CLICK TO RETURN TO PREVIOUS POST: PARTS 1 & 2
PART 3 here is the link to the printable version
Now available as a PRINTABLE DOCUMENT, the entire 3 part BOOK ….to view & download click on:
With this you can have it permanently on your computer to view at your leisure, and/or put on a thumb drive and take to the printer of your choice to PRINT yourself. If you want me to send you a HIGH QUALITY PRINT VERSION, follow the instructions below.
The 3 Parts of the Foundation’s & the Cordell Andersen Family’s history among the Mayans is now a 400 page BOOK, seen above, with over 800 color photographs entitled:
A FIFTY YEAR “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM” AMONG MY PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA
It is available on a Thumb Drive for $25, which includes several extra items. Send your check to:
Cordell Andersen, 444 Elm St., American Fork, UT 84003
It is available as a PRINTED BOOK—seen above. There is nothing like it on the face of this planet! Even before this announcement, 3 were ordered by the Ancient American Foundation, and 10 by my family at our Annual Lake Powell Reunion. For your copy send your $120 check to me at the above address. Sorry for it costing so much, but mine cost $116. If you can get it done with the same quality, wonderful!*********
& CORDELL M. ANDERSEN
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of the beginning will be similar to what you might have seen before, but believe me there is a lot of new, and exiting reports with many photos you’ve never seen before including emotional items of “the rest of the story!”So, read-on……
Part 1: The MYSTERIOUS CAUSE and PREPARATION TO ACT and have the Courage to Make the Risky…Journey,
Part 2: The RISKY, BREATHTAKING 1967 PIONEER JOURNEY TO THE JUNGLES & MOUNTAINS OF THE MAYA. and,
THE THEME OF THE ADMITTEDLY IDEALISTIC
"I wouldn't ever attempt what you say you came here to do!"
CONCERNING HIS STUMBLE: Since all of us humans are “flawed,” as President of the Church in 1988-89, he failed to recognize what might be called "a big whopper" with tragic consequences in the Santa Cruz Verapaz/Valparaiso area as will be explained in The LDS Church History for Alta Verapaz in item #12 & #28 of this FINAL REPORT.
BEST FOR LAST—AN INCREDIBLE SUPPORTING ACTOR WITHOUT WHOM THIS REPORT WOULD NOT EXIST & MUCH MORE
My wonderful son, JESSE—when we moved back to the U.S. in 2002, was a junior in high School, but already becoming an expert with computers and the internet. He was shocked to learn that the Foundation didn’t even have a website, so he created one and forced the rest of us to fill in the blanks, opening up
He then clewed us in that the name of the Foundation for Indian Development, on a Google search took one to India, so we changed the name to the GUATEMALAN FOUNDATION. He has been my life saver, and I love him a ton and am grateful for him letting me park my Cabin-A alongside of his home in American Fork.
THE 32 MEMORABLE EFFORTS, EVENTS& ACCOMPLISHMENTS
From February to September I was racing back and forth between the poultry farm which supported us, 30 minutes south of Coban on a dirt road near San Juan Chamelco—and then to Valparaiso 60 minutes southwest in Santa Cruz Verapaz on a different rough road, with Coban in the middle with our simple egg store. The struggle was on with a literal infinity of problems and things to learn—FAST!
present day Sacred Book, about their “ancient sacred book that had been lost, but now found,” and after work, volunteer classes soon started for all—teenage vocational students, and colonos, in their Modern Sacred Book, which I began calling the first Seminary Class in Guatemala!
In addition on weekends, I was introducing all to the modern world showing a Sunday evening
Worth repeating, mentioned in the RISKY….JOURNEY history, is what Maria and I were accused of. I quote:
“You don’t love your children as you live with a bunch of Indians who could infect them with incurable, tropical diseases!” Gospel explanations about us trying our best to live Christ-like lives, “loving and helping the needy” fell on deaf ears! Gratefully there were a few who looked at it differently and began helping.
THE FASCINATING SOURCE OF THAT CRITICISM & IT'S
Surprisingly the accusation we "didn't love our children" mentioned above was leveled against us by Bob Arnold and his wife when they first arrived in Guatemala assigned to establish the LDS Seminary System in Central America. That judgmental attitude towards us was a big part of the war of criticism against us in the early 70's, but with Harold Brown’s (mentioned in a moment) help, at least with the Arnolds, was reversed by 1974-76 when Arnold was the Mission President and by 1976 said, "Valparaiso is the only place in the country where positive things are happening!" and much more—described in the RELIGIOUS HISTORY in this FINAL REPORT, items #12, and #15, #16, #29 and others.
This, along with the miracle of Elvira—which will be item #5, had the Indians all over the area begin to trust us for the first time, yet strangely motivating gringos, living in Guatemala City and in the U.S., to increase their criticism of our efforts as mentioned above.
In the second picture we see David Andersen adding his weight to the drilling rig.
As Julie had become my “right hand female man” in educational and medical
Dave become my “right hand man” in the work—which he enjoyed much more than book learning. At 8 years old he took charge of 400 laying hens in cages—with his younger brothers—Rich, Joey & Danny and the Indian boys at the Central House as his work crew, and was getting 120% egg production which none of the poultry experts in Guatemala could believe. I had to find out how, and worked with him checking everything and discovered he was giving like a quadruple dose of a supplement—thus forcing them to lay their 6 month allotment of eggs in less time, and eventually they got tired of being pushed too much and stopped!
Later, Dave and his team took charge of the “Rabbit Project,” with up to 400 rabbits. You also see him above doing the accounting for his “120% Laying Hen Project” and working in the carpentry shop building the bunk beds that later collapsed with a chunky President Glade falling on Dr. Mason described in item #12-3, and I had to include Dave as a fisherman,with a large Israeli carp, along with his brothers Danny and Rich, with an 8 lb. large mouth black bass that had in it’s stomach a Tilapia that weighed 1 ½ lbs.
Back to water-witching, in letters home I was afraid to mention to my scientist father the water-wand or water-witching effort, but eventually did and he replied saying he was a believer having seen it work repeatedly in Australia when he was a missionary, and believed there had to be some scientific basis for it. But, eventually that effort failed as artesian water wasn’t found, but it’s a fun aspect of our history to remember any way….and for the “friendly fire” they can have fun saying it was another of our FAILURES! NOTE: By the way in the learning process we had lots of them, which had us learning and then pushed us to many more SUCCESSES and trips to the bank!
MY VOCATIONAL STUDENTS TO THE RESCUE
I sent them into the mountains above the plantation looking for a good water source and
they found one about 1 mile above the plantation, and talked the Indian owner into selling a small section of his land where the spring was. The purchase included authorization to install a water line crossing his property, and in turn we provided him with a water line and faucet just outside his thatch home—Nesario Caal becoming actually the first Indian in the entire area to have potable water!
We isolated the spring, cleaned it up, including the area above to prevent contamination coming down into it, and let that whole area grow up as watershed. We then sealed it and captured all the water in a 3” vinyl water line down to the hill overlooking the colony area and built a water cistern on what was an ancient mound of the City of Helam, 9’ deep with the dimensions you can see in the following pictures.
NOTE: Sorry, archaeologists, for destroying a mound, but the important artifacts all went into the MUSEUM OF THE HOLY MAN built years later.
But he was a star student and a wonderful person, who in 1975 when our precious Pepita was run over, he held her in his arms in the back of our microbus as I raced for Coban and the hospital.
NOTE: If anyone reading this happens to know what happened to Mecanismo, and/or where he is today, so I can contact him, I would deeply appreciate it.
We can say that this could have been our first SWIMMING POOL, and before covering it I wanted to make at least ONE DIVE, but didn’t want to contaminate it in any way. So we now had abundant water that didn’t need to be treated, and we began running water lines all over the plantation, as shown below.
FIRST, to the Central House and area, but with closed connections ready along the way for homes that by 1976 would be constructed in the colony area for the Welfare Missionary couples, and then others. At the Central House having abundant water, with tons of pressure, eventually made possible things only dreamed of before:
Gradually in our “pioneer life” we were learning how to do all kinds of things that the modern world takes for granted.
We learned about septic tanks, built one in the area east
a crossed the ravine below the
garden area, and all of a sudden had a FLUSH TOILET! But, even before that we built a shower room with a propane gas water heater—we were really getting soft taking hot showers! That stool you see I still have today in A.F.
One of our first projects was to take a swampy area with drainage ditches where our cattle would sink in and get stuck—so, since we couldn’t beat the swamp we filled it up with water, building a dam and drainage system and created our lake.
Eventually we built our swimming area and throughout all my years at Valparaiso I tried to keep up my record of always bathing daily in our lake, even once starting an ESKIMO CLUB that to be a member one had to make a dive daily into the lake even when the temperature dropped to freezing—4 times in 35 years! I eventually installed electric lights in our “balneario” so when I had to bath at night I’d flip the switch and take my dip in the dark of night—ALL LIT UP.
Once when bathing at night, waist deep in the water, I was ambushed by two guys with guns, but I was ready for them with my pistol underneath my towel! Another of many adventures!
But with the new potable water system, great water pressure and hot water it finally evenmade possible having an automatic washing machine, seen on the right in a picture being used by Soila Chiquin, later one of “The Mob” who had escaped the oppression of the family who raised her—who had acquired her from a father who didn’t want her—the family accepting her to be like a slave for them,
Until about 8 years old Soila wouldn’t speak a word, then escaped from the family who I had kicked out of Valparaiso when the colono, Esteban Jul, had first been caught stealing panela and put in jail, then when drunk attacked with a machete my manager, Miguel Angel, which I couldn’t forgive and removed them, they to Najquitob to live!
From there at 8 years old Soila escaped and made it all the way down the mountain and asked to live with us. She finally began speaking for the first time in her life and grew up in the Central House eventually marrying Hector Poou and having her own family.
Well, with all these modern developments, the friendly fire had new ammunition to accuse me of building a business empire and getting rich. I would soon give them more ammunition.
To the right are seen two of the eventual 6 homes in the colony, First, one of the homes
built for the Welfare Service Couples in 1976, but rather first lived in by us Andersen’s as Maria needed more relief from the pressure of the Mob. Later it became the home of Carlos Valdez who had joined us as a 12 year old, and finished his last 12 years as Manager of Valparaiso.
Next comes the “earthquake proof home” built by Hal
Poulsen who came, with his
wife, Neva, and daughter, Jeanie, to help for 6 months after the Great Earthquake item #14.
Interestingly 40 years later in 2016 when I made what I thought then was my last trip to Guatemala and Valparaiso, Hal's home is the only one left in the "Colony area" in good shape. I'll insert a picture below.Thanks Hal & Neva for your "long lasting contribution!"
The first vastly improved "rancho" in the "colony" area, along with it's nice outhouse/firewood storage unit, and wonderful interior--first lived in by dona Carmelina & kids, immediately had potable water. I'll insert below a shot of the intertior.
Then one of the five dairy colony homes built in 1972 that originally had water from our new system, but eventually from the 2nd potable water system built especially for the Victorias Dairy in 1972. Item #11.
The picture blow shows that each home--in total contrast to the Indian's hut or "rancho," had windows, a cement floor, potable water with a pila, and a shower as well as a woodburning stove with chimney, and we’ll see next electricity. The Indians were getting “rich” too!
Above we see one of the dairy homes that was turned into a “stimulating environement” by Miguel and Carmela Ajpop.
Then in 1981 when we created the Valparaiso Community, item #22, independent of the plantation, where all owned their own property and homes, We ran a water line, first with a Public Pila where they could get their water as seen to the right.
Then to a few homes, but the water and pressure wasn’t enough for all the homes—our system was being spread too thin, so we helped them create their own potable water system from a spring 2 miles back up in the mountains to the south.
FOR A “REAL BUSINESS EMPIRE” & “TO BE RICH”
WE NEEDED ELECTRICITYIt started interestingly in the KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST north of the Grand Canyon where in 1966 I was trapping wildlife to photograph for the Audubon Society.
My trapping/photographic work was early and late so during the day I drilled millions of air jets for Andersen Samplers using what became our first electricity in Guatemala—a 500 watt Honda Portable Generator, which I used in 1966 to get night photos of the Tree of Life Monument, then it went with us to Guatemala in 1967, and in 1968 was our first electricity at the Farm, and then at the Central House in Valparaiso
It also was used at Valparaiso, and many times was carried on the backs of Indians to villages to show movies, such as on long hikes following the mountain trails to Pambach. It weighed 150 lbs. To carry it a single Indian would take it using a tump-line as seen, with a paper feed bag to protect their backs. They would take turns. They were incredible!
At Pambach we see when we first met Federico Veliz—in the green jacket, who was the teacher in the isolated Pambach community that askedfor our help to build their school—we were stopped from using the road by the land owner, and had to follow the mountain trails and both Federico and me suffered DEATH THREATS for our work. Miguel Max is talking to the group in the picture explaining the first movie ever seen by these Indians.
That generator was used in the beginning at Valparaiso when we had to operate the drum poultry plucker, and of course for movies.
Then, with the help of my brother, Marlo, we eventually acquired a one cylinder, slow revolution diesel motor and constructed a facility with the belt turning an axle that had other belts turning an electric generator, and also a hammer mill used to make our own feed. With this we had good electricity for work projects, and for a couple of hours each evening in the Central House. We were getting real rich—all part of the SCAM!!!
ELECTRICITY HELP FROM THE NAVAHO RESERVATION
In June of 1971 the owner of a Trading Post on the Navaho Reservation in Arizona donated a huge used diesel generator to the Foundation. The Explorers from the Oakhills II Ward in Provo, Utah volunteered to deliver it as their summer Super Activity led by Richard Brimhall, who 10 years later would be Executive Director of the Foundation. I heard they were coming but wondered how on earth they would ever get through Mexico and into Guatemala.
