.- A delegation of bishops from Europe and Canada are visiting Guatemala this week in order to assess the level of poverty in the country and develop aid projects for rural communities. Auxiliary Bishop Jean de Bie of Brussels, Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert (Ireland), Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes (France) and Bishop Francois La Pierre of Saint-Hyacinthe (Canada), and others are meeting with Guatemalan bishops during their visit. According to Bishop de Bie, “We would like to be close to the poorest of the poor who, in Guatemala, are mainly the indigenous people and residents of rural areas. We intend to visit communities in different areas to assess the struggle of the poor to improve their living conditions,” he said.
The purpose of the mission, he added, is “to understand the situation in Guatemala better, especially for the indigenous and rural inhabitants, in order to determine what we can do to help in a Christian spirit of communion.”
The bishops will stay in Guatemala until July 23, and their visit will include a meeting with Vice President Eduardo Stein and members of different aid groups.
It is estimated that 80% of Guatemalans live in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty.