Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thought For The Day

But our reality teaches us that, as Christians, we must create a Church of the poor, that we don’t need a Church imposed from outside which knows nothing of hunger.

Rigoberta Menchu

"La Rigo," as she is often called, is a Guatemalan Mayan woman who lost much of her family, including her father, to massacres committed by government forces. She is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who spent many years in exile due to death threats against her for her human rights work. She continues to try to bring the perpetrators of mass violence in the civil war to justice despite the impunity they enjoy.

Menchu is running for president of Guatemala in the elections to be held in a few weeks. Few think she will win (but even with a minimal showing her party will gain seats in Congress); it says something about hope that this woman, who not too long ago could not set foot in her homeland, is now able to run for the highest office in that homeland, with her picture, in full Mayan traje (traditional clothing) on banners and posters up and down the streets.

Things are hard in Guatemala, make no mistake. Crime is rampant as is corruption; trade agreements with the US have left the economy in a shambles...although you wouldn't guess it if
you only hung out in the fancy new malls in the fancy parts of town. And yet...and yet, here is Rigoberta Menchu, running for president.

Things can change. That's hope.