Accompanying them was a BYU student, Julio Salazar,
who was a Guatemalan and apparently a smooth talker who was planning on being
Guatemala’s President. He somehow talked
their way through Mexico and into Guatemala.
So one day in June they pulled into the plantation with several
vehicles, and the 2,600 lb. generator completely filling the back of one of the
pickups—the unloaded generator seen to the right with Maria observing after the difficult job of unloading it.
One of the Explorers was the son of Paul Felt who had been in charge of the BYU Lamanite Development Program, and who had just received his call as President of the Southwest Indian Mission for the LDS Church. Paul wrote a letter to his son sending it to Valparaiso, and saying to his son:
“Observe carefully what they are doing, as we’ll have to do those same kind of things on our mission, if we are to be successful.”
Richard Brimhall brought me a printed copy of President Ernest L. Wilkenson’s May 28th, 1971 Commencement Address at BYU in which he described our efforts as an example of what BYU graduates should go out into the world and do.
As it turned out, the generator wouldn’t start, and we had to have it rebuilt before it would run, and for a while it did provide us with lots of electricity,
Soon thereafter line electricity came into the Alta Verapaz area of Guatemala, which was an incredible blessing. Thereafter we only needed generators for emergencies, or when we would go to remote villages to show movies.
4. THE EVOLUTION OF OUR EDUCATIONAL EFFORTS & THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHILOSOPHY & PRINCIPLES OF THE GOOD LIFE.
then Julie’s effort when 10 years old, teaching 6 little Indian children, including THE FIRST LITTLE GIRL IN HISTORY to begin getting an educvation at Valparaiso.
Her effort was followed by organizing an official school that eventually had 110 students, with all six grades as well as adult literacy classes.
In 1980 our school was the first plantation school in history to participate in the yearly Departmental Fair in Coban, led by our 1980 Championship soccer team, The Lamanite Youth, see item #21, then our float, next the children, followed at the tail end by the adult women’s literacy class.
We won the President’s award as
FIRST PLACE for the BEST PARTICIPATION.
Twenty-six years were spent at Valparaiso--and if it hadn't have been for some complications and unrighteousness, we'd likely still be there—as it became the heart and soul of our work in Guatemala, supporting us for 26 years, and becoming The Center for Indian Development, as seen in item #8, from which projects would reach out all over the country, all based on the…..
The Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life
This "Method" crucial in all of our work for the Foundation's 50 year history is outline simply below
THE PHILOSOPHY: The present Indians are descendants of a progressive and great people, some called "The Greeks of the New World," but who fell into a period of darkness, yet have a prophetic destiny in the last days of, "coming out of darkness into the light & blossoming." But to do so they have to come to understand and apply……
THE PRINCIPLES: Which are simply:
2. PROPER NUTRITION,
3. LIVING IN HEALTHY HOMES,
4. UNITED FAMILIES,
5. EDUCATION FOR ALL,
6. INDUSTRY, BUT LEARN TO WORK MORE PRODUCTIVELY, & last,
7. SHARE WITH OTHERS the GOOD LIFE being achieved.
FOR LDS CHURCH ORIENTED MISSIONARY WORK
and those Indians receptive religiously, the philosophy included what their sacred book, THE POPUL VUH, states as having anciently had the original Sacred Book that was lost, but for complete application of the Method, they needed it (the BOOK OF MORMON) to be restored to guide them, which included
1. BELIEVE IN & FOLLOW THE GOD OF THIS LAND WHO IS JESUS CHRIST,
2. TAKE SERIOUSLY HIS TEACHINGS & LIVE THEM, and
3. UNITE WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE THE SAME DREAMS OF PROGRESS FOR THE FUTURE.
EXAMPLES OF IT’S APPLICATION?
AT VALPARAISO & THE POLOCHIC WHEN I WAS
Following are some displays that explain the philosophy and principles
"The Greeks of the New World,"
But who fell into a period of Great Darkness
Yet have a prophetic destiny in the last days of, "coming out of darkness into the light & blossoming."But to do so they have to come to understand and apply……
THE PRINCIPLES of THE GOOD LIFE:
It was this method that opened Valparaiso and the Polochic area to some of the most successful missionary success in the history of the LDS Church among the Lamanites. The missionaries said they had never seen, nor used such a successful method.
You will even notice one who initially was against the effort, but in the end see it bring him success—but which the missionaries couldn’t report to the Mission/Church leaders. See item #15, pages 111-112.
