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Stories: Guajiro (English y español

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Guajiro (English y español 28 Jan 2003

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Los Guajiro
By Erin Howarth (July 8, 2002)
Updated April 17, 2003
Thanks to Vincente Beazel, Gina Knetch, Tiffanie Lorensen, Jose Raga, Karl Scherbel and Andrew Thorn for sharing their stories with the author.

Prologue: When I was a missionary in Venezuela (1991-1993), I was called to serve in Ciudad Bolivar. Every morning, when the sisters left their apartment, we would walk down the street and through the transit station in order to get to the city bus stops. Along the way, we would pass by what appeared to me to be a Catholic mission. There was a large courtyard with a low fence. We often saw several Native Americans cooking over open fires, resting in hammocks or playing in the dirt. We also saw them often in the transit center where they would spread out large blankets and display various craft items for sale.

I remember one sister tried very hard to talk with one of the women, but she didn’t speak Spanish. That was a very discouraging revelation. We had worked so hard to learn Spanish, but it wasn’t going to do us any good if we wanted to talk with these good people. One of the elders told me that the state of Bolivar was home to thousands of Native Americans who lived in the Amazon jungle, but that the government protected them from “religious corruption.” I thought that was pretty funny considering that the Catholic missionaries had been there for hundreds of years.

Recently (01-07-2003), I have finally learned that the tribal name for these people is Yanomami, but I haven’t heard of any attempts to teach these people the restored gospel.

In 1975, another of our alumni, Jim Jepson, served among another native people in the state of Zulia, the Guajiro. He had the privilege of baptizing Pedro and Otilia Barros, some of the first converts among the Guajiro. Otilia Barros is the sister of Rosario, the very first Guajiro to accept baptism.

Brief Ethnographic Note: (from The Way of the Dead Indians: Guajiro Myths and Symbols by Michel Perrin (1976), Translated by Michael Fineberg, published by University of Texas Press, 1987, page xiii.) “The Guajiro form on of the largest Indian ethnic groups in the lowlands of South America. They live on the Guajira peninsula, which just our into the Caribbean Sea at the northernmost ip of the continent. It is a region of “shrub land,” for the most part covered with xerophilous vegetation interspersed here and there with desert areas. Nine month out of twelve, drought prevails.

“The Guajiro are distributed between Venezuela and Colombia. Although nine-tenths of their territory is in Colombia, about a quarter of them live in Venezuela. More than ten thousand Guajiro now live in the suburbs of the city of Maracaibo.

“The Guajiro are stock breeders. Cattle possess the greatest value for them, but because of severe ecological constraints they cannot be raised everywhere. Livestock therefore consists mainly of sheep and goats; from these the Guajiro derive the major part of their resources, eating their meat and rinking their milk. Livestock—including horses and mules, which enjoy great prestige—is the most important element in marriage settlements and serves for the payment of fines and compensations of every kind. Moreover, it provides the Guajiro with the major part of their monetary revenue, for at regular intervals the Indians go off-to sell a few animals in the outlying markets of Rio Hacha, Uribia and Maicao in Colombia and Paraguaipoa in Venezuela. These weekly markets have come to assume great importance in the economic life of th Guajiro. With the money obtained form the sale of their livestock and a few of their craft products, mainly beautifully made hammocks and bags woven by the women, the Guajiro buy basic foodstuffs-sugar, salt, coffee, bananas and manufacture goods—metal tools, firearms, matches, and so on.

“Hunting, and in the coastal region fishing, have become secondary economic activities; only a minute number of Guajiro live exclusively from them. But great prestige still attaches to these practices, which are invested with high symbolic value. The game they hunt consists mainly of different varieties of deer, peccaries, rabbits, and a few species of birds. For religious and medical reasons, however , the Guajiro also hunt other animals to which the attribute a number of diseases and misfortunes.

“Each Guajiro family keeps a garden where, as soon as the first rains fall, corn, cassava, various kinds of beans, muskmelon, and watermelon are planted. But gardening activities are short-lived; for at most two or three months they augment each family’s food resources. The Guajiro also gather wild fruits. Nowadays this is an activity engaged in during the dry season for those who live far from the borders of the Indian territory, and an occasional activity or one reserved for the poor in areas close to the markets where supplies can be obtained periodically.

