An example of the long term effects of supporting the development of local leaders is that of Luis Xol.
Luis has been the primary coordinator for our projects since we began our mission, and before that he worked with our predecessors, missionaries Norm and Maria Kaesburg. Luis has only a 3rd grade education and taught himself Spanish.
He is a man of vision and ambition. But he is poor and barely scrapes by to make a living and take care of his family.
Despite his poverty, for the past several years, Luis has become a leader in the fight for a better life on behalf of his people. He has run for mayor on a campaign based on the principles of transparency and justice for the poor – using the work we have done together as examples of what he would do as mayor.
In the past election, Luis nearly pulled off the impossible – losing by a mere 75 votes, out of over 20,000 cast. This despite little funding for his campaign and no support from the usual power brokers. Despite his loss (most likely the result of a corrupted election), Luis is continuing his fight.