5. A BIBLE-LIKE MIRACLE OPENS THE WAY TO GAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF THE INDIANS…to begin having really significant success.
In the first nearly year and a half of being owners of the 600 acre VALPARAISO PLANTATION, with 239 resident Poqomchi speaking Indians living in 39 families, I was killing myself with intense activity trying to help what seemed like a people who were perfectly happy with half of their children dying, as well as adults dying of tuberculosis and other terrible diseases--which was all normal for them. It would still be another year before the Foundation existed. It was still the struggle of the Andersen Family Private Peace Corp.
Accepting the teenage boys as VOCATIONAL STUDENTS, and teaching them how to work and be able to qualify for better paid full-time employment, plus teaching them the Philosophy & Principles of the Good Life began changing the attitudes of the adults and Indian leaders.
Julie beginning to teach 6 little barefoot Indian children, even including one little girl—the first female to received any kind of education, all of which soon had us officially beginning our own private School, with Zoel Gomez as teacher. All of this helped in gradually changing attitudes towards us.
Then driving away the ghosts from the Central House—us courageously moving in, then accepting needy orphan children, and abused mothers and their children—all as part of our family with no descrimination, as we see in the picture, David sharing a cushion with one of the Indian boys.
On the left we see another great picture showing how we accepted the people as our family--the picture of the three little boys, the LDS Magazine ENSIGN, labeled it, "Three little Indian Boys," but that was a mistake--the three boys, arm in arm as brothers, were from the left, my son Richard, then in the middle, barefoot Rueben, brother of Carlos and Moncho, then Dave Andersen.
Many such examples of my family began melting the hearts of even the most stubborn Maya/Poqomchi at Valparaiso. Then a big step forward occurred as I adopted the family
of Victor Suc with his grandma returning him to us dieing as seen in the well used photo of him with our son Joey.
VICTOR, in the picture with Joey, both 2 ½ years old, Joey weighing 39 lbs., Victor at 13 lbs. with a blob of round worms on the upper right corner we got out of him—and him growing up and sort of being the SPIRIT OF VALPARAISO…….
All making up “THE MOB,” or The Central House Family. At the end of item #6 I will insert the complete story of this child with whom we are using his birth name here to respect his privacy.
While we were surprisingly criticized for all of this by “friendly fire,” what we were doing even had the die-hard Indians softening. One more undeniable miraculous event got us over the summit of resistance which I’ll now describe as best I can.
THE BIBLE-LIKE MIRACLE
In July 1969 I acquired several gallons of internal parasite medicine and invited all to come one Sunday afternoon.
160 came—about half of the residents, and we were busy giving the medication when Chavela arrived with her two little girls, Marta and
Macaria—who somehow we came to call Elvira. Elvira was a baby in Chavela's arms and we gave her a tiny dose, but all of a sudden she reacted violently, vomiting. We got her normalized, so we thought.
treatment, we invited those interested to see a movie—the first religious movie shown which was "Man's
Search For Happiness," with about 60 who filed into the warehouse
to see it. Alfredo Rodas, my manager, translated it into Poqomchi and it
seemed like the message was understood and well received.
After the movie, I rewound the film and then noticed a group of women surrounding Chavela who had Elvira on her lap but completely covered with her shawl. All were crying as Elvira had died.
I quickly kneeled before Chavela, uncovered Elvira and sought for a sign of life. Her tiny body was cold, with no pulse, or signs of breathing. I picked her up and stood telling all we were going to pray. Generally, my prayers are simple and short, but this time in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ it went on and on as though it was a Patriarchal blessing, promising her life, and good things for her future. Then I finished, opened my eyes to look at Elvira who was softly snoring and there was warmth in her body.
There was a hushed silence of reverence among all. Chavela, without saying a word, gathered her baby in her arms and they drifted off into the night. Not a word was said as all exited the warehouse and headed to their homes. I was so weak I couldn't walk to the Central House without help. Apparently, strength was drained from my body and transferred to Elvira giving her life.
The next day the news spread like wildfire all over the Valley, and to the neighboring villages:
"In Valparaiso, there is a new Medicine Man with strange powers. Something is happening that should be trusted!"
That was a new beginning. The Indians stopped hiding their sick babies and children from me, even asking for treatments, like above is seen the well-used photo of Julie helping me try and save Alfonso and Lic's mother. From those beginning years we went on to perform thousands of medical treatments every year of every type imaginable, and we started keeping track of those we felt had been saved from sure death, but when we got to 160 we stopped counting.
NOW, BACK TO VALPARAISO IN THE EARLY YEARS: Soon classes started teaching them how to avoid sickness and death, and we discovered effective methods of teaching CLEANLINESS & NUTRITION, explained next—along with an additional handful of events, and initiatives…..
