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 The Story .  .   .

 We, the community of San Jose el Tesoro in Yalpemech, Guatemala,, want to proclaim the social and spiritual development that we have been experiencing because of the unconditional support that we received from Sister Bernadette and the parish of Saint Patrick, Hudson, WI.

Our community of San Jose el Tesoro began in 1991.  After about ten years living as refugees in a foreign county, we came to this place in north Alta Verapaz, hoping to rebuild our lives and become a part of the social and productive life of our country.  On March 1, 1991, we arrived bring only the basic necessities to survive those first days.  We brought a few piece of wood and some worn out tin roofs to build simple homes to begin a new life.  With much effort, and trust and faith in God we believed that, one day we would have better living conditions; a little bit of land to cultivate to sustain our family and a better home.  When we formally settled in San Jose el Tesoro, we were supported by the missionary work of the School Sisters of St. Francis, represented by Sister Joannes Klas.  She has been with us since October of 1982, when we lived in the refugee camp in Honduras.  She is still with us today and hopefully will continue as long as possible.  It was also possible thanks to an important relationship between our community and the School Sisters of Saint Francis, especially Sister Bernadette, who in the winter of 1998, forged the relationship between us and the people of Saint Patrick Parish in Hudson, Wisconsin. 

With great joy and gratitude, we want to share that today, our community includes a church, a pastoral formation center, a very helpful telephone service, legal land titles, a child care center, an emergency health center, a better home for the majority of the families, electricity, and an enclosed school yard.  Most of the families have a tank to store water.  Many young men and women have had the opportunity to finish high school and to begin productive careers as professionals.  In addition, children, youth, and adults have received formation in the faith, inserting themselves formally in their Christian baptismal commitment.

We want to mention that each year members of our sister parish from Hudson visit us; they come to know us and to share experiences, living with our families.  In spite of difficulties they have lent a hand in different projects and activities.  By this gesture of brotherhood and solidarity, they have shown that there are no barriers of color, language, culture, or social position that divide us.  Truly in the sight of God we are all equal.  We are grateful for their friendship.  If we were to list them all by name, it would fill many notebooks.



 Four Pillars of Our Mission to San Jose




   ~ for the health of the people in San Jose
   ~ for the openness of people to seek medical treatment
   ~ that someone permanently serve the medical needs of this village


   ~ vitamins and medication to those in need
   ~ new and used eyeglasses
    ~ funds for medical equipment


   ~ to share your medical experience
   ~ to assist the medical professionals
   ~ to use any field of medical knowledge







   ~ for the spiritual health of the village
   ~ for the Sisters who serve the people with their whole lives
   ~ that Christ's love be shared by all

   ~ Bibles for the church and village
   ~ rosaries and sacramentals
   ~ funds for catechetical training

   ~ to worship side-by-side with the people of San Jose
   ~ to share your faith journey
   ~ to share the love of Christ with all

   ~ for every child's education
   ~ for their teachers
   ~ for continued pursuit of higher education

   ~ financial assistance for higher education
   ~ library books for the community center's library
   ~ school supplies and technology for the children

   ~ to teach English to the youth
   ~ to teach specialized skills and learning
   ~ to teach about our culture and experience theirs




   ~ for the family needs of the community
   ~ for those struggling to find God's love for them
   ~ for the interrelationship between our parishes

   ~ funds for needed projects
   ~ funds for the Sisters to continue their work in the village
   ~ water systems for clean water

   ~ to work side-by-side with the people in the village
   ~ to strengthen the love and bond between our Parishes
   ~ to be the hands and feet of Christ



Over  the years, Saint Patrick's Parishioners have:

         - improved electricity infrastructure
         - brought in telephone lines
         - road improvements
         - paid taxes on land
         - built cement block houses
         - provided the means to obtain a three horse-power generator
         - obtained a vehicle for Sister Johanna to help her minister to villagers
         - provided medicines, vitamins, and medical/dental care
         - obtained some fresh water collectors
         - provided some land purchasing assistance
         - provided school supplies
         - given friendship, empathy, compassion, and hope


Saint Patrick's Parishioners Have Been Given:

          - friendship, gratitude, and a deepening of faith
          - a sharing of hospitality and hope
          - a real understanding of Christ's love for the poor
          - strengthened love for simplicity and relationships over materialism
          - an enlarged sense of compassion
          - a greater appreciation the gifts in one's own life
          - a greater sense of meaning and ability to make a difference
          - opportunities to educate our children regarding the world outside of Hudson
          - exposure to a different culture
         - an opportunity to partner with and support the work of the School Sisters of St.    Francis, in the tradition of St. Francis' care for the poor
          - a spiritual connection that underscores the universality of our shared Catholic faith


To see pictures of the latest (June, 2014) Mission trip to our Sister Parish click:

 Google satellite map of Yalpemech





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