We position our thoughts around three points—the past, the future and the present, which is tightly squeezed in between. A quirk of ours is to orbit around the past. Living in the past, we rehash, recreate and regret. Although the past makes us sad or even mad, it’s often preferable to the future, which usually makes us scared. There’s no […]

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Cervical Cancer: A killer in the developing world

by Sue Patterson and Laurel White Last May, Emma, a 35-year-old mother of nine, passed away from cervical cancer, now considered a sexually-transmitted disease. Her premature death was a terrible and preventable tragedy. After hearing a radio announcement about a WINGS-sponsored screening in Chimaltenango, she came for her first such screening two years ago, but the test revealed Emma had […]

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Homeward Bound

The word “home” is strong, magical and filled with the power to invoke deep sensations. It’s an English word which is virtually impossible to translate into other tongues. No translation catches the associations, the mixture of memory and longing, the sense of security and the freedom from wariness that cling to the word. There’s no universal definition for home because […]

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Moving On

Moving on

Movement is intrinsic to the cosmos. Every point in the entire universe is in motion. The Earth and planets continually revolve around each other, and the galaxy’s stars are constantly circling its center. We can see the rhythm of movement everywhere. Seasons pass into each other, seedlings sprout through soil, days turn into nights and beginnings flow into endings. Nothing […]

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Health Care in Colonial Guatemala

Part III: University of San Carlos Medical School By the end of the 17th century, six hospitals had been founded in Guatemala. But, lacking scientific information and methods, hospitals provided little more than refuge or asylum. Sickness and cultural attitudes toward it were a social problem. In addition, the times were characterized by conflict between the king’s people and the […]

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Healthcare in Colonial Guatemala

Ruin of inside wall of Hospital Real de Santiago, now within a private garden

written by Joy Houston photos: Jack Houston Part I: 16th Century What medical options were available centuries ago in Guatemala for wounds from enemy arrows, burns, natural disasters or epidemics? Mixing medicine with magic was routine in colonial days. “Medical science was slave to theory and superstition,” writes Carlos Martínez Durán in Las Ciencias Médicas en Guatemala. What was done […]

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Tick Tock

We are surrounded by time from the moment we open our eyes in the morning until we turn off the light at night. Time is a precious resource, like money, love and good feelings—the more we grasp at it, the more elusive it becomes. Time is a continuum measured by events kicked off with birth and ending with death. It’s […]

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Spring Forward

It’s time to come out of hibernation. Spring is here and it’s the season for movement. Look into the mirror that Mother Nature is holding up to you. See the reflections of the processes of growth, renewal and transformation in her infinite garden and in yours, too. Spring your life forward by applying the principles of spring gardening—a powerful metaphor […]

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Passion Where Art Thou?

Red flower (photo: Smith and Riegel)

Where has passion gone? Unfortunately, the misconceptions surrounding passion have relegated it to one of the “deadly emotions.” It’s not surprising considering the definition: emotions as distinguished from reason: intense, driving or overmastering feeling or conviction. We all want to be civilized, well-balanced and rational beings. So we try to steer clear of those ungainly emotions that drag us into […]

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Falling in Love

One of the great mysteries in life is the exhilaration that comes from falling in love. Every cell in the body vibrates with new love. The heart bursts with energy, the mind swells with dreams and the physical senses become heightened. No wonder we’re seduced by the magic of falling in love! Try something different. Flip the cliché “love is […]

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The Gift of Giving

Since the beginning of time, giving gifts has been an important part of human interaction. Gifts help to define our relationships and to strengthen bonds with family and friends. The list of occasions for gifts is long—birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, Valentine’s day, Mother’s/Father’s day, Bar Mitzvahs, Christmas, weddings…! Anxiety runs high—the “having to;” is it enough; will it be appreciated; and […]

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Freedom and Independence

Independence Day Run (photo: Rudy Girón/

Freedom is the absence of constraints and dependence. In the personal realm this can be confusing. For example, does being without constraints mean a solitary life? Or, how does a person reconcile freedom with the responsibility of a family? Independence holds admiration and aspiration for some, while others turn away in fear. We can be free, yet also be connected […]

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