Friday, March 18, 2016

Photo/Essay#2: 1969-70--176 photos to show the HISTORICAL SUMMARY--Exhausting living "crisis to crisis!" & ENSIGN and LIAHONA article: AWAKENING GUATEMALA...EL DESPERTAR DE GUATEMALA


More HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS can be viewed. They are:

LDS Magazine THE ENSIGN, July, 1972 in English

The Spanish equivalent, LIAHONA, November 1971

"Think of your brethren like unto yourselves and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."  Jacob 2:17

I have worked for days trying to find photographs that fit each historical event, and with some failed.  Many slides are tragically damaged by humidity & fungus, so please be understanding and
focus on the struggle/the triumphs, and not worry about photographic quality.

The pictures basically follow the printed summary of events with very brief captions, with a few key exceptions. For details I insert references to the Historical Review.


EPISODE 2: 1969-70
With a bit over 11 months of experience we were faced by incredible challenges:  We had to survive as a family in an isolated, depressed area, and with a 600 acre, mostly undeveloped, plantation with 240 Mayan/Poqomchi Indians that were considered in such bad shape that another person, interested in paying 4 times what we had offered, required that the residents be removed!
We considered it the challenge we had come looking for to "experiment" with some new ideas how to turn everything around and hopefully stimulate others, more capable than us, to use our experience to do a lot of good.
 Julie had already started giving a class to 5 little barefoot boys, and 1 girl.

 The closest opportunity for education for the children at Valparaiso was at a government school in the Najquitob Village 2 miles up a slippery mountain trail to the south.
 Half of the 15 children attending sporadically were from Valparaiso in the conditions we see here.
 A Mr. Zoel Gomez was the teacher we see here doing his best.  But with poor attendance the government was going to close the school.  The children would have to go to the Chiquiguital Village School, several miles deeper into the mountains, making it impossible for the children from Valparaiso.
Note:  A few years later, me and my posse after cattle rustlers, slept one night in the Chiquiguital Village School,  that later was burned to the ground by the guerrillas.  Then, more than 30 years later,  the Foundation helped there by adding on classrooms and remodeling the sanitary facilities.

Zoel Gomez, with only 3rd grade education himself, was offered the job as our teacher to begin the 1969 School Year in mid-January.  He accepted and we applied with the Ministry of Education to authorize our private school.  They were more than happy to grant our request.
Note:  Some could logically criticize us for employing a teacher with only 3rd grade education, but we had learned that to give totally uneducated children a good start, it was much more effective to use someone like Zoel.  Later we tried very educated teachers who bombed as they were just too sophisticated to live in tough rural conditions and effectively reach the children.  In the same vane, I was criticized as being "a novice" at everything we were doing, while the elite PhD's,  who criticized,  usually weren't willing to get out of their cushy offices and get down to the level of the Indians to be able  to learn, setting aside ideas too sophisticated , and then  be able to help. 

An old abandoned home on the north side of our new lake was fixed up to get us started. 
 Note:  You'll notice that our lake was filling up with water grass, making necessary pulling the head-gates and draining to then remove the grass while at the same time raising the dam level to have deeper water that we hoped would prevent the grass from coming back--which basically worked as you will notice from pictures taken later.

 This picture was taken several weeks, or months, after the school's beginning--when there were more girls.  In the beginning there was only the one  Julie had won, plus of course Julie and Cristina. 

We began combating  the belief among the Indians, that, 
"Women are only good for making tortillas," ...... showing movies, like, INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS, the incredible true life story of Gladys Aylworth who believed her purpose in life was to be a missionary in China, but rejected by her Church, so she went on her own and had epic success.  

Something worked as you'll notice in the first picture above in the classroom, and the one below  on the patio, being taught military discipline and marching skills by Zoel Gomez, as there all of a sudden were 4-5   girls, besides the Andersen's.  David was there too.  Separate from going to our own school, our kids kept busy with their English Calvert School correspondence courses.

You might find it interesting that almost all the Indian children were barefoot.

Of greater importance, the first to show up for school was Isidro Tul "The Witch-doctor," bringing his son Jose, dressed in worn-out--mended with patches, but sparkling clean clothes!  See 1968 #35 & 1969 #1

With the school underway, a lion's share of our time was dedicated to work.  We had  to support ourselves, but also part of the plan was to  employ as many people as we could--giving each training in more efficient work methods, like on the left using a chain saw, and on the right a Honda garden cultivator--a big one that had a power take-off to also run our hammer mill used to make our animal feed--installed in the Central House in what later became the living/study room & years later "The Museum of the Holy Man."  
With increased  work production workers  all of a sudden qualified for desperately needed increases in wages.

We rented a bulldozer fixing up the dam--the right way and soon had a lake for important recreation, and fishing.  It took a few years of gradually getting it done with fiber glass diving board, diving tower, change rooms, and a cemented wading area, and cemented shoreline for swimmers.... as you see it in the above picture, as it also took a few years for the Israeli carp to grow to 35 lbs. and large mouth black bass to 8 lbs. plus tilapia & guapote.  Soon we began an annual "fish round-up" you'll see pictures of in future episodes.

Most of our time necessarily was dedicated to  profit producing projects, like poultry with production of eggs, broiler chickens, hogs, etc.,  that would support us, and cover the expenses for the altruistic projects, like the school and medical services, orphanage/home for abused mothers/vocational students.....and eventually much more.

The Central House, considered by the Indians a "haunted house" was gradually filling up with people, and so some energy went into remodeling and getting rid of the "ghosts!"   Pictures in this photo report show changes that were gradual over the years.

It started with roofing over a patio you see being worked on in the middle of the photo.  It's first use was for the first "Mormon style" religious service, a funeral for little Tomas, mentioned further along, and then for our first Sunday School, & Mutual.  Eventually it became the "destasadora," used for dressing our broiler chickens and turkeys.

For nearly two years we had no  electricity, except for short periods daily using our portable generators, but eventually, with some help from my brother Marlo and wife, Wydonna, we built a lean-to roof onto the "troja" ....a sort of barn,  and installed a  1 cylinder, low revolutions diesel motor with a belt that turned an axle off of which we operated a generator and our feed mill.

Three months after acquiring the plantation, the "year long" sugar cane harvest & production of raw sugar in our crude refinery, 

shockingly ended at THREE MONTHS! 
But, we had to employ the 39 workers "colonos" and so put most of them to work with their axes and machetes clearing forest, & producing firewood--which supported us until we got other things going. In the above cleared and burned area, you see a line of workers planting corn.  Between the rows of corn we planted improved African pasture grasses (23% protein--like alfalfa), and created lush pastures for our small growing herd--originaly 10 head, but by now around 20, with the cows all expecting again.

We would soon have need of more cattle.

Never did a day go by without dedicating a large portion of our time and resources doing our best to take care of the sick....we had found in every one of the 39 thatch homes.  

Most of the Indians still looked on us with distrust and wouldn't let us know until it was often too late.  During the year, that would begin to change among most....and we would start a program to know about the sick early enough to save them.

Julie was always by my side and by her 10th birthday knew how to give shots and do other treatments.  Soon I would have another young helper.  Many hundreds of treatments were made during that year, which just turned out being a warm-up for 1970.

We started classes for the men, after work--giving them an hour off of their work day, and for the women during the day to teach where disease came from and how to prevent it, focusing on the 1st and 2nd Principles of the Good Life:  
 We showed educational movies & filmstrips, etc., etc. but were basically laughed at when talking about the "invisible monsters" that were killing them, and the idea of wasting good fertilizer--that had the corn near their homes very lush, and rather bury it in an outhouse didn't make sense to them.  We soon would invent systems to teach more effectively.

At the same time we persisted going to Coban on Sundays to help with Church services, and several evenings a week showed educational and Church movies in the hospital, the jails, at Alcoholics Anonymous, in the parks, and the best...the white wall of the Catholic Church in San Cristobal with up to 1,000 viewers, plus the Sunday morning radio show in Coban with the Mormon Taberncale Choir.

January 1 throughout the year:  
In spite of all of that craziness and everything we were doing at Valparaiso--there was reason to our madness. In faithfully sharing with all we had attracted the attention of quite a few who  we called "investigators," many coming to Church in Coban.  One was the most famous musician in the area, Victoriano Narciso.

He wrote a note of thank-you, saying,  superimposed  below on the cover of a 43 page pictorial history of Valparaiso I created  for the people of Valparaiso 30+ years later.

All of this is what, I'll explain in a moment,  I called,

 February 21:  
Manuel returned from the city, still in tough shape, so continued for a while in a supervisory capacity, but soon was back to with machinery you see above cultivating the land in the valley for the first time & driving the truck to Coban loaded with live chickens, plying the streets using our traveling movie loudspeaker, selling with Julia's help our broiler chickens.

To that point we were having difficulty acquiring fulltime workers who we could train to take charge of like:  Poultry, cattle, hogs, etc.

WE WERE FIGHTING TRADITION...that of the "colonos" only working two weeks a month, and dedicating the other two weeks to their corn fields, using plantation land.  
The Indian we felt had the greatest potential was Federico Poou, you see above with his family in the early days.  He  was starting to  see the light at the end of the year with the informal class when I compared two different Indians:  One traditional, the other making wholesome changes......which  almost had him fighting with his brother Isidro, the witch-doctor.  
February 24:  
But he reverted back to the old ways and, when a little drunk with a companion, got in a fight with a couple of fulltime workers, and broke one's arm!

I put him in jail for a month...but visited him there, and afterwards, when becoming a cripple, studying the Bible together & even praying with him and not only did he get better, but asked for full-time employ and soon was a foreman....for many, many years--until the end.

 Federico, on the extreme right never missed a movie, or class from then on.

 February 25:  
Due to continual DRUNKENESS, we got Government Agents to help us raid & destroy bootleg liquor production destroying 12 crude sugar cane presses.

April 4, 1969:   
First baptism on a beautiful bend of the Cahobon River on the eastern edge of Valparaiso--Manuel & Julia baptized. Brother Narciso brought his portable pump organ for the music.

As the year progressed the production of broiler chickens increased giving work to many of the women and girls.  An electric plucker was purchased speeding up the task of dressing the broilers.  

Carmelina, was trained to use it as we see above  doing a turkey.

 April 1969:  
Miguel Ishmael .....mysteriously disappeared!

April 15:  
Us Andersen's received our Permanent Residency in Guatemala.  Don't misunderstand wasn't citizenship, Maria still a Mexican citizen, and me a proud U.S. citizen on the front lines fighting communism by trying to solve the problems that opened the door and almost made Guatemala another Cuba.  

 May 1, 1969:  
Cristina & Julie led the parade in Santa Cruz Verapaz, in which the Valparaiso School won first place.
Note:  Please excuse the horrible picture.  I restored it  as much as possible.

 May 3, 1969:   
On delivering eggs one night in Coban,  had a violent encounter with Enrique Pacay, the drunk husband of Marina Ponce de Pacay, an LDS member and daughter of one time Guatemalan President.  I feared for Enrique's life and went to work cultivating his friendship, and he and family began attending Church.  He was eventually converted and years later for a time was the District President in the area.
See Historic Summary for details 1969 #15.

May 1969:  
The above picture represents the store of well known businessman from San Cristobal, Francisco "Paco" Jimenez.  He had a terrible alcoholicism problem, and one night wanted to commit suicide, but had come to his mind my speeches in Alcoholics Anonymous and decided to somehow, in a drunken stupor--drag himself the 9 kms. in the dark to Valparaiso for help.  He becomes an investigator.

May 19:  
On a trip to the city dropped by the Mission Office to say hello to President went as follows:

The "APPROACH" was basically comparing two farmers, one who just threw out seeds on an unprepared, hostile peace of ground and harvested very little of poor quality vs.  A farmer pictured below preparing the land, and taking care of the seedlings, and getting a great harvest.
 I compared that to preparing an area, a people, for planting gospel seeds by doing all the things pictured below, and more which we were working very hard at.

President Clark all of a sudden disappeared without saying goodbye, giving me the impression that he was under great pressure to amass many baptisms....which we weren't getting enough of.

 May 19-20
Made a quick trip to Momostenango in the Central Highlands to visit Jim Penrod, Aurora  and family who were working hard to establish AYUDA, Inc.  Maria and Aurora were cousins.  I had a strong feeling that it wouldn't work there.  Visited Patzicia, and vowed to begin monthly visits when going to Guatemala City to get chicks.

 June 8:  
Had a strange visit from two missionaries sent by the Mission to:  
"Challenge all investigators and baptize as many as possible!"  
I explained my "Approach" and suggested "inspiration was needed."  They weren't impressed.  Some investigators frightened off and our efforts were setback. 
See Historical Summary #19 for more info.

"Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."  Jacob 2:17

June 7, 1969
NOTE:  To see all these items best, go to HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

 From these articles & more (many too deteriorated by fungus & chewed on by mice to use) there arose quite a bit of interest, even entire families who wanted to join us, but I felt it best to let all know exactly what I was trying to do, why and what the strategies were, so I dedicated one day writing an outline, then on the 2nd day typed right onto ditto masters my first & only draft 37 pages long, and on the 3rd day printed on my hand feed Ditto Machine 80 copies, stuffed and sent, resulting in what I began calling my "Thirty-seven Page Wonder":

July 1969:  
We acquired several gallons of intestinal parasite medicine and invited all the Indians in the area to come one Sunday afternoon.  160 came and were treated, but one baby reacted violently to the medication--vomiting, etc.  but she finally calmed down and we thought all was well.  We invited those interested to see for the first time an LDS Church movie:  Mans Search for Happiness.  about 60 remained, and all seemed to go well.
 When I got through rewinding the film, I noticed a group of women remained and were all around Chavela and her baby who had the negative reaction.  As I approached them I noticed they were all crying, and Chavela had her baby, Elvira, completely covered by her shawl.  I dropped to my knees and uncovered the baby. Her body was cold and there was no sign of life.
I picked her up and told the group I was going to pray.  It went on and on, like as though it was a Patriarchal Blessing, promising an assumed  dead baby all sorts of wonderful things. I finished and opened my eyes and noticed Elvira was softly snoring, and there was warmth in her body.
My strength was gone, as it apparently  had been given to Elvira.  Chavela silently took her baby and disappeared into the night.  With silent awe no one said a word, as the family helped me get to the house.
The Lord does the miracle, but works through those of us who are willing to offer our strength,  faith & love.

The next morning the word was spreading like wildfire....that,  
"There was a new witch-doctor at Valparaiso who had strange powers.....  ....something was going on that should be trusted!"

That wasn't the last we'd have to do with see her above years later with her first child.
  A year after "the miracle"  when "the epidemic" hit in 1970 she should have died, along with her sister Marta....but we wouldn't let them die.  Eventually Chavela came with her daughters to raise them, with our help,  in the Central House.


 July-August  1969:  
Acute problem with broiler sales...caused by several things. See #28 in History Summary.  Needed refrigeration equipment & store in Coban....QUICK!

 Brother Guillermo Enrique Rittscher saved us again, co-signing to get the equipment we needed to set up the store which opened on August 1, 1969

August 1, 1969
Opens in Coban.  The family was moved back to Coban for a couple of months to run it until we had someone trained to take over.

He was expected to die in hospital.  I was left alone to run everything with the problem of not knowing Poqomchi. Years later, toward the end, I realized too late that my biggest mistake had been to not learn Poqomchi from the beginning.

Eighteen year old Miguel Angel Ortiz, befriended a year or so ago, all of a sudden showed up and became my constant companion.  He knew a year I taught him to drive, to work with poultry, hogs, cattle, the people, do medical treatments, and  accounting, and at 19 I made him manager of the plantation including it's store in Coban.

August 15-23
They were with us for 8 days, and dad became convinced we had something special going and decided he had to help more.  He began thinking about selling Andersen Samplers & Consulting Service.

August 24, 1969
I was called to replace Brother Rodas as Branch President

 August 30:  
JOEL CASTELLANOS, prospective missionary from Esquintla sent by Mission to work for a few months to buy clothes and transportation to his mission.  Learned he had been unceremoniously turned down by others...
......which I never thought of.  He becomes a great companion.