“The Guajiro live in scattered settlements. The nuclear family’s living area consists of a small house where the hammocks are hung up at night, a space enclosed by a fence of cacti or twigs serving as the kitchen, as sun roof—a flat roof resting on posts—beneath which the day’s activities take place, and, further on, one or two corrals for the sheep and goats. The residential unit is constituted by a few dozen similar dwellings scattered over an area of a hundred acres or more. Teach of these units has its own name, but strictly speaking there is no Guajiro “village.”

“Guajiro society is organized in matrilineal, nonexogamous clans, each of them associated with a totemic animal. There are about thirty clans, greatly varying in size, at the present time they are confined to no particular place but are scattered throughout the territory. Some clans are reputed to be poor—for example, the Wouliyu clan, associated with the partridge—and others rich and politically influential—for example, the Uliana clan, associated with the jaguar. In theory, then, and individual’s social identity and status are defined by membership in a particular clan. In reality, however, the clans have lost their sociological and political importance; their role in the respect has been assumed by smaller matrilineal units.

“The Guajiro conform theoretically to a rule of matrilocal residence: a young couple lives provisionally in the wife’s mother’s house before building another dwelling in a place close to the first. The woman thus remains attached to her matrilineage while the man is usually removed from his. But there is more to it than this. AS a result of polygyny, to which a great deal of prestige is attached and which is practiced by about one Guajiro man in five, the polygamous male become a perpetual wanderer as his time has to be shared out among wives who may live at great distances from one another.

“Guajiro girls undergo an arduous rite of passage. As soon as menstruation begins, they must live in seclusion for a periods ranging from a few moths to several years, according to their social rank. Boys do not undergo either a rite of passage or any form of initiation. Guajiro children are educated by their mothers in their early years. Subsequently, and for some time, a boy is generally placed under the authority of the uterine uncle of whom he will later be one of the heirs, while a girl goes off to live with an aunt or a close maternal kinswoman.”

The Way of the Dead Indians: Guajiro Myths and Symbols by Michel Perrin (1976), Translated by Michael Fineberg, published by University of Texas Press, 1987, page x.

The Guajiro speak a language from the most widespread of all South American Indian language groups. The Arawakan language group consists of at least 65 known languages, at least 30 of which are now extinct. Arawakan languages were spoken from Cuba to Brazil. Many communities still speak Arawakan languages in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname. Most of the Guajiro in Zulia speak Spanish, but some of them don’t speak it very well. They are a kind, gentle, hospitable people.(Sources: Minnesota State University and Andrew Thorn)

The Guajiro have various mythologies. For example, they believed that if a particular large, white moth is found in a bedroom, it must not be mistreated because it is the spirit of a visiting ancestor. The Guajiro also believed that if the moth becomes troublesome, it can be removed only with the greatest care or the spirit may take vengeance. (Source: Minnesota State University)

image courtesy Michel Perrinimage courtesy Michel Perrin
Iisho Jayaliyu practicing on the drum (kaashi) before the beginning of a yonna dance. Pararu, September 1975."Antoonia Kocheera" Jayaliuy, a Guajiro hunter. The bow (uraichi) and arrows (jatü) are hardly unsed anymore nowadays (1969). The loincloth (aiche, or wusi), the belt (si’ira) with pompoms, and the shirt (kamiisa) constitte the traditional dress of the Guajiro man of modest means. The hat (woma), made by the Guajiro, is definitely of Western inspiration. Chuaralu (north of Wüinkua), December 1969.
image courtesy Michel Perrinimage courtesy Michel Perrin
Iilia Jayaliyu, daughter of Iisho Jayaliuy, her face covered with mashuka, a black powder made from the spores of mushrooms and commonly used "as protetion against the heat of the sun." Wüinkua, July 1975.Rajina Jitnu, "an old woman who knows a great deal." Kasusain, November 1969.
image courtesy Michel Perrinimage courtesy Michel Perrin
"Koroliina" Jitnu, daughter of Iisho Jayaliyu and Makaerü Jitnu, aged about ten. Ayajui, September 1975.The yonna dance. The man, wearing the karatsü, has his face painted with roucou (pali’isa); the motif is called juyasa’aya (Juya’s legs). The woman is covered in the pannerü ko’usü. The motif of the roucou painting that covers her face is known as jerüi’chepuya. Pararu, October 1973.
image courtesy Michel Perrin
Application of a linear design in roucou on a girl’s face before the yonna dance. Here it is the motif known as sawainrü’chepuya (painting of the marine turtle). Pararu, October 1973.

