San Lucas Mission, Guatemala
VOX is a modern technology company that truly wants to make a difference in the world. Yet, it is our approach to creating this change that sets us apart. By infusing a deep-seeded belief in creating committed partnerships, engaging in our communities and empowering individuals to have a stake in the process, we create a collaborative prosperity that positively affects people, businesses and the world.
As part of the VOX ‘Prosperity for All’ mantra, we believe that by engaging in our community and investing our time and resources, we can make a meaningful difference. The following is one such example of how we seek to achieve this difference.
Our CEO, Scott Landis, and his family volunteered for one week with the San Lucas Mission in Guatemala. Through working alongside Guatemalans, hearing talks from community members, and observing the goings-on of the area, they learned about the richness of Maya culture, the work of the Mission, and life in Guatemala.
San Lucas was once a small village of cornstalk homes with thatched roofs, lacking both electricity and plumbing. There were neither health care facilities nor schools and women and children suffered severely from the lack of healthcare, with many women dying in childbirth and children suffering from malnutrition.
A lack of access to education perpetuated discrimination against the Maya, who were consequently unable to find employment other than on the coffee plantations. The inaccessibility of land ownership for the Kaqchikel people has resulted in one of the gravest injustices: an inability to feed one’s own family.
Since 1963, the Mission of San Lucas has attempted to address all of these historic injustices. Shaped by Catholic Social Teaching and the tenets of Liberation Theology, the programming of the Mission has been designed to build on the strengths of the people of San Lucas in an effort to create a more just community.
“The Friends of San Lucas continues the legacy of Fr. Greg Schaffer, by listening, responding to and walking in solidarity with the people of San Lucas Tolimán.”
About Friends of San Lucas
Friends of San Lucas supports development in San Lucas Tolimán and the surrounding communities in Guatemala. We work through a locally-based organization: the Mission of San Lucas Tolimán. The Mission is run by more than 100 Guatemalans in seven program areas, including:
Our hospital and health promoter program served more than 24,000 people on a pay-what-you can basis last year.
Our primary school provides quality, Montessori-style instruction for over 600 students. Almost all students receive scholarships.
We build block, wood, and hybrid (a combination of block and wood) homes with fuel-efficient stoves and concrete floors. These homes impact families for generations. In 2019 we will build over 75 units of housing.
Café Juan Ana supports small growers and compensates them at above-market rates. This Direct Trade Program supports families and strengthens communities by providing a dependable income for their best coffee. Support Here!
This program provides monthly assistance for those identified as having the greatest need, including the elderly, disabled, and widows. The charity program also manages our school scholarship program and solicits and maintains the list of families who will receive stoves and/or homes.
A visitor favorite, this program promotes women’s advancement through classes and workshops. It also provides a safe place to gather and share experiences and dreams.
In 2018 over 1300 people visited to walk alongside the people of San Lucas. Groups come to San Lucas from all over the United States and range from small family groups to parishes, schools and medical groups.
Today, the initiatives started by Father Greg are run by the San Lucas Mission, commonly known as the Mission. The Mission’s work is funded by the Friends of San Lucas, a 501c3 non-profit based in Minnesota.
San Lucas is now a thriving community. Over the course of five decades, the programs of the Mission have had a discernible positive impact on the welfare of the 40,000 people living in and around San Lucas.
One of the primary values that influenced Father Greg’s work was to give the people of San Lucas Tolimán opportunities to grow into positions of leadership and develop marketable skills. The legacy of his work means that today every program of the Mission is run by Guatemalans for Guatemalans. The leadership in the school, the clinic, the construction program, the Women’s Center, and the coffee program all come from the community of San Lucas.
The role of the Friends of San Lucas is to support their efforts through raising money and providing logistical support and occasional advice. But the face of the work of the Mission should always be a Guatemalan face.