Update from Guatemala – Thursday, 9/6/2015 @ 9 p.m.
Rabbi Englander's Blog

Update from Guatemala – Thursday, 9/6/2015 @ 9 p.m.

It is just before 9 pm and I’m writing this on my phone from the small bus we have been using to ferry our group around. Today, once again, was both fascinating and inspiring. We met again with a large number (maybe 25) of midwives who work with the organization I mentioned yesterday. It is clear that their work is making a difference and as they learn and grow into advocates for their mission (helped along by the assistance of AJWS) they are finding more and more people willing to listen and even to partner. For example, the mayor of the town where we met today attended and spoke at our gathering (this was of particular interest to Ruth, who as some of you know served as a New York City borough president and ran for mayor) – she observed that not only did he attend, but they made him wait a little bit to speak so he could observe some of the program, see the international support for the organization, and make sure that his support – already strong – only grows from here. He ended his speech by saying that he would talk to neighboring municipalities to try to convince them to support the midwives too – and that is how activism works and grows.

We had some time in downtown Quetzaltenango and a small group of us hiked to a beautiful overlook of the city. More souvenir shopping was followed by another lovely vegetarian dinner. We ended with a group check in to both process and validate the questions this experience has raised for us, and to continue the process of working on how we can best translate these most interesting experiences into meaningful positive change-oriented work at home. There is certainly so much to be done, for so many good causes, in so many parts of our country, Israel, and the world. The important thing is not to freeze in the shadow of the enormity of it all, but to do something to learn and to help.

Part of my job, I’m more and more certain, is to participate in the work of social and global justice and to invite you, in a realistic and accessible way, to join me or to inspire yourself to find your own issue and ways to address it.

Good night/good morning from Quetzaltenango.