…..of most importance organizing the Indian vocational students to save their own people by a weekly visit to every home and then advise me of those needing treatment before they became lost causes, and…..
DEATH STOPPED FOR A PERIOD OF 3 YEARS!
NOTE: This was basically a program of ministering—commanded by the Lord thru Joseph Smith in 1830 to "watch over the Church," but in our case "watch over all our brothers & sisters—none of whom were LDS," with a weekly visit to every home--initially by our youthful Vocational Students—most of whom became spiritual converts, and who then took doubly seriously the charge to "watch over" the families assigned, and then report situations of need so that adequate measures could be taken to save lives. In the LDS Church for years, it was called "Home Teaching," or "Home Visiting," which apparently the Leaders didn’t take seriously enough, and was never managed properly—except for a few cases, like at Valparaiso—where we took seriously what we felt the Lord had commanded over 180 years ago. See: Doctrines & Covenants 20:42, 51-53
EPILOGUE: Interestingly in recent years the LDS Church has claimed a "new revelation" concerning the same activity, but calling it "ministering," which is what it always was from the initial revelation, but apparently not taken seriously. However we did, and it was a cornerstone of the effort that produced 3 years with no death at Valparaiso and I can mention that prior to moving to Guatemala when I was first Elder’s Quorum President in the Spanish American Branch in Provo, and then as President of the Branch, we also took the initial revelation seriously, and it worked miracles also in Provo, Utah from 1964-1966.
At the time recently of what was called “a new revelation,” it had some General Authorities giddy “over the “new flood of revelation,” as though there had been a modern absence of revelation for many years and they seemed to hunger and thirst for something they could call “revelation!” The original revelation was more than enough for us—as we took it seriously.
On the next page, more than 50 years later we are seen back visiting the Valparaiso Community.
Here we are 48 years after the Miracle of Elvira having lunch in Elvira's home in the Valparaiso Community--she is seen to the right. If I recall correctly she had a son at that time on an LDS mission. In the picture to the left is me, my partner & traveling companion, archaeologist, Garth Norman, then Federico Veliz, and my daughter, Aura.
6. CREATION OF UNIQUE METHODS TO TEACH THE CRITICAL AREAS of CLEANLINESS & PROPER NUTRITION, both Principles of the Good Life.
The critical need of CLEANLINESS…….
……a lack of which, like—not one outhouse among the 39 original families at Valparaiso—contributing to homes and home sites being "incubators of disease and death," with 40% of the children born to the 39 families dead already for an average of 8 children dying a year. We found more sick and dying in every home.
The "haunted" Central House did have a 6 holler –all together like a "community-friendly
outhouse" with the stuff dropping down into an
underground canal from the sugar refinery that washed it into
the creek that went behind the house, and meandered its way all
through the valley--where some families got their water, and then into the
Cahobon River continuing on to Coban and eventually to the Polochic Valley--So,
for years VALPARAISO DID SHARE WITH
THOUSANDS! The first thing I did was to close it down--that
perplexed many as it was known as quite a unique system--except for all those
downstream! We dug a hole below the Central House for the
first outhouse in the valley. The "2nd" I dug myself for Victor
and his family when I tried to care for them on their own home-site--story told
But, teaching the Indians they needed an outhouse on each home site didn't make sense to them, as that would put an end to the lush, green corn and other plantings around their homes abundantly fertilized by human waste!
As I started to treat the sick, I became frustrated as they would often relapse--with no end in sight—THEIR ENVIRONMENT & HABITS HAD TO CHANGE. I began the attempt to teach preventive medicine beginning with the invisible world of microbes that brought laughter from the Indians. They needed to learn that sickness came from the invisible microbial contamination from their own waste--microbes they refused to believe in because they couldn't see them. We had to show them the invisible monsters, so began using Petri dishes to grow microbes from dirty hands, contaminated water, dust, a cough, a captured fly walking on the nutrient agar, etc. Then show them the colonies that grew that had a foul odor, then let them see them using a microscope--conclusion being that said "invisible monsters" created nasty odors, rot, sickness, and death. The outcome was nothing short of miraculous.
The Petri dishes showing colonies of microbes are along the front of the table.
Obviously, my father, a bacteriologist, helped us design this method
and sent/or brought to us the equipment we needed, including the first microscope seen to the right, which dad had found being discarded when working on his PhD, at Iowa State—US ANDERSEN’S ARE SCAVENGERS!
