Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Click below for previous post:
Now with photographs illustrating each item
This is a distilling of 50 years of historical twists, turns, and complexities--sometimes humorous, often inspiring, sometimes tragic and controversial, but always fascinating stories of human triumph & conflict--both social, political & religious!
We are including the criticism that   focused on our "Failures" ... You decide.
   Added  are many new  exciting "life & death"  details,  and credit given to: 
Plus our last experience --MY BIGGEST  MISTAKE--MABYE ...SORT OF A SUCCESS?: 
Bringing the total to 30 items.
Click to view:  2017 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORTS 
 As we believe in total transparency,
                                 I will add after the following post a  Detailed List of Projects & Costs 
NOTE: When available the IRS reports for 2016 & 2017 will be made available on the website
BY Cordell Andersen, Field Director

Some of you have likely noticed that it has been hard for me to say goodbye to something that had its GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY back on August 19th--the date in 1967 when the Andersen Family Peace Corp crossed the border into Guatemala to:  
First: Establish a business that would support the family and, 
Two:  Experiment with an idea of how to effectively help Mayan Indians and other needy Guatemalans, and hopefully be a catalyst for action on a big scale by qualified individuals and well funded institutions.
Leaving Provo, Utah in 1967 with Maria, Julie, David, Cristina & Richard 
On August 19th, 2017 Newsletter #13 August 2017 was published the title being a statement from a well known talk show host who said about his program,  "Thirty years in any business is a BIG DEAL,"  likening that to our 50 year effort--laughed at in the  beginning  by some as lacking capital and sufficient education, and which would "only last 6 months," me  eventually being characterized as a "rodeo clown," -- which, by the way I have a lot of fun with recognizing the truth in what was logically being said....but with me now looking at it all in the spirit of what the Lord anciently said to a seeming weak servant, 
"...it  mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful....And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong..." 
So,  within a couple of years we were blessed with the effort's potential and success being recognized and resulting in  LDS Apostle Spencer W. Kimball, in a private interview on a trip to Guatemala, encouraging  me to persist and advising me to "not pay any attention to criticism as such had also happened anciently to Ammon and his companions who were 'laughed to scorn' by their own people."  
That newsletter #13 Aug. 2017, also   reviewed our "last"  Projects at three schools important in our history: Improvements at  Valparaiso, a kitchen at Najquitob, and another kitchen at Acamal  seen below:
Valparaiso/Rio Frio School    -       Najquitob Village School kitchen    -       Acamal Village School kitchen

The newsletter ended mentioning my  relatively new 1986 Toyota pickup--seen below, hijacked at gun-point that the Foundation promised then to replace, but was never able to.   But with the present Foundation promising me anything left over after all commitments were served, to quote, "help a little."
This is the new  Toyota pickup hijacked at gunpoint in 1986 on a supervisory trip to Patzicia, but it had a 
camper shell and  loaded with Christmas gifts for the children, tools for the shop and a PA system for a school--
Seen here working with the children at Valparaiso gathering mowed grass for 
the Cooperative Welfare Vegetable farm compost.

It took a month or so to finalize the last project at Acamal, and finish the accounting bringing us to "A FINAL ADIOS," in Newsletter #14 Nov. 2017 that thanked everyone and reviewed high points and giving special thanks to  critical people without whom little would have been accomplished.   But....and there usually is a "but"....…..all of a sudden a new need cropped up explained in  Newsletter #15 Nov. 2017, entitled:  "Opps!  One More Thing...."  With that there was first a photo/essay of the Graduation at the Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc School seen below. 

 And especially there was  a plea for Mario, our Regional Director, and teacher at the school, who needed $1,600 for 2018 educational costs to finish his degree. He was one of the most outstanding young men I'd met in Guatemala, with great potential for being a blessing for his people…who, as a volunteer  had kept our projects alive in Patzicia for 15 years….so we had to help him and his beautiful family, seen here  with  wife Ellen
 and   3 children.

After printing and sending the extra newsletter, plus a  post on the website, an URGENT EMAIL
was received from Federico Veliz, our volunteer Regional Director for Santa Cruz Verapaz.