Pedro and Otila Barros:Like many Guajiro, Pedro and Otila emigrated from Colombia in response to a severe drought on the peninsula. Many families traveled for miles each day to draw water for their flocks and for their families. (When the politicians came seeking votes, the Goajiros told them that they would vote for the people who had already built schools and reservoirs. They would not vote for those that only made promises to do so later, if they were elected.)

The Barros Family bought goods in Colombia and brought them to Maracaibo to sell on the streets, in the open air markets. They were often robbed by the border guards on their way back from Colombia, but in spite of their persecution, they were content, generous and forgiving people.

In 1975, President Spencer W. Kimball visited Colombia. According to Pedro Barros, he challenged a young Guajiro elder to translate the Book of Mormon into their language. Even now, only portions of the Bible are available in Guajiro. According to Otiliah, her people were promised the blessings of a Temple in La Guajira.

In 1982, Vincente Beazel also had the opportunity to work among the Guajiro people in Maracaibo. He worked on a project to translate some hymns when he was serving with Elder Carlos Ingallinas.

Elder Ingallinas is a convert from Anzoategui. He was a highly motivated missionary with a reputation as one of the top baptizers in the mission and an unwavering commitment to be out the door on time. He spent the last two weeks of his mission working with the Barros family, helping Otilia Barros translate the first verse of Hymn #301 "I Am a Child of God" and record it on a cassette tape with their boom box. At first, Elder Beazel was skeptical. Translation work is generally performed by professionals in Salt Lake City, not by self-appointed, trunky, young missionaries. So, he continued doing regular missionary work in the city with an Aaronic priesthood holder as a companion.

When Elder Beazel finally went out to meet the Barros family, he began to understand the greatness of this humble translation project, and he joined his companion in the effort to translate Hymn #26 “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer.” This hymn would be used to aide in teaching the Guajiro the story of the first vision.

Elder Ingallinas and Elder Beazel had not received any instructions to translate anything. They worried that the project might be taken away from them or that they might be instructed to abandon the project in favor other missionary activities, so their reports to their mission president were vague.

The mission president at this time was President Wesley Craig. He had only served two years as president when he had to return home suddenly due to his wife’s illness. The new president was President Karl R. Fenn. He had worked and served in South America for over thirty years. At that same time, Elder Ingallinas returned home and Elder Beazel received a new companion, Elder Kevin Taylor, from Aurora, Colorado.

At the same time, the Barros Family continued to progress. Five years had passed since the time of their baptism, but they had only recently received callings and advancement in the priesthood. Several other Guajiro families began attending regularly.

Some problems arose among the members of the ward and several families stopped coming to church. Elder Taylor was called to serve as the district leader. He assisted the ward leaders in activation efforts while Elder Beazel continued the translation project. The missionaries were able to double their effort in this way due to the help they received from the young men of the ward. They lined up at the home of President Atencio. His son, Cesar, was twelve-years-old and the youngest that was working with the missionaries.

During translation, Elder Beazel would read the lines, one at a time, in Spanish. When Otilia had a clear understanding of the message, she would say the line in Guajiro. Elder Beazel would try to match the words with the melody. When he couldn’t fit the words to the melody, they offered a prayer, and new words would be found. Sometimes an alternate Spanish phrase was offered, closer to English, that rendered a better rhythm to the words and music.

In June 1982, they finished the translation of Hymn #26 “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer.” In July, they finished "Oh, My Father". These hymns would prove a great blessing to the work in many ways. Pedro and Otilia Barros learned things that they had not understood in all their five years of attending meetings.

One day, Pepi, the four-year-old son of Pedro and Otilia Barros, came running out to meet Elder Beazel and Elder Taylor. “Elders, come and see Nefi!,” he cried. Nefi was his two-year-old brother. The elders followed Pepi around the side of the house to find Nefi sitting on the ground singing to himself in the language of his people: "I Am a Child of God!" The elders had never even heard the child speak before. Today he is serving a full-time mission.