October 11,12:  
They said..... were sent to have a Branch Conference, but I knew nothing about it, so just had them speak in Sacrament Meeting.  We had invited all of our investigators, but the spirit of the Elders was so confusing and disappointing that the Narciso's got up and left, and other investigators were lost.   

October 12:
Miguel Ishmael Chavez all of a sudden returns very humbly repentant wanting to be baptized and be with us again.
I felt the need for great caution, and laid down strict requirements. He was sent to the city with a little money in  his pocket and Brother Jacob's address.    He began writing good letters.

October 30:
 Even getting stranger.  Two more missionaries arrived dressed very casually, wearing cowboy boots and hats, saying they were from Zacapa and wanted me to take them down through the very rough mountains pictured above, following  the tough Polochic road to Lake Izabal where they said they had to visit some investigators, and then go by boat across the lake.  I had them give a discussion to Carlos, Miguel and Joel all of whom went to sleep.  Something was wrong!  We only had one, now worn-out,  2x2 pickup needed for the business, so I couldn't do it.  They left disappointed with me.  See 1969 #39 HS.

October 15:
Never found corn thieves, but discovered 3 "colonos" who had stolen "panela" (bricks of raw sugar). Taken to jail, and while there we took care of their families. On release they either had to leave the plantation, or accept relocation....which had to be done with all at the end of the year, so proper exploitation of the plantation could go forward. 

 November 3:   
Miguel Angel baptized at Valparaiso in the holding pond which water ran our 16 ft. water wheel that ran the sugar cane crusher.

November 8, 1969   
MARCIA "Nita" ELIZABETH ANDERSEN born in the National Hopital in Coban, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, costing again $6.00!

Miguel Ishmael Chavez was baptized in Patzun, Guatemala while being involved in one of Brother Jacob's projects, and returned to Valparaiso.
Here he is in the middle of others, as "vocational students" helping to tie umbilical cords of newborn piglets.

We were acquiring a good group of young men who seemed to have a great spirit and wanted to cooperate in our life saving & transforming efforts. This was not an LDS Church thing, rather a group of like-minded youth (me too) who wanted to do something good.  The idea was to form pairs, and visit every home in the Valley every two weeks.  Eventually it was every week.  The purpose being to find the sick and be able to treat before becoming hopeless.

 Those involved initially were:  Carlos, Miguel Angel, Joel and Miguel Ishmael, and eventually, Alfonso, you see here with Carlos, & others. By 1970 with a large group of vocational students from the plantation, all of whom received Emergency Medical Training, several were employed fulltime to man the Clinic, and to go on horseback into the mountains to the south to find and treat the sick.  They were Pablo Xona, and Ricardo Cho.

"....nourished...and carried in their arms and upon their shoulders."  
I Nephi 22:8 & Isaiah
 Mom & Dad by this time were finding more and more people interested in helping, some of whom wanted their donations to be tax-deductible.  Dad suggested donations be given through AYUDA earmarked for us.

AYUDA by that time had got established in the beautiful valley of Cunen, we see below, where Jim, Aurora and family were doing a great job.  
Note:  I just had to insert these shots of Cunen, which was one of my cherished Cine Chapinlandia towns. It is found at a about 6,600 ft. elevation.  What you see below are wheat fields.   
But the leadership of AYUDA, headed by Dr. Melvin Lyman, decided that, "....yes, they could receive the donations,  but couldn't promise all would be forwarded to us, and required that we be under their supervision." 

As explained in item 1970 #17, some thought me to be a "novice," and a "dreamer"  and they thought I needed their expertise and supervision.    I have always admitted being a "don Quijote" type, so dad and me had serious doubts about AYUDA's terms and decided to go it on our own.  Dad began talking to others about our own non-profit organization.

November 1969
By this time we had harvested our experimental corn, and had new grass coming up.  We needed financing to get more cattle, the idea being for a beef herd.  A friend, Manuel Wellman, had a good Brown Swiss bull, and a herd of 49 mixed cows he could sell.  
 Just like it was clock-work, my first missionary "companion-for-a-day," and dear friend, Toby Pingree, contacted me and offered me a $5,000 loan.  Shortly thereafter a cattle drive started north of Coban, and on through the streets of Santa Cruz Veraaz, and a few miles further to Valparaiso.  
Please forgive me, Toby & others, as what I insert below can't qualify as a photograph, but it's all I've got of the cattle drive. 

But, TOBY, you've mentioned the bull...and I do have one of him that somehow survived, you see below.

November 1969
 So, we ended the year deep in debt--owing still for the balance of the property purchase, refrigeration equipment for the store, and a herd of cattle--so we had to work hard and produce. 
 Added to the cattle we already had--the original 10 having increased to 20,  we had 70 head of cows, most of them pregnant.  We were milking several cows already that were good milkers, so had milk, cheese and cream for the growing Central House Family.

Then at a livestock show.....we won a raffle, and added a Santa Gertrudis bull to the herd, naming him, OMNI POTENTE!   Seen below with Miguel Angel.

We had learned already that if it was "petty thievery" it was perpetrated by an Indian.  We had already had a cow rustled, and we knew that it was most likely  a "Ladino," a culturally non-Indian. Later more were rustled & my theory proven correct.
A gallon can of gasoline was missing. Indians only used kerosene, to light their fires and lamps, so the consequences could be life-threatening.  We sent our troops to search and found it in the home of a grandma, Isabela, struggling to raise a whole herd of children, and grandchildren--ON HER OWN!

