted his teeth and bit his tongue, thinking, “I’d rather die than give her satisfaction!”

They were stopped at the Mexican border and told they couldn’t pass through the country with so much stuff. Cordell had made a vow he wouldn’t give in to the bribe system, but do everything with complete honesty. The border officials admitted that there was a legal way to do it, but he would have to go to a customs broker. He tried many and they all just shook their heads, suggesting giving bribes. After another talk with the border officials he kept making the rounds of custom brokers, finally finding one who said he could do it, but that it would take from 1 week to 6 months. The Andersen’s unloaded in the broker’s warehouse and drove 250 miles south to San Carlos Bay where they spent a week.

The 4 Andersen kids at San Carlos Bay waiting for authorization from Customs to get through Mexico.

Then back to the border. No word had come.

They couldn’t afford to remain there spending their meager $4,273 dollars of capital. So returned to Provo just 2 weeks after leaving. Sister Cannon came out and couldn’t contain her laughter. It had only taken 2 weeks to return with their “tails between their legs.”

Cordell went back to making more Andersen Samplers for the next two weeks when a telegram arrived from the broker saying the authorization had come from Mexico City. 

 So, off they went finally making it through Mexico and to the Guatemalan border on August 19, 1967 where they expected even more trouble. Cordell talked to the border officials explaining their purposes and presented a folder with documentation for all they carried, stating up front they knew they would likely have to pay some import duties. The officials were overwhelmed, bent over backwards insisting everything was used, and within 45 minutes the Andersen’s were on their way to Guatemala City without having to pay one thin dime for anything!

Guatemala, the Land of Eternal Spring, the Land of the Mayas, is half the size of Utah in 1967 with 3 million people, but today in 2011 with a population of 13 million.  It is above all a LAND OF CONTRASTS as seen here.

In Guatemala City he visited a lawyer and began the process to become a permanent resident.

While the family waited at a friend’s apartment building, Cordell took half of his heavy load 120 miles, a 10 hour drive, up into the isolated mountains of North Central Guatemala to Coban unloading at a rental home. Then went back to bring the family and the rest of their load. The move to Coban, Alta Verapaz (A.V.) was finally a reality. All four rims of the pickup were cracked, but they had finally made it and were ready to begin a new life. Soon afterwards Sister Cannon passed on and it is believed that from heaven she became the Andersen’s most ardent supporter and guardian angel.

At that time, there were 50,000 children dying each year in Guatemala, amounting to 50% of the Indian children dying before the age of 6. After establishing his family in Coban, Cordell immediately went to work with his first project. He called it a “Private Family Peace Corp.”

Specifically the first project was a traveling movie called, Cine Chapinlandia, visiting every two weeks 6 of the most isolated rural communities in the country (Chicaman, Uspantan, Cunen, Nebaj, Sacapulas, and Aguacatan). Several of them had no electricity and had never seen a movie.  Educational and feature length movies were shown in the public schools, in community halls, and in churches.

The traveling movie--Cine Chapinlandia visited 6 towns between Coban and Aguacatan. On the left Cordell is unloading the frame of the 9 x 12 foot movie screen in Chicaman where an abandoned Catholic Church was their theater. On the right we are in Sacapulas using the courtyard of the Convent. When it rained the priest let them use the temporary chapel seen in the background--as the main church was unusable with earthquake damage.

The area covered, with 200,000 people, had no medical services, and soon Cordell’s pickup became a mobile health clinic, putting to work his experience as an Army Medical Specialist. It was on-the-job learning too, as he had to begin dealing with health issues never mentioned in his Army training, such as Kwashiorkor, other acute nutritional and digestive maladies, typhoid, tuberculosis, tetanus, pneumonia, malaria, etc.