When Elder Jacob DeJager, of the Quorum of Seventy, visited Venezuela, Elder Beazel and Elder Taylor arranged for the Barros family and their friends to sing "I Am a Child of God" during their zone conference.

Some of the local leaders complained that the missionaries were spending too much time with the Goajiros, but the Goajiros showed so much enthusiasm for missionary work. They brought so many friends and family to church that the social order of the ward became predominantly Guajiro, outnumbering the Hispanics two to one. In order to provide an opportunity to correct this imbalance, Elder Beazel and Elder Taylor initiated a program based on the parable of the ten talents.

Each family in the ward received two pamphlets featuring the Joseph Smith’s testimony. They were to give these pamphlets to their friends or neighbors. In this way, the missionaries might receive more referrals to teach more Hispanic families. After a week, only a handful of families had shared the pamphlets. The Barros family and their cousin Maria Rita Gonzales asked for more pamphlets, so the missionaries gave them fifteen more. The next day, the needed more, so the elders went to the mission office and picked up a hundred pamphlets.

Pedro Barros and Maria Rita Gonzales worked in El Centro, in the open air market called Las Pulgas. In one week, they had distributed more than 400 pamphlets, and several months passed before the mission office received more from church distribution.

The missionaries often showed a filmstrip of the first vision, but instead of playing the cassette, members of the Barros Family narrated the film in their own language to dozens of their friends. The work of translation empowered these members to take the lead in these meetings, and the missionaries became their advisors in this work.

In 1985, Andrew Thorn served as branch president in the Machiques Branch. At that time it was a small town with only a handful of members. There was no running water except for a couple of hours at night. Electricity was scarce. Sometimes it came on at night and went out during the day. Job opportunities were scarce. Many people had only a rusty, tin roof to cover their heads. The missionaries lived in the chapel and slept in hammocks. They used a camp stove to cook their meals. They ate a lot of iguana and chivo de coco.

The Guajiro suffer from discrimination throughout Zulia. Most members of the Church think that the Guajiro are crude because they often speak harshly or grossly without considering where they were. Some Guajiro use what other Venezuelans would consider very offensive language while bearing their testimonies.

In 1995, Gina Knetch also served in the Maracaibo Mission. She served in the same ward with the Barros Family for four months. She was there when they were translating "I Am A Child of God." At that time, Brother Barros drove a bus named Moroni. It was a city bus during the week, but on Sundays he could use it to pick up all the members and take them to church!

Sister Barros was a leader in the Guajiro community. She was interviewed once on television defending a Guajiro youth who had allegedly committed crimes. She was respected member of ward. The Barros family lived in a distant part of the Cujicito neighborhood with many other Guajiro, only 90 minutes from the Colombian border. Sister Barros hoped someday Cujicito would have it’s own Guajiro branch.

Sister Knetch had the opportunity to teach a man named Pedro. He was a Venezuelan, but he was married to a Guajira. They lived in a house on land that was owned by his wife’s family. They hated him and made him stay indoors while he was on the property. He had a son from a previous marriage. The son stayed indoors also. His wife never spoke to the missionaries when they visited at her home, but she did when she came to Church. She was a nice woman, but her parents made it difficult for her.

In another ward, Sister Knetch met another mixed family. Sister Gonzalez is Guajira, but Brother Gonzalez is Venezuelan. Their situation was quite different from Pedro's. There was complete respect for both heritages. Their family was very active. Some served full time missions, and some were married in the temple.

In 1999, .Karl Scherbel served in the Colombia Barranquilla Mission. At that time, the state of Guajira, Colombia was not open for proselytizing because it is very dangerous. There is a lot of guerrilla and rebel activity. Leaders of the Mission leaders had high hopes of being able to send missionaries there someday

In 2001, Tiffanie Lorensen was serving in the Cujicito Ward, which is mostly Guajiro. She was a good friend of Otilia and Rosario Barros. They often worked with the missionaries. At that time, one of Otilia’s sons was leaving on a mission, and Rosario's son was also preparing to leave.

