Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BorderLinks Delegation in May 8-14, 2009

  • Delegation
    The purpose of our delegation is to experience the international border between the United States and Mexico in the company of Mexican pastors, guided by the Borderlinks staff.
    Borderlinks provides food, lodging, translation, accompaniment and program staff. You can find out all about them at their website: www.borderlinks .org

    • Our Journey
      We will meet at BorderLinks in Tucson, Arizona on Friday, May 8 at 9:00 am. Most will arrive a day or so earlier may meet us there. Please be on time. We will conclude on Thursday, May 14 with supper. Please check with Michael Swartz before you buy your airplane tickets.

    • Accommodations
      Simple, comfortable dormitory style accommodations arranged by Borderlinks. Good food. Do look at the website.

    • Travel
      Please make your own arrangements after conferring with the delegation leadership. We can help make sure you are traveling with one or more delegation members.

    Who is going so far?
    · Rev. Felix Ortiz-Cotto, Common Global Ministries.
    · Rev. Michael Swartz, Illinois Maya Ministry.
    · Rev. Justino Perez, CGM Missionary
    · A representatives of:
    · Alianza de Iglesias Cristianas Evangelicas Discipulos de Cristo
    · Junta General de Iglesias Cristianas Congregaacionales de Mexico
    · Confraternidad de Iglesias Cristianas Evangelicas Discuplos de Cristo
    · We can accommodate 13 persons in total on the delegation.

    For more information contact Rev. Michael Swartz

    1. Telephone: 309/788-6357

    2. Email:

    Photos: Top - Previous BorderLinks group at Casa de la Miseracordia in Nogales.
    Second - shopping for Fair Trade Coffee at Aguaprieta.
    Third - A US watchtower with surveillance camera atop the wall between US and Mexico.
    Fourth - Art decorating the wall decorated by Mexican Artists.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Report from one of our Partners--Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG)

    Asociación Acción Cultural Guatemalteca, ACG

    February 9, 2009

    Guatemalan Cultural Action

    2008 Report

    Guatemalan Cultural Action (ACG) was established in 1989 as groupings of Mayan Guatemalans affected by the civil war in that country were able to return to their rural lands and rebuild their lives. Prior to 1989, they had lived as refugees in Mexico or had been internally displaced during the conflict. Global Ministries has partnered with ACG since its beginnings. ACG has four main objectives: 1) to promote community projects in the area of education, culture, economics, and ecology; 2) to promote Mayan and Christian spirituality as inspiring and encouraging sources of meaning for community work; 3) to promote ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue in promotion of a climate of harmony, peace, and solidarity within rural, indigenous communities; and 4) to provide training for the communities on their human rights and how to defend them.

    In 2008, ACG created a three year plan for 2008 to 2010. The Strategic Plan 2008-2018 also was elaborated through several workshops that included representatives from various communities and members of the ACG Board of Directors. Through two ACG General Assemblies it was possible to elect a new Board, create the Strategic Plan 2008-2018, and review what has been accomplished during year 2008 in order to plan for the work in 2009. The monitoring commission of ACG had two meetings to ensure all operations were going as projected and to make suggestions for the work ahead. The ACG administration worked on revision and authorization of documents, meetings, and proceedings with the help of ACG's Executive Director.

    Additional achievements included:

    * Repairs and maintenance at San Carolos Borromeus Farm and marketing of their products.
    * The creation and distribution of the Association News Bulletin to inform the communities in Guatemala and in other countries.
    * The "Bees" Project for credit and savings, utilized by 710 women between January and November 2008.
    * Distribution of 42 irons and other materials to build firewood-efficient "Thrifty" stoves in the Santa Elena and Nueva Libertad communities.
    * 31 students helped through ACG's scholarship program.

    Limited economic resources forced a reduction in personnel but ACG continued to push through the work in 2008.

    The Strategic Plan 2008-2018 will serve as a guide in achieving all priority projects and programs. ACG is most proud of the success of the Women’s Program. ACG’s goal for 2009 is to reach 1,000 beneficiaries and to continue to lay the groundwork for self-sufficient programs. As in the past, the participating families will benefit from the moral, spiritual, and financial support of ACG through projects, education, community participation, and personal rights.