INTERESTING NOTE: Eventually we were gifted 10 microscopes, like the one seen above on the left, by a BYU professor who had been a Trustee for the Foundation, but who had to quit when I became too controversial, see Item #28, but he acquired some obsolete microscopes, but couldn’t let on he was giving them to us, so just left them in the dark of night on the doorstep of our rental home in Provo at the time when I had to bring the family back to Provo due to the Guerrilla War, and I was traveling back and forth every two months to keep the family going, run the U.S. Foundation, as dad had passed on, but also manage the projects in Guatemala, as well as keep the business going that supported us. We were able to provide microscopes for our projects with Federico Veliz in Santa Cruz, for Humberto and our projects in Patzicia and Patzun, and shared with other non-profit organizations.
We began a program of constructing floors & box/seats for any who would dig their own hole. Soon after showing them the "invisible world of microbes" I was advised of the first hole dug—by Felipe Laj, which tiny news for me WAS GIGANTIC!
By the end of 1970 100% of the 39 families had outhouses, and death stopped for the next 3 years.
Eight years later, Felipe Laj, one of the original "colonos," seen to the right with his wife, son, Esteban & a granddaughter, was named by me as Supervisor of the Victorious Dairy—that, had him shocked, he reminding me he didn't even hardly know how to read and write. But he had my trust and I assured him I would teach him all he had to know—all he had to do was:
Continue to be special and do as taught, which he faithfully did in that key position until the END.
And that "we are what we eat," we did nutrition experiments with broiler chicks, using 4 pairs, each fed different diets:
One, WHITE GROUND CORN—that nutritionists say "is not capable of sustaining and supporting human life" (representing the typical Indian diet);
Two, YELLOW GROUND CORN (that is high in Vitamin A);
Three, COMMERCIAL BROILER FEED—representing a BALANCED DIET;
Four, A PAIR TAKEN HOME BY A FAMILY and turned loose with their poultry.
WHITE CORN CHICKENS, small, little weight gain—4 oz, sickly, anemic in appearance—sometimes dead, and an economic loss.
YELLOW CORN CHICKENS, twice the weight gain—8 oz. of white corn chickens, small still but healthy in appearance, an economic small profit.
BALANCED DIET, huge—4 lbs. 8 oz. of weight gain, healthy, huge profit.
HOME CHICKENS, weight loss or dead.
It was then easy to translate the results to the need of humans eating a balanced diet. We then taught them inexpensive ways of doing that which, along with greater cleanliness, contributed to: NO DEATHS FOR 3 YEARS. Death only began happening again due to bureaucratic interference in our group working together to solve the life and death problems, see item #12
These methods were used in many schools, repeated every year or so, reaching thousands of people and influencing many to apply these principles in their family lives, the end result being saving literally thousands.
IMPROVEMENT PROJECT SHOWING INDIANS HOW TO TAKE THEIR NATIVE VARIETIES &
INCREASE THE QUALITY AND YIELDS.
To help with the critical need of better nutrition we quickly learned we weren’t going to be able to get the Indians to not eat corn, especially white corn—described by nutritionists as “a food incapable of supporting and sustaining human life.” We tried improved varieties of corn with improved nutrition, but they were too tasty and eaten quickly by worms, bugs, and raccoons. Those varieties were also hybrids requiring the continual purchase of seed corn from suppliers. That would never work with the Indians.
I chose their native summer corn called VERANERO, that had a yellowish/red color, indicating to me at least some Vitamin A.NOTE: The Indian’s white, and black (or very dark purple) corn
HAS NO VITAMIN-A, much less protein.
Over 6 ½ years we increased yields from 50 to 650 lbs. per 1/9th acre, with three crops yearly—rather than one, while more than doubling its nutritive quality—ALL OF A SUDDEN WITH TONS OF VITAMIN-A, all with no use of chemicals, rather only natural organic fertilizers & methods available to the Indians.The Indians in said 1/9th of an acre had an average of only one plant with two ears. We began with seed from that plant, crossed it with seed from a superior rare ear that had the right coloration—tending towards GOLDEN-YELLOW, and patiently developed seed that produced uniformly plants with multiple ears—as seen above on the left, even with an increasing percentage with 3 and even 4 ears of good size and quality. Then worked on improving even more the color and vitamin content from the normal red, to a rich golden yellow as seen above on the right side, which we proved, with poultry experiments, was a vast improvement in vitamin A content. Then we worked on reducing the normal 4 months to maturity as I noticed a few plans would mature in 3 ½ months so choose from those plants the ones with multiple ears per plant, and the right coloration. Eventually we achieved a high percentage of plants that would mature in 3-1/2 months rather than the typical 4 months, making possible 3 harvests per year, of a corn with high Vitamin A content, and a 1,300% increase in yields—all with no use of chemicals of any kind.
