Dear Friends, I’ve been home for a week now. Even so, the experiences and feelings of Guatemala stay with me. Guatemalan society is functioning but broken. In the years since the Internal Armed Conflict (1960 – 1996), the corruption of some members of the elite has continued with impunity. Indigenous people are displaced from, or denied, their lands. Journalists are jailed – sometimes without charges. Violence is rampant. All this serves the oligarchs, and multi-national corporations. I think of the young people we met who equip citizen-journalists with the tools and methodology they need to research and report stories of civic import. When one of them is held in police custody, others care for that reporter’s family. I think of the young women like Hearly (pictured), who lives in an indigenous village in the north of the country, working against machismo by teaching young people about gender equality. They show women and girls how to speak up for themselves, and how to support one another. I think of the women who walk mountain paths in at night (“it’s always at night!”) to deliver babies. They do so with no expectation of pay; they feel obliged to serve the community and life itself. I am grateful to American Jewish World Service for making this trip possible. AJWS is an outstanding mechanism for us to live out our deeply held values: supporting the cause of justice, lifting up the underdog, advocating for equality. www.AJWS.org In March, my colleagues and I will reunite on Capitol Hill. We’ll share our experiences in Guatemala with our elected representatives, urging them to consider how US policy and aid supports and/or impedes corruption there. As the president of the midwives’ cooperative said, “You will be our voices in your country.” That is an honor of which I strive to be worthy.