 A brief review is at #48, 49 & into 1970 in the History Summary

Grandchild Miguelito was being pacified at his grandma's dry breast.  His ears, with white medication we applied,  were terribly infected.  He was over 2 years old and never had been able to walk yet.

The 8-9 of them all slept together on a small sleeping platform.

I had no choice but to adopt them, send food every day, eat with them at least once a week, and begin teaching many things!  Except for Marta,  the oldest, the others--Alfonso, Elvira, & Margarita, all moved to the Central House to help with the work.  

December 1969
A sister Arce, member of the Church from Coban, was going to move out of the area.  A 16 year old Indian girl, Maria del Carmen Bol,  who had been with them for years didn't want to leave the area and wanted to be with us.  So she became a part of our growing family, and a few years later became our choice to take over the store in Coban which she managed until the end.

In December Dad sold the family business, much of his motivation being to be free to help more the "experiment" in Guatemala.  At the same time I was sent a document for my signature to legalize a non-profit Foundation...that would take 6 months for authorization....but there was now hope to fill the often times nearly empty basket!

 From the family business there was an initial payment, with the balance over the next 5 years that would be an incredible blessing for future developments.  

My share of the first payment came just in time as our Ford pickup was ready to call it quits!  So it was traded for a new 4x4 Nissan Patrol...which from here on will be called  the "jeep."  We had a trailer made for all our hauling needs.  Still no family vehicle....and no time for a vacation or anything else anyway.  So far this is the only picture I have found of it.... bad picture!  Sorry.

See items 1969 #9 & #57
Theoretically each family was to have a home site, with authorization to use materials from the forests for firewood and to build their homes and animal shelters, plus a section of approximately 2-1/2 acres of plantation land for planting corn, beans, etc.  
But over many years the more aggressive colonos had taken possession of more than their share and land of better quality, the timid ones getting the short end of the stick.  Since the plantation owners had only used a small portion of the land, the Indians had parcels of land scattered all over, making it impossible to create a new pasture, etc. 
In turn each colono was obligated to work two weeks/month for the plantation at half of normal wages for manual laborers.    They preferred that to be able to continue their traditional life style planting corn on plantation land.
The Indians rebelled at the idea of a reorganization, but I was supported by the Government Work Inspector who convinced all but 2 families that all would benefit them.  So In December there was a just reallocation of land.  But, lining up also for their 2-1/2 acres were the sons of the colonos, their fathers  encouraging them to persist with their traditions. 

Legally I didn't have to give them land, and it was not in our interest as 1/6th of the land was already in the colono's hands already, and if the system was perpetuated among the sons, soon there wouldn't be much less for us.  So I gave them a better option:  
Become  "vocational students," studying half a day in the school, and in special classes with me learning how to work with:  (1.) Poultry, (2.) Hogs, (3.) Cattle, (4.) Vegetable Gardening, (5.) Fencing & animal structures, (6.) Carpentry, (7.) Mechanization learning chain saw, using garden cultivator, (8.) Emergency Medical Treatment,  & eventually (9.) Tractor &  jeep operation.  In addition those advanced enough would learn (10.) Accounting & Business Management. In the afternoons they would work half a day on a rotation basis getting one month of on-the-job training in each category.  They would earn half wages, plus items they needed to work.

 Initially 15 accepted, and eventually the group grew to over 20.  1970 was a crucial year, as theoretically I needed to quickly find  superior students who could help me do the supervising.  Superior students would become  SUPERVISORS in the future, in charge full-time of each project, but who would have as helpers new vocational students from all over the country. 

During 1968-69 I had to teach everybody everything, and had to burn the mid-night oil to keep a few pages ahead of my students as everything was pretty much new to me....but I had to give the impression I knew what I was talking about.  A few of those fulltime,  like Manuel, Carlos,  Federico and Miguel Angel had to be supervisors.  But, I needed to find other quick learners to help us.  

One among all stood out, his name, Miguel Max,  who you meet below who soon,  as a young teenager,  became  the Cattle Supervisor.  You will note he increasingly becomes more important, the Foundation even calling its first formal slide program, with professionally done narration (the voice from Man's Search for Happiness),

Below we see him later treating & teaching new vocational students how to treat cattle suffering from "milk fever." 

 The New Year 1970 began....

The first day I invited all of those who had signed up to a special class after work...making it clear it was completely voluntary as "we'll be learning about your ancient Sacred Book" that will guide you to
See details in 1970 #1 in Historical Review
It was a fantastic beginning as they were excited to hear from the Maya's sacred book THE POPUL VUH that their people had anciently a sacred book that had been lost, after which their ancestors were plunged into dark suffering...but that it had been found  to guide them towards a better life. I told them the real sacred book told of the visit of Jesus Christ among their ancestors.
One raised his hand telling me that the two oldest men among them, reportedly over 100 years old,  could tell me of their belief in what they called "a white, bearded creator God who had appeared among their ancestors...they called him Nahual Gwinak...The Holy Man."  

But then, back to the intial reality of 1970....
The GREAT EPIDEMIC of 1970:  
See 1970 #4 & #5 of Historical Review 
The Historical Reviews describes briefly the of months of struggle  treating hundreds, losing a few, and often me and helpers going out in the rain, and dark of night to treat others, while sick ourselves.   And,  once almost dying myself of tetanus,  etc. which period ended in Chavela, and her daughters, Elvira & Marta, becoming long-time members of our Central House Family as you will see in the photographs.

