When native Oklahoman Father Stanley Rother arrived as a missionary
to Guatemala, he sought to improve the living conditions of the people of Santiago
Atitlan. As political unrest formed in the late ‘70s, Rother’s work was challenged by
the appearance of conflict between armed guerrilla forces and military forces.
Anyone organizing with the people drew suspicion from the government and were
thought to be involved with the Guerrilla, and community leaders were often targets
of kidnappings or murders. In 1981, Father Rother was murdered, leaving many
parishioners and projects without a leader. He is remembered as a local hero in his
hometown of Okarche, Oklahoma and in Santiago Atitlan. Rother will soon likely be
remembered by the world as saint.