iOS app Android app

Tobias Roberts
Tobias Roberts lives in Nebaj, Guatemala where he and his wife are on assignment with the Mennonite Central Committee, a development and peace agency of the Anabaptist churches in the U.S. and Canada. He is a native of Bowling Green, Ky.

Entries by Tobias Roberts

Redefining the Messiah Complex

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 4:39 PM

For those of us who work in the world of faith based non-government organizations (NGOs), we're well accustomed to the snubs and not so subtle criticism of our "secular" NGO peers. All too often we're seen as nothing more than the offspring of those overly zealous missionaries of old who...

Read Post

In Times of War and in Times of 'Peace': The Role of the U.S. Embassy in the Current Political Turmoil of Guatemala

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 9:50 AM

The United States government is no stranger to meddling in the politics of Guatemala. In 1954, the CIA almost single-handedly overthrew the reformist government of Jacobo Arbenz. During the 1970s and 80s the U.S. channeled military aid to the Guatemalan government through Israel and trained a good number of army...

Read Post

Placelessness: The Underlying Cause of Central American Youth Migration

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 12:01 PM

Much has been written during the past year regarding the "phenomenon" of Central American youth migrating to the United States. Various essays, analysis, and opinion articles stem from all sides of the political spectrum, but tend to agree on some vague, overarching causes of this migration. Poverty, violence, lack of...

Read Post

The Orange in the Stocking Toe

(4) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 3:12 PM

Every Christmas as a young child, I remember waking up bright and early on the 25th to race my sister up the stairs to find a red stocking stuffed full of presents and treats left by some mysterious guy with a red suit and white beard. After going through the...

Read Post

The Other Side of Fracking: Connecting the Dots Along the Supply Lines

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 2:51 AM

Everyone has heard of fracking these days -- that dreadful and dangerous practice of drilling and injecting chemical-laden fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks below to release natural gas or oil inside. The roughly 4 million gallons of water and 40,000 gallons...

Read Post

Christmas: A Celebration of Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2013 | 3:41 PM

The prime example of suffering during Christmas is that of a child who wakes to find no presents under the tree or who misses out on the gluttony of Grandma's Christmas feasts. From Salvation Army bell-ringers to uncountable signs urging us to donate toys for underprivileged families to churches delivering...

Read Post

Knowledge From the Perspective of the Mayan Ixil People

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 5:18 PM

Once, deep in a hidden jungle of an unknown mountain range, an emergency meeting of all the animals of the forest was convened. A group of human hunters had surrounded the animals and had lit a ring of fire from the four cardinal directions that quickly burned towards the center....

Read Post

Poverty and the Metaphor of the Turtle

(7) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 11:54 AM

In rural Kentucky where I grew up, one of the more exhilarating after-school activities that my childhood friends and I engaged in was turtle-flipping contests. This unusual sport involved racing down to the local creek, finding a couple unsuspecting turtles meandering through the brush washed up by the last flood,...

Read Post

Gender Equity and Mayan Spirituality

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 5:37 PM

Latin America is considered the cradle of machismo. Images abound of gun-toting cowboys sleeping with a different woman every night while the mother of their children unrelentingly toils at the myriad of household labors of cooking, cleaning and raising a horde of malnourished children. Though that image undoubtedly merits some...

Read Post

The Economy and a New Pair of Shoes

(5) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 12:39 PM

The other morning, after dreaming to the tune of the constant patter of rain on the tin roof of my house, I woke early to enjoy a morning stroll through the mountains of northern Guatemala. After an hour or so of watching the mystical dance of clouds caressing the valleys...

Read Post

From the Bible Belt to Liberation Theology

(10) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Theologically speaking I have lived my life between two antagonistic frontiers.

I grew up in the Bible Belt of rural Kentucky, where hell and brimstone scared me just as much as the occassional tornadoes. Sunday school teachers taught me at an early age that God was love and that...

Read Post

The Challenge of the Manger in Bethlehem

(192) Comments | Posted December 24, 2012 | 5:11 PM

From opulent shopping malls in the Unites States to corners of crumbling adobe houses in rural Central America, the nativity scene surrounds us during this time of year. The manger with its bed of hay, the mules and shepherds, the cold Bethlehem night with an unfamiliar star shining brighter than...

Read Post

Climate Change, Carbon Offsetting, and the Destruction of Local Communities

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2012 | 6:58 PM

With the recent passing of Hurricane Sandy and the effects that it left in Haiti and the East Coast of the United States, the issues of climate change and its consequences are inevitably on the forefront of our minds. Undoubtedly, the need to limit our carbon emissions is ever more...

Read Post

Relocating Culture to Find a Solution to the Tragedy of the Commons

(29) Comments | Posted October 14, 2012 | 8:43 AM

In the Mayan Highlands of the Ixil region of Guatemala there exists some of the most ecologically pristine mountain prairies that can be found on earth. These prairies, far from being an untouched wilderness, are rather the communal pasture lands that the Mayan Ixil people have carefully and collectively managed...

Read Post

A Response to Endemic Violence in Central America

(7) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 4:02 PM

For five years I lived and worked in the outskirts of San Salvador with an organization supporting marginalized families living with HIV/AIDS. Though the agonizing combination of poverty and HIV formed a part of my daily experience, AIDS was not the main epidemic that surrounded my life. The World Health...

Read Post

Church Leaders Join Fight Against Italian Energy Giant in Rural Guatemala Over Construction of Palo Viejo Dam

(7) Comments | Posted December 4, 2011 | 8:18 AM

Tension filled the cramped, block-wall room in the Guatemalan highlands as indigenous leaders sat across from negotiators for ENEL, an Italian-based energy company building a $228-million hydro-electric dam in the area. Local Mayan Ixhil leaders hoped the presence of a renowned Catholic archbishop, a prominent Presbyterian clergyman and a Mennonite...

Read Post