All posts tagged: Guatemalan

Unfazed by danger and power, Guatemalan cardinal keeps up fight for migrants and the poor

Unfazed by danger and power, Guatemalan cardinal keeps up fight for migrants and the poor

HUEHUETENANGO, Guatemala (AP) — As more than 100 men carrying an elaborate float of Jesus halted before him, Cardinal Álvaro Ramazzini lost no time in calling for social justice — the hallmark of the Catholic bishop’s decades-long frontline ministry. “Let’s hope that this procession may revive in the heart the willingness to discover Jesus Christ present in the person who suffers,” Ramazzini said in an impromptu speech, pointing to the dozens of elderly and disabled lining a street in Guatemala City’s oldest neighborhood. “If we don’t have that ability, don’t tell me you’re Christian — I won’t believe that.” Elevated by Pope Francis to the top hierarchy of the Catholic Church, Ramazzini has continued his unflinching focus on the poor, the Indigenous and the migrant. That has garnered him great affection from the marginalized and many threats of violence, including rumors of an arrest warrant, as his native Guatemala struggles through political turmoil and remains a hotspot of migration to the United States. At the procession during the Easter season, he didn’t mince words for …

On Good Friday, Guatemalan sawdust carpets bring together Maya community

On Good Friday, Guatemalan sawdust carpets bring together Maya community

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Ubaldo Sánchez kneels on the street beside his 15-year-old nephew, Kevin, spreading colored sawdust to create a bright blue sky above the figure of Jesus. Since 5 a.m. on this Good Friday (March 29), Sánchez, his family and other members of his Maya Mam community have been working in the shadow of the Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart, constructing a vibrant “alfombra de aserrín,” or sawdust carpet, filled with Catholic and Maya imagery. After the 80-foot-long alfombra is completed about two in the afternoon, some of the 20 or so Indigenous Maya artists, who call themselves Guate-Maya, stayed to guard its perfection until sundown, when a Good Friday procession walked over the carpet, blending the sharply contrasting colors and sweeping that perfection away. Sawdust carpets are made throughout Guatemala and other parts of Latin America. In Guatemala, they are constructed every Sunday during Lent and for Holy Week processions. Alfombras are a tradition of Sánchez’s Mam people, an Indigenous group from southern Mexico and Guatemala’s western mountains, consider, and he brought …

‘Top 100’ best chef: respect Guatemalan Indigenous food

‘Top 100’ best chef: respect Guatemalan Indigenous food

GUATEMALA CITY —  One of Debora Fadul’s earliest childhood memories is traveling in the backseat of her family’s sedan as her father negotiated long, windy roads to far-flung and verdant villages in Guatemala’s interior. In the countryside, her father trained schoolteachers to become better educators while Fadul absorbed knowledge about the richness of Guatemala’s culture, the people, the land and the food it produces. These trips are a big reason Fadul, now 37, became obsessed at a young age with the ingredients that became her meals — and they’re likely why she became a chef. At her restaurant Diacá, in Guatemala City, she is at the forefront of a movement to reacquaint Guatemalans with their culinary heritage and reconnect this Central American country of 17 million consumers with its farmers and their produce, much of it deeply rooted in its many Indigenous cultures. Jaime Antillon, left, and Emily Meza in the kitchen at Debora Fadul’s Diaca restaurant in Guatemala City. (James Rodriguez / For The Times/James Rodriguez/Los Angeles Times) She describes Diacá’s food as cocina explorativa …

Bernardo Arevalo’s inauguration as Guatemalan president hits delay

Bernardo Arevalo’s inauguration as Guatemalan president hits delay

Comment on this storyComment Add to your saved stories Save GUATEMALA CITY — The inauguration of a reformist president, Bernardo Arévalo, was delayed for hours on Sunday because of last-minute congressional wrangling, threatening a political crisis just as one of the hemisphere’s most notoriously corrupt nations had seemed to be turning a corner. Spain’s King Felipe VI, the presidents of Chile, Colombia and other Latin American countries, as well as the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, were left cooling their heels after the congressional feuds pushed back the scheduled 3 p.m. swearing-in. Arévalo, an anti-corruption crusader, stunned the political establishment by winning in a landslide the August election deemed free and fair by international observers. But the Guatemalan attorney general’s office has responded with investigations into alleged fraud. Prosecutors also have tried to strip the immunity of Arévalo and his allies, so they could be investigated, and have moved to invalidate the legal registration of the president’s party, Semilla. Alexander Aizenstatd, a prominent constitutional lawyer, said that if Congress didn’t …

Guatemalan gets 12 years in prison for French NGO director’s killing

Guatemalan gets 12 years in prison for French NGO director’s killing

A Guatemalan court on Tuesday sentenced a local man to 12 years in prison for his involvement in the killing three years ago of a French NGO director, a lawyer for the victim’s family told AFP. Issued on: 03/01/2024 – 02:24 1 min Diego Tay was found guilty by a court in Quetzaltenango of complicity to homicide in the death of Frenchman Benoit Maria, according to attorney Edgar Perez. Maria, the Guatemala director of the agriculture and animal health NGO Agronomes et Veterinaires Sans Frontieres (AVSF), was shot in an indigenous area in Guatemala’s northeast in August 2020. The NGO said at the time that Maria, 52, was killed in an ambush. He had lived in Guatemala for more than 20 years, supporting agricultural projects for the Indigenous Mayan Ixil communities. Tay, an Indigenous municipal councilman, was also found guilty of illegal weapons possession, for which he was handed three years in prison, to be added to the homicide sentence. Family lawyer Clemence Witt had earlier told AFP that robbery had been ruled out as …