​Left to right: Petrona Caz and Silvia Pop share a meal with Mission Network worker Deb Byler and Latin America area director Linda Shelly in the community of Oquebha, Guatemala. Photo provided by Linda Shelly.

Inspiring a sense of plenty

By Deb Byler
Thursday, April 11, 2019

In Alta Verapaz, the department (like a state) of Guatemala, where I live, corn planting is a very important occasion. In April or May, a couple will invite their friends and relatives to help plant corn. No one does it alone and it usually ends with a shared meal of caldo, tortillas, and ponch.

Caldo is a soup and often includes chicken and a variety of vegetables. Tortillas are a flat bread usually made from corn flour, and poch is another food made out of a corn mixture that is wrapped in banana leaves and boiled.

Once the friends and family have gathered, the men go to the field with the seeds and long sticks. They poke the sticks into the ground and drop several seeds into each hole. Moving together in a row, they work until the field is finished and all the seeds are covered.

Meanwhile, the women prepare the meal for this special occasion. I have many pleasant memories of sitting with the women in the kitchen while they are preparing the food and children are playing nearby. The bounty of the food on this day inspires a sense of plenty, and freely sharing it is an act of faith that the corn harvest will be fruitful. 

 

 

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/video/Inspiring-a-sense-of-plenty

​Deb Byler works in Guatemala primarily in Kekchi communities. Her ministry includes visits, preparation of materials, and encouraging women to develop and use their gifts.

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