Jose Raga (Maracaibo 1988-1991) has stated that five members of the Barros Family have received callings to serve full time missions. Pepi Barros is currently serving in the Barcelona Mission. His brother Nefi Barros is also serving a mission.

  • Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning Translated By Otilia de Barros.
    Thanks to Vincent Beazel, 07-29-2002.
  • I Am a Child of God Translated By Otilia de Barros
    Thanks to Vincent Beazel, 07-08-2002.
  • Christus Rex is a Catholic Site which lists 40 living languages for the country of Venezuela, Nine for the state of Bolivar and five for the state of Zulia. According to this site, there are 170,000 Guajiro-speakers in Venezuela and another 135,000 in Colombia.
  • The Joshua Project highlights the peoples of the world who have the least exposure to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through information sharing and networking. According to their profile on the Guajiro, only portions of the Bible are available in their language.
  • The Rosetta Project has very little information. Click here to lend a hand.
  • The Way of the Dead Indians: Guajiro Myths and Symbols by by Michel Perrin, Michael Fineberg (Translator); List Price $14.95.
  • Wayuu by Santiago Harker (Photographer), Weildler Guerra Curvelo, Benjamin Villegas (Editor), Weilder Guerra; List price, $60.00; “ This book is a fantastic, dreamlike journey through the dynamic culture and landscapes of the Wayuu today.

Escrito por Erin Howarth el 28 de enero de 2.003
Gracias a
Vincente Beazel, Gina Knetch, Tiffanie Lorensen, Jose Raga, Karl Scherbel y Andrew Thorn por compartir sus experiencias.

Cuando yo era misionera en Venezuela (1991-1993), serví en Ciudad Bolivar. Cada mañana, cuando las hermanas dejamos nuestro apartamento, caminamos por la calle y a través de la estación de tránsito para conseguir el autobús. En camino, pasamos la qué aparecía a mí ser una misión católica. Había un patio grande con una cerca baja. Vimos a menudo a varios americanos nativos cocinando la comida en fuegos abiertos, reclinadose en hamacas o jugando en la tierra. También las vimos a menudo en el centro del tránsito donde separarían hacia fuera las mantas grandes y exhibirían los varios artículos del arte para la venta.

Recuerdo a una misionera intentada hablar con una de las mujeres, pero ella no habla español. Eso era una revelación muy desalentaba. Habíamos trabajado mucho en aprender español, pero no nos servió para hablar con esta buena gente. Una de los elderes me dijo que el estado de Bolivar tenia muchos americanos nativos que vivieron en la selva de Amazon, pero el gobierno los protegió contra la corrupción religiosa. Pensé yo que era bastante irónico porque los misioneros católicos habían estado allí para los centenares de años.

Recientemente (01-07-2003), aprendí que el nombre tribal para esta gente es Yanomami, pero sé de ninguna esfuerzo para enseñar a esta gente el evangelio restaurado.

En el año 1.975, otro alumno nuestro, Jim Jepson (1975-1976), servió entre las indígenas en el estado de Zulia. Se llaman el Guajiro o Wayuu. Él tenía el honor de bautizar a Pedro y Otilia Barros, unos de los primeros conversos entre los Guajiro. Otilia tiene una hermana nombrada Rosario que era la primera Guajira de aceptar el bautismo.

El Guajiro (también conocido como Goajiro, Guajira o Wayuu) es una comunidad semi-nómada de pastores que habitan la península de Goajiro en Colombia, el territorio más solitario y más estéril del Caribe entero. Esta área es parte de Parque Nacional Macuira.

Estimaban a su población a 127.000. Viven sobre todo en abrigos temporales, aunque establecimientos más permanentes y las casas no son infrecuentes. Son distinta de sus vecinos al sur, los Arhuaco, en cosas lingüístico y cultural.

El Guajiro es principalmente una gente pastoral. Crecen poco maíz para hacer chicha. Tienen los ganados, los pollos, los caballos, las mulas, las ovejas, las cabras, y los cerdos. Su dieta consiste sobre todo en la carne y los productos lácteos. Los ganados se ven como medida de abundancia y riquesa. Son bien sabido para sus habilidades en tejer hamacas.