 January 1970: 
 That was when was taken this well-used photograph of Julie & me trying to save Ricardo Ical's wife.
She was too far gone when we were advised, and we failed her.

Until then they hadn't even told us about little Tomas....who was then brought to us as a gift at the Central House.
 I faithfully knelt down and gave him a blessing "of life," and then went to work doing my darndest to make sure it came to pass.  But, day after day, no matter how hard I tried, with Maria's support, Tomas was suffering and not getting better.  He was the first little baby we had taken in and we so much wanted him to live.  But, one night while outside I had a strong feeling come over me that it was his time to go, and it was just my stubborn ego that was in the way.  I went in and knelt at his side and released him from the blessing I had given.

In the morning he was gone.  I got together with his father and got his permission to have a funeral service in the roofed over patio.  We had a packed house for the program put on by my family, and then took the little pine coffin, along with the immediate family,  to the cemetery and I helped Ricardo dig the hole, then said a prayer biding farewell to little Tomas.
We began hearing that some of our Indians were saying that
"It was the first time we have seen a land owner concerned for one of us!"

A few days later Ricardo came to the Central House bringing his two little boys, Alfonso and Lic (Federico).

I  had already heard that Ricardo's parents had got sick,  refused treatment and had passed on.  Ricardo then confessed that he was getting sick too, but his boys were still alright, and he wanted us  to.....
"keep them alive!"

Thirty minutes later they had been transformed, but not knowing Spanish felt lost.  Agustin Jul volunteered to come and be with them while they got adjusted.  That opened the flood gates and soon his sisters, Rosalia, Cecilia & Feliza came and pleaded for us to accept them.  Their mother had died of T.B. soon after we bought the plantation, and their father, Diego, was totally lost to alcoholism neglecting the children.  I had visited their hut and felt so sorry for them I couldn't say no.

 Our evening gathering for a family hour with the Central House Family--signing, reading, once in a while seeing a movie, etc.
 Sorry again about the terrible photo!
Here Chavela is helping Cecilia with the production of tortillas on the original wood stove.  Out of the epidemic she came to live with us in the Central House, along with her daughters we see below.  

This is our miracle girl Elvira, a few years later, who along with her sister Marta, also survived the Great Epidemic of 1970--but just barely! 

 .....and her big sister, Marta, who day after day I was sure would die!

Cecilia working on a near volcano of tortillas in the making.

Now back to Isabela and her brood that I adopted and would eat with once a week.  

 It just wasn't working.  They were just too isolated and no progress was being made so I moved them to where Carlos and his family had lived for a while, and which started as the school in 1969.

Eventually that didn't work either and the only way I could save Miguelito was to have him and the whole family live with us in the Central House.  You see Grandma Isabela in the picture below, back row with head bowed, as she and brood were with us briefly. 

 This was the first portrait of the Central House Family, with several missing,  that won for us, from a gringo critic, a derogatory label  

I'll insert the other early on picture of the Central House Family.....I see that Cecilia, missing in the black & white photo,  is in this one, but no adults in this one........ when we all got together we were:

.....soon there would be others, including  new teachers,
 & "vocational students" 

.....and this shot of David & Alberto won for us from other gringos in Guatemala City a giant barrage of criticism.....all from "friendly fire" of our own religious community,  the accusation that I didn't love my children as I was permitting them to be in close contact with Indians who perhaps would give to my children " incurable tropical disease!"    
See item 1970 #15 Historical Review

Our life style was just too much of a change for her to take, so one night she disappeared taking all the small children, including Miguelito.  A month later she returned, just to leave with us Miguelito who was just too sick and malnourished for her to handle. All the local herbal cures, and medicine men treatments had failed. 
Eventually the little grandchildren that went with her:  Carlos, Rosita, & Santiago, all died.
 Miguelito is with our Joey in this picture.  They are basically the same age......2-1/2 years old, Joey weighing 39 lbs., Miguelito 13 lbs.  He was obviously malnourished, and had dysentery and pneumonia. We had to pry open his mouth with a spoon to try and get medication and electrolyte laced soda pop down, but he would spit it up.
I eventually risked giving him worm medication that I knew could kill a baby, so I gave him 1/4 of an infants dose....and soon out popped a big glob of round worms! 

Progress was then rapid, and within six months he was walking for the first time in his life.

By the time of this picture, with Miguelito peeking at us, we had added a 2nd floor in the area where the sugar cane refinery had been, with 3 upstairs, bedrooms, 3 more downstairs, plus the clinic. In addition to Alfono, Lic and Miguelito, we see also Felipe, another new member of the family.

Miguelito was with us for 8 years and then flew to the U.S. adopted by a family from Heber, Utah

It was somewhere in early 1970 that we were visited by Lou Bernstein and his wife, Liz,  Bob Allen's sister, and this portrait of the Central House family was taken. This is a picture I don't recall using before, and I thought for history's sake it would be good to include it.

Miguelito's little relatives are here:   Carlos, Santiago and Rosita, who later died after their grandma left with  them one night.  There is also one addition, not mentioned in my Historical Review.  I refer to a new teacher we had for 1970, Liliana seen to the right, with Marcia "Nita" in her arms.

I recall us filling Liz & Lou's VolksWagon and we made a trip to Cunen to visit the AYUDA Project, and Jim & Aurora Penrod and family.