He realized that if he was to effectively help needy Indians, 85% living in rural Guatemala, he would have to get involved with agriculture. It was also a matter of survival for his family to generate an income before his meager capital ($4,273) disappeared. The traveling movie was an incredible “peace corps” kind of project, but couldn’t generate enough income to support them. So, on a small property near Coban called "Granja la Cabaña"  he established the first (albeit very small) commercial poultry farm in Northern Guatemala, and had a small herd of 19 cattle. They finally had enough income to support themselves, and they were learning—fast, incredibly important lessons for the future.

Above is seen Granja La Cabaña, outside of San Juan Chamelco, which  became the first profit producing venture that actually began providing their support.  Cordell's father is seen helping on his first trip to Guatemala.

 He had one employee there, Manuel Ajanel and his wife, Julia.  They were a very typical Indian family living pretty much according to tradition.  Sadly it was soon learned that it also included at times out of control drunkenness. Eventually it seemed necessary to fire Manuel, but he and Julia begged for help saying  they noticed that the Andersen's life style was what they wanted.  Tearfully  Manuel begged Cordell, "Please give me the pill you take that makes you different!"  Cordell began the teaching process.

 The family lived in Coban, 30 minutes to the north where in the front room of their rental home they established a store from which they sold their eggs as seen below.  The baby is Joey, their first to be born in Guatemala. The others from the left are:  Julie, Richard in Cordell's arms, Joey in Maria's arms,  David and Cristina.

Within 2 months he also quite miraculously acquired the Valparaiso Plantation—a 600 acre property with 240 resident Poqomchi Indians living in 39 family thatch huts.  Soon the poultry farm was sold to consolidate their efforts at Valparaiso (“Paradise Valley”). It was a perfect setting to begin experimenting with his strategy to help needy Indians and establish a “community with a purpose.”  Their 19 head of cattle were driven overland following trails through the mountains to Valparaiso.  

Manuel and Julia begged Cordell to take them with to Valparaiso.  Cordell accepted and gave them a room in the "haunted" Central House.  Manuel took charge pf  the poultry business with new chicken coops, and 3 rooms in the Central House that became brooder rooms with a new batch of broiler chicks every two weeks. 

The Valparaiso Plantation--Paradise Valley as seen in aerial photographs.  The lake you see was not there in the beginning, but was one of the first work projects.  The hills were covered with trees and thick underbrush, but once cleared and mowed revealed lumps  all over, and mysterious trenches.  As you might guess the lumps were mounds where ancient structures once stood.  The trenches were discovered to be fortification trenches of an ancient fortified city.  There were 39 families living in thatch huts as you see here, none with outhouses creating home environments that  were incubators for sickness and death.

40% of their children had died already, and more sick and dying were found in every dirt floored thatch hut. Not one outhouse existed--their home environment being perfect incubators for disease and death. An average of 8 more were dying every year.  Alcoholism was rampant with cheap homemade "boj" made from their sugar cane.   The closest school available was 2 miles up a steep, slippery trail into the mountains to the south at the Najquitob Village.  Five or six boys sporadically attended from Valparaiso. No girl had ever gone to school.

The plan had been to establish agro-business projects and an income to support themselves, and then dedicate a portion of profits applying the strategy helping the needy. But the situation they found was desperate and they couldn’t wait, and went to work treating the sick.

Of course their survival was crucial so a lion’s share of effort went into agricultural projects to support themselves and employ 39 adult heads of household whose teenage boys also plead for a chance to work. Everyone needed to learn quickly and so from the very beginning the work became vocational learning laboratories. This first educational effort was dubbed “learning with a shovel,” or hoe, ax and soon a chain saw, garden cultivator, and then a Ford tractor. Cordell had to study by candlelight (no electricity yet) to keep one page ahead of his student workers.  See more details at:  VOCATIONAL ED--"Learning with a shovel."

The above photo album represents all the interminable efforts at what the  Andersen's called "learning with a shovel" to be able to support themselves, train and employ as many as possible, and accept many youth as vocational students to teach them how to live and work better.  The theory was to have enough profits left over  to be able to begin effectively helping the people out of their poverty and misery--but they had no choice but to start before there were profits!