El Guajiro habla una lengua del grupo más extenso de todos los grupos indios suramericanos. El grupo Arawakan consiste en por lo menos 65 idiomas sabidas, por lo menos 30 de las cuales están extintos ahora. Las idiomas de Arawakan fueron habladas de Cuba al Brasil. Muchas comunidades todavía hablan las idiomas de Arawakan en el Brasil, Perú, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, la Guayana Francesa, y Suriname. La mayoría del Guajiro en Zulia habla español, pero algunos no lo habla muy bien. Son una gente buena, apacible y hospitalaria

El Guajiro tiene varias mitologías. Por ejemplo, creyeron que si una polilla grande, blanca particular se encuentra en un dormitorio, no debe ser matado porque es el espíritu de un antepasado que visita. El Guajiro también creyó que si la polilla llega a ser molesta, puede ser quitado solamente con el cuidado más grande o el espíritu puede poner bravo.

Como muchos Guajiro, Pedro y Otila emigraron de Colombia en respuesta a una sequía severa en la península. Muchas familias viajaron para las millas cada día al agua del drenaje para sus multitudes y para sus familias. (Cuando vinieron los políticos para buscar los votos, el Goajiros les dijo que votaran por la gente que había construido ya escuelas y depósitos. No votarían por los que hicieron solamente promesas de hacer tanto más adelante, si los eligieron.)

La familia Barros comprada mercancías en Colombia y los traída a Maracaibo a la venta en las calles, en los mercados abiertos del aire. Fueron robados a menudo por los protectores de la frontera, pero a pesar de su persecución, eran gente contenta, abundante y del perdón.

En el año1.975, presidente Spencer W. Kimball visitó Colombia. Según Pedro Barros, él desafió a un joven Guajiro a traducir el Libro de Mormón a su lengua. Incluso ahora, solamente las porciones de la biblia están disponibles en Guajiro. Según Otiliah, prometieron su gente las bendiciones de un templo en el la Guajira.

En 1982, Vincente Beazel también tenía la oportunidad de trabajar entre la gente Guajira en Maracaibo. Él trabajó en un proyecto para traducir algunos himnos cuando él servía con el elder Carlos Ingallinas.

El Elder Ingallinas es un convertido de Anzoategui. Él era misionero muy motivado con una reputación de hacer muchos bautismos y con una compremiso fiel de estar afuera a tiempo. Él pasó las ultimas dos semanas de su misión trabajabajando con la familia Barros, ayudando a la Hermana Otilia Barros traducir el primer verso del himno "Soy un hijo de Dios" y registralo en una cinta de cassette. Al principio, el Elder Beazel era escéptico. El trabajo de la traducción es realizado generalmente por los profesionales en la ciudad del lago salado, no por los misioneros autonombrados, joven y trunky. Así pues, él continuó haciendo el trabajo regular del misionero en la ciudad con un joven del sacerdocio de Aaronic como compañero.

Cuándo el Elder Beazel finalmente salió a conocer a la familia de Barros, él comenzó a entender la importancía de este proyecto humilde de la traducción, y él ensambló a su compañero en el esfuerzo de traducir “La oración del profeta.” Este himno sería utilizado al ayudante en la enseñanza de la historia de la primera vision al Guajiro.

Elder Ingallinas y Elder Beazel no habían recibido ninguna instrucciones de traducir cualquier cosa. Se preocuparon que el proyecto se pudo quitar de ellos o que puede ser que sean mandados abandonar el proyecto en favor otras actividades del misionero, así que sus informes a su presidente de la misión eran vagos.

El presidente de la misión en este tiempo era el presidente Wesley Craig. Él había servido solamente dos años como presidente cuando él tuvo que volver a casa repentinamente debido a su enfermedad de su esposa. El nuevo presidente era el presidente Karl R. Fenn. Él había trabajado y había desempeñado servicios en América del sur por más de treinta años. En ese mismo tiempo, el Elder Ingallinas volvió a su case, y el Elder Beazel recibió a compañero nuevo, el Elder Kevin Taylor, de Aurora, Colorado.

En el mismo tiempo, la familia de Barros continuó progresando. Cinco años habían pasado desde la época de su bautismo, pero habían recibido solamente recientemente llamamientos y el sacerdocio. Varias otras familias Guajiras comenzaron a atender regularmente.

