Saturday, June 14, 2014


Video #18 The Complete History of the Guatemalan Foundation 

Link to the last post....Newsletter #5-2014, & photo essay on

The Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc Village School....

In 1987, with the passing of my parents, Dad, Ariel A. Andersen,  in 1983, and Mom, Ines Andersen,  in 1986, $20,000 was raised by the Foundation and the Chuluc .Village School was built in their honor and dedicated in mid-1987.

The dedication in 1987 was well represented by many of my family you see below.
A great little school was born in a very poor rural village 5 miles outside of Patzicia.

Since then the Foundation has persisted in helping the school and village, almost every year by paying the wage of one of the teachers, and with other yearly projects as mentioned below, but every year  the Andersen Family finances a combined celebration to honor Mothers, and Fathers -- always with a brief summary for the children and parents of the history of those after whom the school is named.

Below are a few photographs of the celebration held just a few days ago.

The program begins with the the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag  led by the teachers.

Activities follow for the children , the moms......

....and the dads.

In addition, almost every year we have sponsored needed projects for the school and the community....some of which follow:

One year it was electric installation, not just for the school, but for every family home in the community.

Another year it was helping them dig by hand a 55 meter deep well, the installation of a submersible pump, and whole system  so they would have safe potable water.

We also helped them rebuild and remodel the school kitchen used for the daily nutrition program.

Another project was sanitary facilities--with the first, and still the only flush toilets in the the way we soon hung doors too!

Food was prepared in the school kitchen for all in attendance at what is actually called "DAY OF THE FAMILY"  in Guatemala.

The "FATHER" of the community back in 1987 was don Maximo, and he is still honored  the same today, even though up in years, and now somewhat crippled.   We see him here eating with the dignitaries. 

Don Maximo, and Ariel & Ines Andersen, three incredible human beings  who we honored this year, as we do every year, thanking them again for their unselfish love and service.......

.......and whom I humbly honor, love and appreciate at this special time.
Their son, 
Cordell M Andersen


Thursday, June 5, 2014

June--VOICE-- Newsletter #5-2014 plus photo/essay: Details of the ORPHAN'S HOME PROJECT

Previous post:  VOICE Newsletter #4-2014 May "Orphans Home Nears Completion & Altruistic Projects in Patzicia

SCROLL DOWN FOR AN EXTENSIVE PHOTO/ESSAY OF THE PROJECT with much greater detail and many photographs, including legible views of congratulatory diplomas presented, and the historical document written into the official record.
Page 2 

Tragedy  & Triumph in Guatemala

In mid-2013 a terrible tragedy in the Chicoyoj Village of Santa Cruz Verapaz, Guatemala took the lives of a young father and mother leaving as orphans 3 beautiful children we see to the left--9 year old Elder Alexander, 4 year old Elver Elejandro, and 8 year old Astrid Carina.

Immediately the 70 year old grandparents, Hilaria Maria Suram, and Julian Max, took them into their tiny, already crowded, dirt-floored home, adding them to the 4 grandchildren they were already taking care of.   Below we see the large family, grandparents now with an overwhelming responsibility.  

Julian is a relatively typical Maya/Poqomchi living and working hard in rural Guatemala which means getting up early, hoe and machete in hand, to go to work as an agricultural worker.  but now with a very un-typical responsibility and challenge for a 70 year old with no Social Security or anything else to fall back on.  Somehow he had to find a way to create some kind of future for his grandchildren.
Within a day or two he was knocking on the door of retired professor Federico Veliz.  Julian knew that Federico was a volunteerdirector for the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION, the only humanitarian organization in the area that for years has taken on such challenges.

Federico immediately visited the family, took pictures and emailed them to the Foundation and pleaded for us to help construct a simple home next to Julian's so that they could better take care of their large family.

The Foundation at that moment was also entering a difficult situation--the Foundation office becoming likely the smallest in the world seen below, that became my home and office, today in June completing the first year adjusting to a very interesting simple life in keeping with backpacking principles....we can call "lightweight--mobile--living,"  that hopefully would make possible me persisting as the volunteer director to  keep the 45 year old Foundation's work alive in my 79th year.
To the left we see a fish eye view of the 7' x 11' mobil home into which I have built scanner, printer, computer and everything I need to produce newsletters and keep the Foundation going, but also effectively working towards the conclusion of the The High Uintas Wilderness Project

In those moments of great opportunity in 2013 we were at the opposite extreme from the past when my dad, Dr. Ariel A. Andersen, would never let a worthy project go unfunded, often going to the bank to take out personal loans when there was no other way.  Back in those great days the Guatemalan Andersen family would also take initiative rounding up some old cows for sale, or selling a bunch of pine trees....and getting many critical needs taken care of.