At the same time attempts were made to treat the sick and dying found in every thatch hut. Many were saved, some lost as the Andersen’s struggled to treat conditions unknown to them. The Indians didn’t trust the Ladino (European Guatemalans) doctors and medical facilities available in Coban an hour distant as whenever they had taken their sick there, they had always died. Many others were hid from the Andersen's.   They had never known a landowner who cared about them and for them this strange gringo was even more suspicious looking. For the Andersen's it was perplexing not being trusted.

Cordell and daughter, Julie, trying to save the mother of Tomas,  Alfonso and Lic, mentioned below.

Then two events changed everything.

A mother they were treating, seen above,  was lost and then they were shown little Tomas, a baby to that point hid from them. He was so far gone that the father, Ricardo, permitted them to take him home for intensive care. A blessing was given for life.

Cordell was determined to save him and win the trust of the Indians. He was keeping him alive with I.V.’s, but not in a vein as one couldn’t be found, but injected into the abdominal cavity to be absorbed by the body. Then one night in a thoughtful place a message came to him, “Tomas’ time has come. He has suffered enough.” He went to Tomas, knelt down, released him from the blessing, and put him in the hands of the Lord. In the morning he was gone.

The first religious service of any kind was held that day, the Andersen’s providing song and words of comfort for a large crowd of Indian residents. At the cemetery Cordell himself took his turn, along with the father, digging the hole. The Indians had never seen a white man concerned to this degree for a Poqomchi Indian child.

They were in the middle of an epidemic. Tomas’ grandparents took sick, refused treatment and died. Then Ricardo brought his two boys, Alfonso and Lic, to the Central House telling Cordell he was sick too, but his boys were still alright. “Please take them and keep them alive!”   NOTE:  Make sure and see the FOUNDERS article where you will see what happened to Lic after growing up in the Central House.

Then 9 year old Agustin volunteered to come and be with them, as they didn’t understand any Spanish. Agustin’s mother had died of tuberculosis and the children left with an alcoholic father. They were living in terrible conditions. Soon his sisters, Feliza and Cecilia, pleaded to live with them too.  Then it snowballed.

It had never been part of the plan, but soon the old haunted Central House began filling up with 30, 40 and for years an average of 50. Some gringo visitors called it “the mob,” and some in so doing were critical of the effort. 

The Andersen family always began their day at 6:00 a.m. with what they called "Devotional," singing, studying, getting organized, and praying, and then had breakfast together.  More on this critical aspect of history in the Success Story segment on THE CID #1.

In spite of harsh criticism from some U.S. citizens in Guatemala (who interestingly had never visited to see for themselves), the Central House family was a key activity in many good things that began happening. 

They all got together at meal time, and in the evenings got together again for what we could call a Family Hour.  As you can see in the pictures below, they would sing, read together, memorize scriptures and have family prayer.  When there was a crisis they all pitched in like when the barn caught fire mentioned a bit further along, the family seen afterwards in the upper right picture below. 
There was no discrimination, but they were all brothers and sisters.  The lower right photograph was used in an LDS publication in 1972, THE ENSIGN, with the caption that they were "three little Indian boys" walking down the road.  But, they weren't "Indian boys" rather Richard Andersen on the left, David Andersen on the right, with their Indian brother, Ruben, in the middle.  That eventually was the key to success that "gringo" critics never could understand. One visitor even described what he saw, saying, "He is spinning his wheels like on ice.  He should sell Valparaiso and go to the South Coast and make some money!"   Read on, and judge for yourself.

The Indian residents began softening in their distrust. Many of Cordel'sl teenage worker/students began participating with him in the efforts to help save the people of the valley.