He  explained his 42 years of volunteer service, for which he rarely even asked for  compensation for travel, never for phone, internet and more, but explained his  need for a repair on his 1983 Toyota pickup, and asked if he couldn't receive a little help as a going away present?  Being who I've called THE VOLUNTEER OF ALL VOLUNTEERS, we had to help him too.   
Also emergency requests were received from Mariita who is struggling after a stroke and received Foundation help earlier this year with an exercise machine.  She is the little 4 year old on the left sitting on the dirt floor by their cooking fire in the July 1971 ENSIGN article, who I later carried in my arms all across Valparaiso to the Central House to save her, repeated several times over the years...and so there is a connection there that couldn't be neglected
Here she is doing physical therapy with the exercise machine we got for her.
 Her now nearly  blind mother, Agapita, looking on.

Each of these extra requests, after the supposed retirement of the Foundation, reduced what might be left over that I would receive, but they couldn't be ignored, but neither  could I pester you donors anymore, so just hoped that we'd receive enough extra for Mario, and also for Federico, Mariita, plus a health problem for Aura too all of which  had to be taken care of.  I still hoped that maybe "a little"  would be left over for me and my hijacked pickup--by then not to replace it, rather just to keep my 17 year old Ford Explorer going. 

Not too many were responding to these needs, but there was a trump card  in the deck of possibilities--which was the last item I had to deal with:  Selling the few remaining oil properties donated to the Foundation in 1977 by Orville and Annie Ellsworth.  I promised Federico, Mariita and Aura I would  share whatever we could get for them. 

Oil royalties had been down from what was left. the best ones sold several years ago,  so we couldn't expect too much.  I sent out information to five exploration/investment firms.  One responded and we made a deal on December 18th for $2,000.  Doesn't sound like much, but our royalty income has recently only been from $400 to $500/year, so $2,000  was a good deal and saved us at year's end.

But backing up a few months  some specific donations were made after August 19th  to help me--not enough for a new pickup, which I didn't need anyway and wouldn't have spent $30,000+ on anyway, but enough for repairs and tires for my 17 year old Ford Explorer.  Then prior to Christmas Mario's need was covered by a few more donations.

So there was a happy Christmas for Mario and his beautiful family--receiving the rest of his compensation as a teacher, and $1,600 for his educational costs for 2018.  Federico also was blessed for Christmas due to the oil property sale and received $1,103 as a bonus listed in the accounting as a transportation expense.  It wasn't much, but $70 was sent to Mariita for Christmas.  Aura received $324  for her medical emergency.   
I received $2,087 as what the Annual Financial Report describes as an EMERGENCY FUND that will be used to keep my old Explorer going for as long as the State deems it safe to give me a driver's license, as well as to cover depreciation on my own personal laptop, scanner/printer, other office equipment I have used to keep the Foundation going, as well as to keep going the small travel trailer that has been my home for nearly 5 years  (seen below)--since all my capital brought back from Guatemala was exhausted raising as a Mr. Mom my last 5 children.  
I took what some are saying, "too seriously" the Parable of the Rich Young Ruler in the New Testament, but I still am too blessed and pray daily to somehow be deserving of so much. and for having had the blessing of serving the Lord's "little ones" in Guatemala and Central America  basically since since 1956.
 Oh, and also to cover costs of keeping the Foundation's website going for as long as I'm around, and then some.  When I have time there will be more historical documents, videos, and photographs  added to the huge historical library of information already  there, and perhaps eventually will also be posted a history I was asked to write in Spanish:   LA HISTORIA DE LA IGLESIA SUD PARA COBAN/VALPARAISO/CHULAC & EL POLOCHIC Y ALTA VETRAPAZ--so far a more than a 40 page document. 

So far, from the EMERGENCY FUND,  a $190 emergency repair on my Explorer was already made this week, and most of the balance was used to finally pay a credit card debt I accrued because of  emergency aid given to a daughter who has been sick for a long time who I take care of as best I can, and who promises to pay me back little by little--so that's the Emergency Fund. 