The Foundation was struggling to keep the Patzicia School going to finish 2013, and also find a way to keep it going for one more year--along with also paying the wage of a critically needed teacher at the Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc Village School.  Along with those critical needs I immediately began promoting this new need too, asking, and even begging for help.

The Foundation is not a religion, but we are powerfully motivated by the scriptures, in this instance by James 1:27, and his follow-up in 2:16:
"Pure to visit the fatherless"...but also..."...give them what is needful!"
The religion that has moved me to at least half a century of effort among the Mayans has had me believing that it isn't enough to talk about the need, or be people who "Saith, Lord, Lord..." praying for the needy,  or just to " visit" and give encouragement, but rather to "do," and find a way to "..give..what is needed!"

Instructions were sent to Federico to tell them to begin preparing the construction site, even though we didn't have anything to follow it up with....yet.  So you see below a couple of volunteers beginning to prepare..... 

Back in the U.S. a couple of handfuls of long-time-Foundation donors quickly responded as they usually do.  A few more were more generous than usual, but the foundation wasn't receiving enough to keep on-going projects alive, like the one at the Valparaiso School, and the upcoming annual project to provide thousands of rural children in Santa Cruz with educational supplies to begin the school year.  We just weren't getting enough donations to also take on the construction of a simple home for the 3 orphans.

No cows or pine trees to sell, but we did have some oil properties donated to the Foundation by Orville and Anne Ellsworth more than 35 years ago that give us some royalty income, but we needed more.  I contacted several oil exploration companies and one deal was made that increased the income a couple of thousand dollars.  That led to this year selling 5 acres of said properties.  These increases in income, plus the donations from all of you made possible the school supplies project, and now the joyful completion of "giving --the orphans--what is needful."
The progress of the project has been reported, but will be summarized below with photographs sent by Federico.

All pitch in to help move the rock to the home site.  Other materials soon arrive too:  construction steel, that will bind everything securely together, and tin roofing material.
This construction steel runs throughout the foundation, and is then tied into columns that will be encased with cement forming a strong infrastructure  that will hold up the roof and prevent it from coming down as happened in the 1976 earthquake that killed so many.
This infrastructure will also form a strong base onto which  this family can even build a second floor one day.  The space between the cement/steel columns is filled in with cement blocks. The spaces between cement/steel columns is in many areas of Guatemala are  filled in with adobe bricks. 

 Previous to the earthquake most Indian homes, especially in the Central Highlands, like Patzicia, had walls only of adobe that when the earthquake hit were instantly turned into dust, with the roofs crashing down killing the sleeping families as you see below.
Sometimes a doorway, or a wood support column for a front edge of the roof saved  some, but 25,000 were killed with this ancient style of construction.
The home we are constructing for the children will have two small bedrooms and a living area that will include a small kitchen

 Federico supervised every step in the construction using methods that Guatemalans have learned protect them from earthquakes.  The total cost of the construction, including electric and potable water installation, came to $5,600.

Ready for the joyful inauguration, blessing, and "ceremony" giving the keys to the orphans

 On June 2, 2014 the Chicoyoj Village mayor, Luis Francisco Reyes Morales, presided the inauguration activity, along with  a representative of the National Police, and after  the local Catholic Priest gave the home his blessing, the keys were given to the three children.
 It was written into the official record that the home belongs to the children, under the guardianship of their grandparents, until the children  grow up.

 Federico Veliz, as their "Godfather"  will watch over their growth, education and development, assuring  for them a bright future.

The radio station "RADIO LA BUENA"  was present with well known local radio personality, Mr. Julio Amilcar Nuila, describing the event, doing interviews, and sending congratulations to the Foundation and its supporters for another wonderful project finished.

We don't much care, but they got the name of the Foundation wrong....actually reverting back to 1969 when originally the name of the Foundation was like on this diploma, but soon changed by me to The Foundation for Indian Development, and now the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION.

As a Foundation
 WE CAN'T DO EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE THAT IS NEEDY,  BUT ARE DOING A LOT WITH THE FUNDS THAT ARE AVAILABLE.  In this case helping three beautiful  children move towards a much better life.  

Now, on to the projects we need to finish at the Valparaiso School.  PLEASE HELP ALL YOU CAN  AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.....God bless us in doing our darndest!

I'll be working this summer in the High Uintas ( so please try and remember  without frequent reminders.  I will return to American Fork for the first few days of each month to make deposits, do a simple newsletter to keep everyone informed on the projects, and do whatever has to be done to support our Regional Directors in Guatemala.