Then came the miracle of Elvira. She was 16 months old and came with her mother, Chavela, as part of a group of 160 who responded to the invitation to come and receive an intestinal parasite treatment where medication was dispensed by the gallon. But Elvira reacted negatively and went into convulsions. Cordell somehow got that stopped and thought that all was fine.

Afterwards sixty of them, including Chavela, Elvira, and older sister, Marta, accepted the invitation to see a movie, “MAN’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS.” The movie, with a translator helping them understand, seemed well received and the film was being rewound. But, Cordell noticed a group of women remaining gathered around Chavela, Maria and the Andersen girls among them. Chavela had Elvira on her lap covered completely with a shawl. All the women were crying.

Cordell quickly knelt, uncovered Elvira and sought for signs of life. Her body was cold, and had no signs of a pulse or breathing. He took her in his arms and sat down telling the women they would pray. It seemed like a long prayer as though Cordell was afraid to end it. It was like a father’s blessing, promising her some amazing things in her future. The prayer ended and he looked down at Elvira who was softly snoring, her body was warm. Nothing was said. Chavela silently gathered her baby in her arms and disappeared into the night.
Cordell was so weak he had to be helped back to the Central House. The next day the word spread like wildfire, “There’s a new medicine man in the valley with special powers!”

Here  Elvira is years later with her first son. 

 Soon after the miracle described above,  Elvira and her sister, Marta, became gravely sick.  For at least a month Cordell was at their thatch hut every day treating them.  Daily he expected to find Marta dead, but just couldn't believe Elvira could have been saved so miraculously to just then be taken by an intestinal infection.  He just wouldn't let her die.  Repeatedly he would have them better, but then they would relapse. This happened repeatedly with others too.  

 He concluded that as long as they kept living in such terrible conditions they would never be well.  This harrowing experience had him beginning seriously the preventive program among all the residents.  They had to learn what caused sickness and disease, learn to be clean, and then focus on proper nutrition.  In the SUCCESS STORIES you can learn about the unique teaching methods that eventually stopped death in the Valley.  Chavela and her daughter soon became part of the growing Central House family. 

The breakthroughs had been made and progress became quite rapid—compared to what they had experienced, and expected. With his young student partners and enhanced reputation sick and malnourished were brought to the Central House from villages in the mountains, and invitations came to backpack to isolated villages to treat the sick, and help build schools. Thousands of medical treatments were being performed each year, and many lives saved.

Almost all of his full-time employees were youth who were first students, and then became supervisors of the projects, teaching the new vocational students what they had learned.  They all were taught the Philosophy and Principles of the Good Life, and were experiencing a significant spiritual transformation.  They all became partners with Cordell in saving their people.

It was crucial to know of sickness early enough to effectively treat.  So the youth were divided into pairs of "visiting health promoters," each pair accepting responsibility for 5 or 6 families they would visit every week. They would informally talk to each family about the principles of the Good Life and inquire if anyone was sick.  The sick were immediately treated and made well, this program being a big part of death being eliminated as mentioned further along.

None of this was easy with many setbacks along the learning trail, but with a lot of sweat, and a few miracles, good things began happening and reports started appearing in magazines and newspapers in the Utah area.  Interest in helping the effort grew.

A couple of old friends helped in those early years. Weston Killpack, and his Highland High School Seminary from Salt Lake sent the first donation, $500 from a Christmas project, to help cover the expenses (losses) of the traveling movie. Later, ex-missionary companion, Toby Pingree, loaned some money to expand the herd of cattle that eventually became a dairy.

Above all, Cordell’s father’s help was crucial as he gave his son bonuses for work previously done in the family business, and in 1969 sold the business to give Cordell his capital interest. Cordell’s parents had made a quick trip to visit and see for themselves what was going on and decided they had to get more involved.

 Selling the business made possible them very quickly helping in gigantic ways as you will see in a few paragraphs later and in the article about them—THE FOUNDERS. Even though effort was helping people without any connection to religion, it was so totally in harmony with Dr. Andersen/s religion that he determined to stop at nothing to make the necessary sacrifices to help—which as you see he did totally for the last 14 years of his life.

