Grateful for Good Things

Date posted: Thursday 18 November 2021

We give thanks for our partnerships with the ILAG as we walk together in Christ experiencing the world through the eyes of our ILAG brothers and sisters. New sustainable agricultural practices are being explored in many villages. Did you realize that agriculture has a long history in this region of the world…and that some of those good things you eat on Thanksgiving Day have a connection to this area?

This has been a long and trying year, making it even more important to focus on the good things for which we are grateful. Among the things for which we can be grateful are the contributions to the world food supply by the people of Mesoamerica (Central America and Mexico) who are the ancestors of the people of Guatemala who are served by ILAG. So many of their foods have been adopted throughout the world, so we sometimes forget they all originated there. Our Thanksgiving dinner would be much different without the foods they bred and cultivated.


Many people, especially those who have visited Guatemala know that corn and beans such as pinto, kidney, red and black beans are staples of the diet there. They provide a relatively inexpensive easy-to-store source of calories and protein for many in the world today. Those who cannot afford more expensive sources of protein, and those who prefer vegetarian options have many possibilities thanks to these options.


The traditional big protein source for Thanksgiving — the turkey — was originally bred and eaten in Mesoamerica. These birds spread throughout the Americas, way into the Northeast where the European settlers enjoyed them. We see them in the villages when we visit ILAG.


Where would our Thanksgiving dinner be without sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin? All came from Mesoamerica. They are popular worldwide, and in Africa and Asia, the leaves of these plants are as popular or more popular than the fruits and tubers of these plants.


Tomatoes, chilis and sweet peppers that we use for salads and side dishes all originated in and are used throughout the world and are good sources of vitamins A and C.


Avocados for the salads or guacamole appetizers. Vanilla and chocolate!!! Need we say more! Papaya, pineapple and peanuts…great snacks!


We can, indeed be especially thankful for the blessing of our friendship with the Guatemalan people and the wonderful gifts of food their ancestors developed.


Word to learn = Pavo (turkey)


Joan Felice
St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Roseville



Read more blog posts from Caminando Juntos, our ILAG newsletter.