Partner with Presbyterian World Mission in Guatemala: download this pdf and share with your congregation or worshiping community
Dreams and dangers
For many migrants, the lure of a better life means risking countless perils
(4th in a series of articles from the "Voices from the Border and Beyond" travel seminar)
Dennis Smith and his journey of faith are featured in two articles in the National Catholic Reporter:
"Missioner came of age in Guatemala"
"In confronting a violent past, Guatemalans find miracles in present"
Peruvian PC(USA) partner writes in Sojourners blog about the conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt
Read "Guatemalans Gain Justice Over 'Evangelical' Dictator"
BUT, May 20, 2013: The genocide conviction was overturned by Guatemala's highest court and returned to a lower court for continued litigation; date of the restart of the trial is unclear
You can follow the trial and developments at www.riosmontt-trial.org.
Guatemala has seen more than 100 years of Presbyterian witness. Nineteen presbyteries and local churches are in partnership with Guatemalan churches and organizations. Through mission personnel and partnerships the PC(USA) shares in ministry to women, evangelism, health care, leadership development, theological education, literacy efforts, agricultural development programs, disaster assistance and communication ministries.
Read a brief history of Guatemala
Guatemala Partner Churches and Organizations
National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala (IENPG)
Founded in 1882, the IENPG was the first national church to result from Presbyterian mission work in Central America. The IENPG has one synod, composed of 6 Spanish-speaking and 11 indigenous-language presbyteries, and approximately 60,000 members. The IENPG's Christian service program, Diaconia, works with presbyteries in development, health, and agricultural training. Women's organizations address the needs and concerns of both indigenous and ladina women. Over the years the church has also been active in evangelism, including a mission to Honduras. For decades the IENPG has operated two schools, "La Patria" in Guatemala City and another school with the same name in Quetzaltenango.
The Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary in San Felipe emphasizes the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition in its training program for lay leaders and pastors. The Maya-Quiche Bible Institute at San Cristóbal and the Mam Center at San Juan Ostunalco were founded in the early years of mission work and remain good places for study and training.
In May of 1995 the IENPG contributed a martyr to the cause of democracy. Manuel Saquic, an indigenous Presbyterian pastor and president of the Kakchiquel Presbytery's Human Rights Office, was killed by a death squad. The Human Rights Office threatens the power structure—which has enjoyed almost total immunity from prosecution—because it is a public forum where people can go to register complaints about rights abuses. Presbytery workers with the Human Rights Office give workshops in the countryside to teach people about their constitutional rights.
CEDEPCA is an independent ecumenical institution serving Central America's churches. CEDEPCA encourages theological reflection and pastoral practice that is evangelical, contextual, liberating, and ecumenical. CEDEPCA has a number of outstanding programs within its four focus areas: Women's Pastoral Program; Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Training; Publications and Communications Training; and Communication and Exchange for Peace. As part of its Biblical, Theological and Pastoral Training Program, CEDEPCA administers the programs of the Latin America Biblical University in Guatemala at both the university and Bible institute levels. CEDEPCA has helped thousands of U.S. Presbyterians to understand the difficulties with which Latin American Christians live and to reflect on their own lives through the faith experiences of these brothers and sisters.
Presbytery of Cincinnati
Presbytery of the Inland Northwest
Presbytery of Middle Tennessee
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
Peace River Presbytery
Presbytery of Western North Carolina
Presbytery of New Covenant
Presbytery of the Peaks
Guatemala Mission Network
For information contact Amanda Craft
2015 meeting: July 30, Big Tent, Knoxville, Tenn.
The Guatemala Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.
Learn more about Guatemala
Visit the BBC country profile.