Algunos problemas se presentaron entre los miembros del barrio y varias familias pararon de venir a la iglesia. Llamaron al Elder Taylor para servir como el líder del districto. Él asistió a los líderes del barrio en los esfuerzos de la activación mientras que el Elder Beazel continuó el proyecto de la traducción. Los misioneros podían doblar su esfuerzo de esta manera debido a la ayuda que recibieron de los hombres jóvenes del barrio. Se alinearon en el hogar de presidente Atencio. Su hijo, Cesar, tenia doce años y fue el más joven que trabajaba con los misioneros.

Durante la traducción, el Elder Beazel leería las líneas, una a la vez, en español. Cuando Otilia tenía una comprensión clara del mensaje, ella diría la línea en Guajiro. El Elder Beazel intentaría emparejar las palabras con la melodía. Cuando no podía, ofrecieron una oración, y palabras nuevas serían encontradas. Una frase española alterna fue ofrecida a veces, más cercano al inglés, eso rindió un ritmo mejor a las palabras y a la música.

En junio de de 1982, acabaron la traducción de “La oración del profeta.” En julio, acabaron "Oh, mi padre". Estos himnos probarían una gran bendición al trabajo de muchas maneras. Pedro y Otilia Barros aprendieron unas cosas que no habían entendido en todos sus cinco años de assistir a reuniones.

Un día, Pepi, el hijo de Pedro y de Otilia Barros que tenía cuatro años, vino corriendo hacia fuera para satisfacer al Elder Beazel y al Elder Taylor. "¡Elders, vienen ver aNefi!” gritó él. Nefi era su hermano de dos años. Los elderes siguieron a Pepi alrededor de la casa para encontrar a Nefi sentado en la tierra cantando en la lengua de su gente: "¡Soy un hijo de Dios!" Los elderes nunca habían oído al niño aún hablar antes. Él está sirviendo hoy una misión de regla.

Cuando el Elder Jacob DeJager, del Quorum de setenta, visitó a Venezuela, el Elder Beazel y el Elder Taylor lo arreglaron para que la familia Barros y sus amigos cantaban "Soy un hijo de Dios"durante la conferencia de la zona.

Algunos de los líderes locales se quejaron de que los misionarios eran pasando demasiada tiempo con los Goajiros, pero los Goajiros demostraron tanto entusiasmo para el trabajo misional. Trajeron tantos amigos y familiares a la iglesia que la orden social del barrio se convirtió a ser predominante Guajiro. Los Guajiro excediendo en número a los hispanos a dos a a uno. Para dar una oportunidad de corregir este desequilibrio, el Elder Beazel y el Elder Taylor iniciaron un programa basado en el parable de los diez talentos.

Cada familia en el barrio recibió dos folletos que ofrecían el testimonio de José Smith. Debían dar estos folletos a sus amigos o a los vecinos. De esta manera, los misionarios pudieron recibir más referencias para enseñar a más familias hispánicas. Después de una semana, solamente un puñado de familias había compartido los folletos. La familia Barros y su primo Maria Rita Gonzales pidieron más folletos, así que los misionarios les dieron quince más. El día siguiente, necesitado más, así que los elderes fueron a la oficina de la misión y tomaron cien folletos.

Pedro Barros y Maria Rita Gonzales trabajaron en el el centro, en el mercado abierto del aire llamado Las Pulgas. En una semana, habían distribuido más de 400 folletos, y varios meses pasaron antes de que la oficina de la misión recibieron más de la iglesia.

Los misionarios demostraron a menudo un filmstrip de la primera visión, pero en vez de pasar el cassette, los miembros de la familia Barros narraron la película en su propia lengua a las docenas de sus amigos. El trabajo de la traducción autorizó a estos miembros para dirigir en estas reuniones, y los misionarios hicieron sus consejeros en este trabajo.

En el año 1.985, Andrew Thorn sirvió como presidente del rama en Machiques. En aquella época era una ciudad pequeña con solamente un puñado de miembros. No había agua corriente a excepción de un par de horas en la noche. La electricidad era escasa. Se adelantó a veces en la noche y salió durante el día. Las oportunidades de trabajo eran escasas. Mucha gente tenía muy poco para cubrir sus cabezas. Los misionarios vivieron en la capilla y durmieron en hamacas. Utilizaron una estufa del campo para cocinar sus comidas. Comieron mucho de iguana y de chivo de coco.

