Our mission: We broaden our perspective on the Body of Christ through the ongoing relationship between Las Margaritas II and St. Francis of Assisi. Spending time living with our Mayan brothers and sisters deepens our mutual understanding of what it means to be Christ in the larger world and allows this experience to transform our daily lives.
A ‘hermanamiento’ or ‘sister’ linkage was created in 1993 between St Francis of Assisi and Las Margaritas of the Ixchan region of Guatemala. One to two delegations are planned each year consisting of 6-10 parishioners who live, work and pray with the community of Las Margaritas II. Our relationship is not to bring about a change in them or provide relief for them but to open our minds and transform our hearts.
In February 2012, a small delegation travelled to Las Margaritas II to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the village. The delegation brought four laptops that were donated by The Franciscan School. The laptops, along with four desktop computers, will be used for the village’s new Computer and Internet School.
In February 2010 we sent our second medical delegation to Las Margaritas II. Prior to this delegation, Assessments of the health needs of the village were evaluated. The primary focus was on preventive health education. Each family was provided a first aid kit and health education topics included nutrition; hydration; handwashing; first aid; pesticide safety and suturing.
We sent a teen delegation to the village in June 2010. This was the second teen-based delegation that we have sent which included eleven teens and seven adults. Many of our teens attended an additional language immersion school in Antigua prior to their experience in the village. To read a beautiful reflection by teen delegate, Colleen Kane, about her experience, please click here.
About every three years we host a “South to North Delegation” where 5-6 delegates from Las Margaritas II visit our community. To read about the Kane family’s experience as hosts fifteen years ago and Matthew’s reacquaintance with the Las Margaritas II dad in June, please click here.
Click here to complete the Sister Parish Delegate Application.
Reflections from the Teen Delegation to our Sister Parish in Las Margaritas II, Guatemala, June 22-30, 2010
- “… Being part of the teen delegation changed my life. Living with such kind and hospitable members of our sister community made me realize how special our relationship is with them. Even though we live in different parts of the world, we are still family to each other and we have so much in common. This trip was an amazing experience and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend a part of my summer with these amazing people! Chloe Mintel
- “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which he can do his work, yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world, yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.” St. Theresa of Avila
- It took many plane rides and many hours of bouncing along bumpy gravel roads to get us to our destination, but we made it. We made it to the thatched roof houses with dirt floors, wooden board beds, fire-pit ovens, latrines, and chickens that wandered into the house. We made it to the humidity and heat of a non-air-conditioned lifestyle. But most importantly, we made it to the people of our Sister Parish community, a community of faith just like us, but one that speaks a different language and leads a much simpler life. I am so blessed to have been a part of St. Francis’ effort to stretch Christ’s hands across the globe.” -Colleen Kane
- My experiences in Guatemala are going to last a lifetime. It wouldn’t have been the same without my mom there either. Now we both share memories that will last forever, together. One of my favorite experiences was at the dance - as soon as I would stand up there would be tons of kids surrounding me wanting to dance. I was accepted as their family in only a few days. I enjoyed every single bit of it.” -Andrew Mariani