Volumes could be written describing the adventures that involved every aspect of life imaginable. One visitor during those early years said: “They live from crisis to crisis!”  For some it was perplexing, one religious leader saying, “Cordell has a tiger by the tail and can’t let go. Why is he doing this?”

This is the Central House family after one of the many crisis--the barn caught fire 3 TIMES, this being a very dirty slide of a very dirty and tired crew that fought to save their barn.  Many of the slides are of poor quality ruined by fungi that grew quickly in the humid climate.

There were many crisis everywhere from dealing with epidemics that killed thousands in the region, armed guerrillas invading the plantation, dams breaking causing floods, a near deadly propane gas explosion, the barn catching fire, tracking down and dealing with cattle rustlers in the rough mountains above the plantation, eradicating rabid vampire bats attacking the cows, contending with unexpected violent opposition, surviving an earthquake that killed 23,000 in 5 seconds, death threats from both the violent political left and fanatical right, literal hand-to-hand combat with gangbangers in Guatemala City, and much more.

The "near deadly propane gas explosion" is worth mentioning.  One morning they were abruptly awakened at about 5:30 a.m. by the explosion that rocked the Central House.  Manuel had got up early to install 2,000 new broiler chicks in one of the brooder rooms.  His kerosene lantern touched off the explosion that shot him out of the room making kindling of the door. Cordell rushed him to the hospital in Coban.  It was a miracle he wasn't killed, but he was burned so bad he was expected to die several times during his 6 months of intensive care.  He finally returned, but badly scared, some assuming him to be a leper.

He continued working for another year or so and then, having learned to drive with Cordell, went independent with his own pickup truck.  Forty years later his life evolved into another of the fascinating Success Stories you see below.

In 2009 Manuel was made the Patriarch of the Coban LDS Stake.

There were times when discouragement could have set in, but Cordell's spiritual conversion to his purpose had him pretty stubborn, but there was more.  During those early years he once was invited to Guatemala City to visit briefly with Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He was known as "The Apostle to the Lamanites"  (LDS for "Indians").  He assured Cordell his cause was just, encouraged him to persist, and gave some advice about how they could perhaps acquire funding.  Soon afterwards the Foundation was organized.


In December 1969, as Cordell and his family were working hard to fulfill their dream, Cordell’s father and friends in Provo, Utah organized the Cordell Andersen Foundation which name was soon changed to the Foundation for Indian Development. It was a charitable institution that would promote what was going in in Guatemala and  receive donations from people and groups interested in helping the Mayan Indians and other needy in Guatemala.

Its purpose was to cover the expenses of altruistic projects, and thus free up Cordell’s profits so he could support his family, and employ an increasingly greater number of Indians. Cordell became the volunteer Field Director then and continues to this day.

With the help of the Foundation the application of the “strategy” took on new life, and soon the plantation became known as The Center for Indian Development—or The CID.

 The “strategy,”  became known as The Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life, still the basis of all the work done by the Foundation.

The Philosophy was that the Mayan Indians were descendants of a once great people, but whom had fallen into darkness bringing on all the problems they still suffer—poverty, ignorance, malnutrition and disease, etc. but according to Indian prophecies they are to make a comeback, but need a hand-up from those who care. These ideas came from their own sacred book, THE POPUL VUH and other ancient writings.

The temporal Principles, believed necessary for the come-back were: CLEANLINESS, GOOD NUTRITION, HEALTHY HOMES, UNITED FAMILIES, EDUCATION for all, BE INDUSTRIOUS but learn how to work more effectively, and SHARE THE GOOD LIFE WITH OTHERS.

It is a long and exciting history, but perhaps at this point we should focus on the couple who spearheaded the organization of the Foundation, and in how the story developed afterwards.  All important aspects of the rest of the story can be seen in the long list of SUCCESS STORIES.

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