Order of National Recognition for the Aid, Assistance, Attention and Protection of Immigrants.
This award was created this year by the Guatemalan Government, with the purpose of recognizing those individuals that have been advocating for the Guatemalan immigrants within the US. Some of the ways we can help them is by looking for legal aid when they are either detained or in the process of deportation (although we know and respect the laws of the US); or when a family losses a loved one does not have funds to send the body back to Guatemala; we also try our best in providing information and resources to the community; as well as coordinating donations and aid to projects that benefit Guatemala. This year, is the first time these awards have been given. Seven individuals within the US were honored by receiving it!
Who awarded it?
It was awarded by the Guatemalan Government; some authorities, like the Secretary of State (Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores) as well as the Sub-Secretary were present at the ceremony, representing the President from Guatemala, Alvaro Colom who granted these awards.
What precipitated it?
For me, everything started when suddenly the immigration issue became very “delicate” in this country; I recall, what seemed to me, hearing God calling me to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute”-Proverbs 31:8, it was like an order. I started getting involved more and more within the Guatemalan Community in Chicago, through this, I was elected to represent nine states within this country. Since then I was participating in different activities, trainings, and experiences in which I was able to help people. In all of these I was granted with the highest honor: to be a representative of our God and Savior; I was able to make opening prayers in some of the meetings held with authorities from the government; but I have to mention that for me, the most exciting meeting was when I had a business meeting with the president from Guatemala, my greeting to him was Number 6:24. I was almost in tears when I finally said to him”: May the Lord have mercy on you, and give you and the country you command His peace” that was a divine experience, God is good!