Bishop Edward Burns, recently appointed to the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Board of Directors, will be joining a CRS delegation to visit Guatemala from May 18-22, 2015.

CRS has a rich history of over 50 years of work in the country of Guatemala. The organization’s work is varied, from supporting fair trade to education, emergency relief to public health efforts.

During their visit, the CRS delegation will get a sense of two Guatemalas, says Paul Townsend, CRS Representative for Guatemala & Mexico: a Guatemala that reflects incredible natural, cultural and economic richness; and, one that reflects disheartening poverty and inequity. For example, an indicator of the latter is the fact that approximately 50% of children under five years of age are malnourished.CRS logo PMS 287

The visit has been designed to allow the delegation to gain an understanding of issues of migration, food security and nutrition and youth, and to witness the successes and challenges relating to a large and diverse program.

Bishop Burns’ schedule will allow him to spend time with CRS partner institutions and project participants. A few highlights of the visit include:

•Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Nicolas Thevenin, will host a time to engage with the Guatemalan Church and US Government leadership;
• Travel to Tecun Uman and the Mexican border area to engage with migrants and witness the work of the Church;
• Travel to the western highlands region in order to better understand issues relating to food security, malnutrition and agricultural livelihoods; the latter including access to markets as a way to enhance rural family income;
• Travel to a Peace Center in Quiché, delving into the issues of rural youth and the work of the Church in this area.
• And, the delegation will have the opportunity to engage with a group of social entrepreneurs, in order to better understand best practices, challenges and the potential relating to corporate social engagement.