BACKGROUND:  Brother Rodas had survived his bleeding ulcer and I had a serious talk with him about why we he couldn't continue with us.  Then  in February 1970  he was attending a funeral when he and other men tried to warm themselves with a drink of whiskey, but  the whiskey bottle rather had formaldehyde killing 3 or 4 instantly with others dying in the hospital.  Rodas was one of them, and the word spread like wildfire that one of them was 
"the leader of the Mormon Church." 
Attendance at Church dropped from 60 down to 16, and then down to 2.  President Clark warned the members to get active or the branch would be closed, and we tried hard to work with them, but while doing so on two consecutive Sundays, I had patients die, and felt so sad that  our going to Coban was reduced to one short meeting, getting back quickly to Valparaiso, where we  began officially a Sunday School, and it quickly grew to incredible proportions, mostly among the young people, but some of the colonos too.  Soon there were 42 tithe payers, some giving 20%, and all cooperating in the efforts to save their people--and most weren't members....yet.   See 1970 #3, #13

One of the first "vocational students" to attend church and live at the Central House was Ricardo Cho, along with his brother Victor.  Ricardo became a real student of the BOOK OF MORMON, and once surprised us in a Testimony Meeting making reference to the building of the city of "New Jerusalem"  saying that he believed it would be built at Valparaiso!
We couldn't help but chuckle a little and wonder what the LDS Gentiles would think about that?
At least it was wonderful for one of our people to actually pay attention to things taught and prophesied in their Sacred Book!

Be Clean & Proper Nutrition
Traditional teaching methods, including wonderful Walt Disney educational movies we borrowed from the USIS, didn't work.  When telling them there were on my hands "invisible monsters" that could kill, they just laughed!

Dad had already brought me his old microscope, and after his visit in 1969 sent me Petri dishes and nutrient agar.  We gathered all, and contaminated Petri dishes with finger prints, dirt from fingernails, their water sources compared to  boiled water, dust from sweeping, and someone coughing,  and of course the "one thing" they all agreed they didn't want to step in....human feces, etc.  Two days later they gathered to see to their awe that the "invisible monsters" had grown into different colors of colonies that had foul odors.  
They soon accepted that foul odors, rot, and disease were all produced by the "invisible monsters" they learned were microbes....and to keep them from making us stink, and infecting our bodies with disease 
We then showed them with the microscope and they could see them....sometimes wiggling around, etc.


The first to have his hole ready was Felipe Laj we see below.  Felipe was just barely able to read and write....a little, but he became a totally reliable person, who later on was made SUPERVISOR of the largest dairy in Alta Verapaz established in Valparaiso in 1972-73

Very quickly thereafter every one of the thatch homes in Valparaiso had their outhouse, and,  coupled with greater efforts to be CLEAN,  & with the support of the Home Visitors.......

.....Mid-1970 BEGAN A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS 
 For more information & photographs, go to the Foundation's website along the right edge where are listed SUCCESS STORIES where you'll find:
Cleanliness  click on that

"We are what we eat,"
 "The future of a nation depends on what they eat!"   
We began  announcing  a class to teach them 

"How to make more money raising poultry."

We had a three sectioned cage and in each was a pair of 4 week old broiler chickens with each pair weighed to begin with.  (1.) Had 10 lbs. of ground up WHITE CORN, (2.) 10 lbs. of YELLOW CORN, & (3.) 10 lbs. of a BALANCED DIET (broiler mash).  A 4th pair was given to a family to turn loose with the chickens & turkeys in the home site.
When the 1st pair to finish their 10 lbs. was finished, we gathered everybody for a weigh-in.  
1.  WHITE CORN chickens......4 oz. of weight economic loss!
Anemic, pale coloration, sick looking, small, sometimes sick or dead!

2.  YELLOW CORN chickens......8 oz. of weight economic break even
Small but healthy & cute with good color & pigmentation

3.  BALANCED DIET.....4 lbs. 6 oz. of weight gain.....great profits!

We then compared the broiler experiment to HUMAN BEINGS.
They quickly recognized that their diet was comparable to the first pair of chickens that were small, anemic, often sick....sometimes dead! 
  We then explained what would be a BALANCED DIET FOR HUMAN BEINGS 
gave them classes in how to make palatable the right kinds of food.
 Florencia, who eventually was brought to Valparaiso from Cunen, became the Central House "Supervisor,"  who is seen above teaching the women about nutrition and simple preparation of different kinds of food...such as pictured below:

Initially the Indians considered vegetables as animal feed...
.....people food was "black beans & tortillas!" 

June 1970:  
We received the news that the Foundation had been authorized and was beginning to function in Provo, Utah.  Soon we would begin receiving help to covcr the expenditures for all the altruistic projects we had going, which freed up our business profits to expand our projects and employ more people.

It had not been my suggestion that the name be as noted above.  I guess they considered that the publicity we had received gave us name recognition and was helpful in the beginning.  Eventually I suggested the name be changed to more accurately reflect what we were doing, the name becoming 
Below is the first newsletter printed and distributed in the United States.

 The entire 4 page newsletter can be seen on the HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS page on the Foundation's website:

On one of my monthly visits to Patizicia I visited and got to know better one of the Mormon leaders, Pablo Choc,  visiting in his home we see below
For many reasons  it was very difficult for me to do anything of a continual, significant impact there, I  began forming plans to bring Pablo's son, Daniel,  and daughter, Carmela, to Valparaiso as vocational students.  Soon others from the area were added to the list for 1971.

with Mission Counselor, Carl Jacob presiding.