El Guajiro sufre de la discriminación a través de Zulia. La mayoría de los miembros de la iglesia piensan que los Guajiro son crudos porque hablan a menudo áspero o grueso sin la consideración de donde estaban. Un cierto Guajiro usó lo qué otros Venezolanos considerarían lengua muy ofensiva mientras que compartió su testimonio.

En 1995, el Gina Knetch también sirvió en la Misión Maracaibo. Ella servió en la misma barrio con la familia Barros por cuatro meses. Ella era allí cuando eran traduciendo "Soy un hijo de Dios." En aquella época, el hermano Barros condujo un autobús ¡nombrado < i>Moroni!. Era un autobús de la ciudad durante la semana, pero el domingo él podría utilizarlo para llevar a todos los miembros a la iglesia!

La hermana Barros era un líder en la comunidad Guajira. Ella fue entrevistada una vez en la televisión que defendía una joven Guajiro que alegado había confiado crímenes. Ella era miembro respetado del barrio. La familia Barros vivió en una parte distante del Barrio Cujicito con muchos otros Guajiros, solamente 90 minutos de la frontera colombiana. La hermana Barros esperaba que Cujicito reciba algún día una rama Guajira.

La hermana Knetch tenía la oportunidad de enseñar a un hombre nombrado Pedro. Él era un Zuliano, pero lo casaron con una Guajira. Vivieron en una casa que fue poseída por la familia de la esposa. Lo odiaron y le hicieron esconderse adentro mientras que estaban de visita. Él tenía un hijo de una unión anterior. El hijo tenia que esconderse adentro también. Su esposa nunca habló a los misioneros cuando visitaron en su hogar, pero si habló cuando ella vino a la iglesia. Ella era una mujer amable, pero sus padres lo hicieron difícil para ella.

En otro barrio, la hermana Knetch conoció a otra familia mezclada. La hermana Gonzalez es Guajira, pero el hermano Gonzalez es Zuliano. Su situación era absolutamente diferente de Pedro. Había respecto completo por ambas herencias. Su familia era muy activa. Algunas serivieron misioned de regla, y algunas fueron casadas en el templo.

Karl Scherbel sirvió en la Misión Colombia Barranquilla a partir de 1999-2001. En aquella 'epoca, la parte del Guajira dentro de esa misión no estaba abierta para ganar prosélitos porque es un área muy peligroso. Hay muchos de actividad rebelde del guerrilla y del izquierdista para allí. Los líderes de la misión tienen esperanza de poder enviar a los misioneros allí algún día.

En el año 2.001, Tiffanie Lorensen servía en el Barrio Cujicito, que es sobre todo Guajiro. Ella era una buena amiga de Otilia y Rosario Barros. Trabajaron a menudo con las misioneras. En aquella época, uno de los hijos de Otilia se iba en una misión, y el hijo de Rosario también se preparaba para irse.

Jose Raga (Maracaibo 1988-1991) ha dicho que cinco miembros de la familia Barros han recibido llamamientos para servir misiones de regla. Pepi Barros está sirviendo actualmente en la Misión Barcelona. Su hermano Nefi Barros también está sirviendo una misión.

  • La oración del profeta traducida por Otilia de Barros.
    Gracias a Vincent Beazel por compartir esta información, 29 de julio 2002.
  • Soy un hijo de Dios traducida por Otilia de Barros.
    Gracias a Vincent Beazel por compartir esta información, 08 de julio 2002.
  • Christus Rex es un sitio católico que tiene una lista de 40 idiomas vivas para el país de Venezuela, nueve para el estado de Bolivar y cinco para el estado de Zulia. Según este sitio, hay 170.000 Guajiro-hablantes en Venezuela y otros 135.000 en Colombia.
  • El proyecto de Joshua describe a la gente del mundo que no tiene al Gospel de Jesúcristo. Según ellos, los Guajiro solamente tiene porciones de la Biblia su lengua.
  • El proyecto de Rosetta tiene muy poca información. Haga cliq aquí para ayudar.
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