NOT BAD FOR A "RODEO CLOWN!"
IMPORTANT NOTE: As we learned, the varieties of native corn were very sensitive even to slight geographical changes, so we mainly tried to teach the Indians how to choose their seed corn to continually improve the quality and quantity of their harvests.
THE STORY OF VICTOR SUC
An Example of Medical, Nutritional & TOTAL DEVELOPMENT HELP
By 1969 we were learning that we couldn’t leave lying around anything, like happened once with a pair of pliers, and again with a hammer, and they both disappeared. We soon learned that for the Indians such things left carelessly here and there—even though all knew who they belonged to, for our Pokomchi Indians, they assumed that the owner didn’t want it and so would pick it up and take it home.
One afternoon a gallon of gasoline for one of our generators disappeared. It was concerning because the Indians used kerosene to light their fires, burn in their lamps, etc. and not being familiar with the explosive nature of gasoline we feared that someone would use it to get a cooking fire going and there would be a serious accident. I mobilized our employees and vocational students to visit and search every home and find that gallon before it was too late.
I joined the search following the trail up the mountain from the spring, and found a home site I hadn’t seen before, and there found the gallon. It was where lived a widowed grandma, Isabela Max, with two teenage daughters, Marta and Elvira, a teenage boy, Alfonso, a younger son, Alberto, and a younger daughter, Margarita, and a bunch of young grandchildren—
The youngest, Victor Suc, sucking at his
grandma’s dry breast as a pacifier. At that time he was about 18 months old, never able to walk yet.
I discovered a horrible situation. They produced from the maguey plant string, like binder-twine, making it into nets for sale, but their main income was selling to Indian men the bootleg sugar-cane liquor, “boj,” that for .50 cents one could drink all they wanted and spend the night with the oldest daughter, Marta, seen in red upper right.
At night to sleep they would all pile up on a sleeping platform covered by a straw mat with one blanket half-way covering them.
I immediately adopted the family and began treating Victor for terrible skin infections, and sending them food every day, but soon noticed that for the eggs I would send, there were never any shells in the garbage dump.
Grandma would send her daughters to Tactic every day to sell what I was giving them, so I began sending the eggs broken open in a plastic bag so they would have to eat them, and I began eating with them several times a week.
I got tooth brushes for all,
taught them how to brush, and dug myself an outhouse hole—the 2nd
outhouse at Valparaiso, the
first for a family. But soon found it impossible to take care of them way up the mountain, so moved them into a tile roofed building down near the road and moved them there. Below to the right you see that building.
The house is seen in front of the lake—NOTE: The lake filled up with water weeds the first time we filled it up. We then emptied it got rid of the weeds then filled again. For a time Carlos and his family had lived there until they had to flee from the father who I employed briefly but hehad a drinking problem and abused his family and I had to let him go. Carlos and family remained with us many years. The house later was used as our first school, then destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1976.
Victor’s family lived in that
house briefly, but four had already joined us:
I was employing Elvira, along with Cecilia and
Feliza. Alfonso joined us and the vocational student group. Alberto
joined Alfonso, Lic and Agustin living with us and were students in our school,
along with Margarita who also joined
Carmelina, Rosalia, and eventually Soila.
I soon gave up on Grandma Isabela, Marta and the little ones and insisted they come and live at the Central House, the grandma and older children seen in the first “Mob” photo. Victor is not seen in the “Mob” picture as he was very sick and being treated.
As it worked out the easy going order and discipline of the Central House Family was just too complicated for Grandma Isabela, and so one day she disappeared with Victor and all the little children, along with Alberto, Alfonso and Elvira.Six months later she returned just to leave with us Victor who was gravely sick, thus the well known picture of him at 2 ½ years old at 13 lbs. and our Joe the same age at 39 lbs. He resisted everything, wouldn’t even drink anything, until I took the risk of forcing on him an infant’s dose of worm medication and got out of him the blob of round worms seen to the upper right.
Then it became impossible to fill him up with good food! Soon he was walking for the first time in his life.
As it worked out, we learned that all those children that left with their grandma eventually died—four dead, except for the two older daughters, Elvira and Marta.
Victor grew up with us at the Central House as part of “The Mob.” He had a verydifficult time learning, but on his 3rd attempt got through 1st Grade when 10½ years old and seemed to come alive, always being the first in classes to attempt to answer questions.
Margarita, his aunt, also survived and grew up with our MOB: Rosalia, Margarita, Carmelina and Soila.
At that time he went to the U.S. adopted by a family from Heber, Utah. He eventuallyreturned to Guatemala as an LDS missionary, actually becoming the first from Valparaiso to become a full-time missionary for the LDS Church.