He was advised that we had been unable to get the Coban branch active, but suggested there be two Conferences:  One at Valparaiso where we were having an attendance of around 70, and then proceed to Coban for a 2nd Conference.

As it worked out the Conference at Valparaiso, was held in a feed warehouse with 70 in attendance sitting on split log benches, and others, plus feed bags, etc. and all in spite of there being heavy rain. 
Then, along with the visitors from the City, we proceeded to Coban where only 2 members attended.  This resulted in President Clark instructing me to close the Coban branch and move it to Valparaiso...along with all the benches, piano and furniture, even though we had no place to put everything.  I suggested we could build a large room on to the Central House where there was a flower garden, but President Clark finished his 3 year mission and returned to the U.S. before any decision could  be made.
See 1970 #19, #20-#23 for details

With help from the Foundation, we began constructing 
what came to be called The Cultural Hall, that would be used on Sundays for Church services, and during the week for the school, and social gatherings.  All normal Church meetings began at Valparaiso with growing attendance and activity.


With negative influence from his first counselor the initial  contact with us was.....

Some very devote Mormons would have concluded 
I didn't have the right kind of humble attitude towards the leaders as I defended myself providing documentation from President Clark, and with support from  Carl Jacob,  cleared up that problem.
See 1970 #21

"The Valparaiso Church group is likely the only Lamanite Church unit that is not a parasite to the Church."   
"The Church receives more tithing from the Valparaiso Group than from any of the wards in the Guatemala City Stake." 
See 1970 #23

September 1970
Within a month or so, President Glade was on the verge of having  to close the Indian aspect of missionary work in Guatemala, on orders from a  General Authority, and he invited me to give a half day seminar to missionaries working in the Indian areas,  with the theme:
See 1970 #24 & #25
It was simple & inexpensive, but President Glade made a decision, saying:

"The Mission & Church can't do it.  You are our experiment working with Indians.
 Find a way to make it work."
See 1970 #24 & #25

President Glade ended the seminar offering to help construct the Cultural Hall providing us then with $200, which he would repeat for the next two months, and then beginning in January 1971 pay us monthly rent for using the cultural hall and our classrooms for Church activities.

We finally had our Cultural Hall for Church meetings and for social activities and had a place for the nice benches, pulpit and piano.  Then we went to work as a group to do our best to show that  the Philosophy & Principles of theGOOD LIFE strategy could do miracles among the Indians.

Perhaps needs to be reviewed as it was the foundation of our life in Guatemala.

1.  We taught the Indians that they were descendants of a great people that at one time in the past had lived righteously, loved each other and prospered....and they were guided by a Sacred Book, mentioned in the Popul Vuh, the current sacred book of the Mayans.

2.  But, according to the Popul Vuj, there came a time when morally and spiritually they wandered from righteous living resultant in a darkness coming over them that brought upon them the problems they still face today, and again quoted the preface in the Popul Vuh, that states that their ancient sacred book was lost or hidden.

3.  Yet, not only did they have the same potential for greatness still, but there were ancient prophecies that they would in later times 

"come out of the darkness into the light & blossom." 

Furthermore it would be a great advantage to have back their Sacred Book  as their guide, in living  the Principles of the Good Lifealready mentioned.

again....this time not from friendly fire! 

Someone burst into the hall screaming...
"They are invading the plantation and beating the old people left to take care of our homes!"

We turned off the projector, and all us guys scrounged something to use as a club, piled into the trailer, pulled by the jeep, and went to battle!
 After a bloody fight we hauled a half dozen of the invaders from off the plantation to jail.  For years I kept my white shirt, with pocket ripped, and spattered with blood as a trophy earned that night!
See 1970 #27

Then, one Sunday afternoon, Miguel Angel, who we see below helping our school in another parade....was attacked with machetes by two of our colonos who were drunk!

 Santiago Caal Pop and others of our young vocational students came to his rescue and helped him subdue the drunks.  NOTE:  In my research for 1971 my memory was corrected, and the machete attack that smashed a watch, but did slash the arm, was an attack on another student, Pablo Xona, the previous year.  
The guilty were two brothers, Esteban & Marcelino Jul, who were hauled to jail. While there we took care of their families, but then had to draw a line when life threatening acts were involved and had them legally removed from the plantation, but to help them get started in the Najquitob Village, we paid them for their homes, fruit & coffee trees and corn fields.

A young 10 year old girl, Soila, for some reason living with Esteban...almost like a slave, went with Esteban and family to Najquitob, but soon was beaten and abused then  escaped and made it to the Central House and wanted to be with us.  We, of course accepted her  and helped her grow up in a healthy and wholesome know, as part of 
"The MOB!"

A few years later, this picture was taken of four of our girls, Soila being the one on the right.
They are:  Rosalia, Margarita, Carmelina & Soila.

Those of us on the front lines giving all we could & doing the risky work 
A Financial Partnership with our brothers & sisters from
along guessed it....more "friendly fire" but of a contentious and sadly destructive type!
1970 ended with the.......
You can see the 4 page report at HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

FINAL NOTE:  If you read the newsletters & reports found in the Historical Documents section, you will notice many details not included in this Historical Review.

From here on I'm going to have to simplify even more as I just don't have the time from month to month to keep up with the necessary research.
I will do my best to keep it interesting  & pithy, then one day, if I 
live long enough, do a thorough job of putting it all 
together for history's sake and whatever value 
it might have for those interested in 
 IN THIS, ITS.....


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