Orthodoxy in Ixcan, Guatemala: A Story of Resilient Faith

by Fr. John ChakosUp until the late fifties, the sparsely populated jungle area of Ixcan in western Guatemala was thought to be worthless by the government. In an effort to populate the region for the benefit of the indigenous tribes, a program of land reform was initiated. Taking advantage of this opportunity, a Maryknoll priest- Father William Woods- purchased 100 square miles of inaccessible jungle land and began to form cooperatives to assist the Mayan people. With three airplanes, he and other pilots flew thousands of flights to take the produce of these cooperatives to market. Then in 1970, oil was discovered in that region.As a result, … [Read more...]

Now This is Glory: Orthodox Baptisms in Aguacate, Guatemala

Orthodoxy in the New WorldThis village is almost entirely Orthodox Christian, so large baptisms are very common. The baptisms in this video were part of a full baptism service in the parish of the Annunciation. Listen to the music of those beautiful children! It is so wonderful, I could not pass up the opportunity to post it for you.To learn more about the Orthodox Church in Guatemala, visit www.MayanOrthodoxy.com. … [Read more...]

The Most Orthodox Country In The Western Hemisphere

The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala Whenever someone speaks of “American Orthodoxy,” there is usually an unspoken understanding that the term refers to North American Orthodoxy: the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. This way of speaking is indeed convenient, considering that the majority of Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere are still located in North America. However, in the past few years a great change has occurred in Latin America that makes it increasingly inaccurate to focus on North America as the western outpost of Orthodoxy. Just two years ago, in 2010, the Orthodox Church received a large group of … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy Has A Great Future In Guatemala

Conversation with Abbess Ines, head of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Guatemala Abbess Ines (Ayau Garcia) – Abbess Ines is the head of the only Orthodox parish in Guatemala – the Monastery of the Holy and Life-Giving Trinity, the “Lavra of Mambre”, under the Patriarchate of Antioch. She comes from an influential and well known family in Guatemala which has produced many outstanding individuals. When [then Catholic] Sister Ines was 36 years old, she made an extreme change in her life, leaving a Catholic monastic order and becoming an Orthodox nun. Holy Trinity Monastery was founded by Mother Ines and Sister Maria … [Read more...]