.......already I've made a deal with Federico to cooperate with him personally in a project to help the neediest of the needy in Santa Cruz Verapaz out of our pockets.

You should know that I have been receiving from the Foundation help to pay--what we call Office & Adminstrative Expense:  Half of electricity, heating, internet, phone, and transportation for my old car and tiny home/trailer that is the Foundation's office.  From now  on I have to cover myself all those expenses, but I'm a survivor and can learn to live on minimum Social Security, and have a little left over every month to continue working with Federico.  I say "minimum Social Security" as for 35 years, living and working in Guatemala,  I never paid into the system so just barely qualified to receive half of what is considered the minimum--but believe me, I'm totally grateful for that, and as an expert at SURVIVAL,  I can easily come up with $30/month a month by just not drinking soda pop (or whatever), which idea can be multiplied in all kinds of creative ways and even be a blessing for my health, as well as helping a child get an education, or a baby to be saved from sure death every month
With that thought in mind, all of a sudden it's not so funny to be spending needlessly on luxury, comforts or fun--we really don't need and which might be in conflict with what is supposed to be our faith in following Christ. 

I'll be frank in telling you, as my friends, that when I had my encounter with the Lord in 1965 on the snowy slopes of the Henry Mountains in southern Utah, and given the love, faith and courage to make the move to Guatemala, He also told me I would be protected as long as I persisted in helping His "little ones,"  so I will persist  helping Federico and maybe even once in a while put reports on the Foundation's website showing what we are doing. 

I'm moved to reveal something never done publicly before--that back in 1978 I was criticized by a skeptical religious leader for "trying so hard," and then asked,  "What  would you do if you didn't have the help of the Foundation?"
I replied, "We never launched our effort with any plans for a Foundation and we did a lot on our own for 3 years before the Foundation was organized as described in the 1971 ENSIGN.  Without it?......I will not abandon those I consider my people, but continue to do all I can to help."
So keep an eye on the website from time to time.
NOTE:  Link available at the beginning of this post 
1.  SCHOOL SUPPLIES PROJECT......for 5,260 rural school children in Santa Cruz VP & Chuluc.............$5,637
2.  IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AT VALPARAISO/RIO FRIO SCHOOL in Santa Cruz....................................$   575
3.  MOTHER'S DAY CELEBRATION AT The Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc School.......................................$  275
4.  CONSTRUCTION OF NAJQUITOB VILLAGE SCHOOL KITCHEN..............................................................$ 2,542
5.  CONSTRUCTION OF ACAMAL VILLAGE SCHOOL KITCHEN.....................................................................$5,000
6.  Ariel & Ines Andersen Chuluc School maintenance & teacher's wage (Mario de la Cruz).....................$7,013
             Note:  We paid Mario a wage more than normal for rural teachers and he
                        supported his family and paid out of his wage most of his educational expenses.
7. ADDITIONAL 2017 SCHOLARSHIP AID TO MARIO de la CRUZ....................................................................$  712
8.  2018 SCHOLARSHIP AID TO MARIO to cover his educational costs for the year...................................$1,600
             Note:  He will work full-time to support his family and study on weekends.   
9.  REPAIR & EMERGENCY FUND FOR FEDERICO VELIZ.....................................................................................$1,103
10.  EMERGENCY AID FOR MARIITA MAX de LAJ including exercise machine..............................................$  469
       WAS INCLUDED IN THE "Educational Aid" category which included other
        aid to schools, and needy students.  Aura will receive her degree in February.
12. EMERGENCY AID:  Many medical emergencies, aid in burials, aid to widows, etc…………….......………...$5,475
13  BALANCE IN GUATEMALAN BANK ACCOUNT  for Federico's Project......................................................$ 229
NEWSLETTERS & EMAILS that  are bound in three volumes, and available on the
Foundation's website one by one. This large expenditure is reflected as Promotion,
Printing, Office Supplies, Postal services, and Internet.
NOTE:  No Foundation personnel received compensation, wage, or living allowance for work done for the Foundation, except in the case of Mario, who worked  as a full-time teacher at the Chuluc School.

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