About the Mission

The mission at Playa Grande serves 120 villages. The upkeep of the mission at Playa Grande depends on donations and the priests do not receive a salary. Traveling to these villages can be dangerous due to the rough terrain, long distances, mud and very heavy rainfall. These conditions do not deter the pastor, Padre José Manuel Santiago from visiting these communities. Over the six months, I had the opportunity to visit some of these villages with Fr. Santiago.

This area of Guatemala is known for the massacres of entire villages, women and children during the civil war of the 80s. It is one of the poorest regions in Guatemala and one of the poorest in Central America.

Education is only guaranteed to grade six. If a youth wants to further his or her education after grade six, the family is responsible for paying. Many of these youth must find work to help support their families. Many of these communities have no schools. The schools that are found in this area of Guatemala have few or no educational resources and are poorly staffed. The children in this region must use an outhouse. In some villages, different age groups attend school at different times due to the lack of classroom space. Padre José M. Santiago, the pastor, has established an educational fund. Like any fund, there is a need for sponsors.

On behalf of the youth and Padre José Manuel Santiago, I am asking for your financial support in helping me to raise funds that will help educate the youth of Ixcán.

Your contribution will help the youth to become educated future leaders of their communities and at the same time help them to overcome the struggles that they face everyday. Help make a child’s dream of a great future come true.

Please send all donations specifying that your donation is for:

Padre Jose Manuel Educational Fund
Parroquia Cristo Redentor,
Playa Grande, Quiche, Ixcan, Guatemala

Please send your donation in care of the

Fr. Raymond Marquis
1215. rue de la Visitation
Montreal, QC, H2L 3B5
If your donation is in the form of a cheque, bank draft or money order please write it to Missionary Oblates.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I have just returned from six months of volunteering with the Roman Catholic Oblate Missionaries at the Parroquia Cristo Redentor Mission, Playa Grande, Guatemala. During my six months, I had the opportunity to see first hand the conditions in which the people in this region live. Life in Guatemala is very different than life in Canada. Some of these differences are the conditions in which the people live. They live in poverty with no electricity or running water.