We are a small program located in one of the most marginalized barrios of Guatemala City.
Caminando por la Paz is a social movement functioning under the norms of the Catholic Church. We strive to respond to the values inherent in the charism of the Fathers and Brothers of Maryknoll.
Our purpose is to include in our program those persons
who are at risk of gang behavior,
drug addiction or disintegration of conscience,
thus losing their moral and social values.
When Father Thomas Goekler arrived in Guatemala, he asked the Cardinal of Guatemala for permission to live in the ravines of our barrio, Paradiso II. He wanted to achieve a spirit of solidarity with the poor who live here. He told the Cardinal,
“I am not a pastor … The work I do,
I do on the streets,
a place where very few care to work.”
As a high school student, Father Tom heard the words of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Workers Movement. Later, as a diocesan priest, he worked with youth gangs in the slums of Hartford, CT. Then, learning of the murder of religious workers in El Salvador, including two Maryknoll nuns and a Maryknoll lay missioner, he was drawn to live with the poor, combining social activism and non-militaristic living based on his Eucharistic faith stance.
Walking in the shoes of others, he developed relationships in the neighborhood and called forth cooperation. Since 2010, when Father Tom died after having established Caminando por la Paz, his volunteer community and friends have continued his mission.
Our founder, Maryknoll Father Thomas Goekler, emphasized education and
community service as ways to improve our marginalized area.
He taught us to be especially concerned and active in these areas:
- Education – Education is our primary focus.
- Community service – We assist our neighbors in any way possible.
- Spirituality – We promote development of good ethical and moral values.
- Feeding the Hungry —Malnutrition is a major problem in Guatemala.
Learn how we
live out these principles.
In 2014, to help provide for our ongoing financial needs and make growth possible, we partnered with a group of coffee producers in Honduras to sell Family Coffee. Currently We sell online and at various outlets.
With the goal of making Caminando por la Paz totally self-sustaining, we are currently seeking market share. We reach out to various groups to sell Family Coffee as another way to contribute to our success, and we welcome your requests for additional information. To learn more, visit fathertomsfamilycoffee.org. You also may enjoy Family Coffee, a presentation describing the coffee production process from seed to your cup.