Plenty News, Vol. 1, No. 4, Winter 1980
Recently, violent incidents throughout Guatemala have been increasing in frequency. Amnesty International reports 2000 politically related deaths in the last 18 months. The following is a report on the situation from Clifford Figallo, Field Director of the Plenty Guatemala’s projects:
The Plenty volunteers live and work mainly in the area of Sololá, one of the last strongholds of traditional Mayan Indian lifestyles left in Guatemala. The people here still hold much faith in their traditional customs beliefs, and societal structure, and consequently Sololá is one of the most tranquil states in Guatemala. From our accumulated observations over the past four years here, we would predict that Sololá will be one of the last areas in this country to become directly involved in any armed conflict. It has been particularly untouched by the politically motivated violence that plagues much of the rest of the nation.
We are strongly committed to helping the poor and indigenous people of these rural highlands who teach us daily, by their examples, of patience stamina, and good humor. Yet, we also believe in avoiding unnecessary risk to our own families, so we listen well to the advice of our most trusted and reliably informed friends here. They tell us that Plenty has nothing to fear from either the right or the left because our work is so obviously humanitarian and not politically motivated.
We recognize the fact of the growing frustration of the poor here, and the prospect of out right revolution; we are maintaining daily communication with the Farm, and being on “standby” in case immediate flight is necessary.
Meanwhile we are trying to follow the Biblical admonition that says:
Be ye as wise as serpents yet gentle as doves.