Our Fr. Timothy Conlan, O.P. has ministered for many years among the Achí Indians in Rabinal, a poor but devout community which has long suffered the effects of corrupt political violence and horrendous massacres. Much of our funding goes to Fr. Tim’s scholarship program, Jovenes Arriba. In his words, “By far the most positive, most socially-beneficial, longest-lasting, and farthest-reaching path to a better quality of life is by way of education. Unfortunately, it is also the most unattainable.” Most of his students’ parents never learned to read or write and could not begin to afford paying for their child’s college expenses. The father of one current student who has a rare job as a security guard hops on a truck at 2:00 a.m. to get to work by 7:00 a.m., works a 12 hour shift, and earns $.36 an hour, $4.32 a day. So Jovenes Arriba sponsors students in various career programs, including nursing and computers, agronomy and forestry. Fr. Tim helps them find employment after graduation, focusing especially on jobs within their own community.
Fr. Tim is also responsible for spearheading various much-needed projects throughout 38 mountain villages, which include building adobe chapels for the celebration of the sacraments, constructing wells for household water and special latrines for irrigation, staffing an educational center for the celebration of Maya culture within the Catholic faith, and creating and publishing a book of liturgical readings in the native Achí language.
If you enjoy our newsletters on Rabinal which feature Fr. Tim's inspired poetry and prose, you may like to receive the unabridged, more detailed versions of his letters which he emails throughout the year to his personal donor list. Please send us your email address and we will forward it to him.