Abbotsford co-founder of Love Guatemala passes away

Phil Bergen died on April 13 and a celebration of life takes place on April 30 in Abbotsford

Phil Bergen of Abbotsford greets a woman in Guatemala

An Abbotsford man who, with his wife, formed an organization to help people in Guatemala died on April 13 of a heart attack.

Phil Bergen, 62, passed away while serving in the Central American country where he and his wife, Judy, had been living.

The couple have been part of Abbotsford for the last 25 years, working in the community and local churches.

Phil originally worked at Town and Country Floor Design and, more recently, had been doing home renovations.

His son-in-law Cam Hall said Phil was known for his vibrant personality and caring nature.

“Those he met and knew were often greeted with a hug, and always with a smile. He was the type of person that brightened a room and made you feel welcome and accepted,” said his son-in-law Cam Hall.

After a trip to visit one of their three children in Guatemala many years ago, Phil and Judy felt called to respond to the needs of the Guatemalan people.

They sold their home, discarded most of their possessions and moved to Guatemala.

They formed an organization called Love Guatemala and invited other Canadians to give time and/or money.

Over the coming years, Love Guatemala flourished. Many teams arrived from North America and many needs were met, including building houses for widows, planting crops on behalf of local farmers and feeding people at their local soup kitchen.

Phil was well-known in the Guatemalan communities where he and Judy worked. He was often greeted with a cheerful call of “Felipe!” as he walked the streets.

Phil suffered a heart attack while serving people in the soup kitchen, and quickly passed away.

A celebration of life takes place in Abbotsford on Thursday, April 30 at 1 p.m. at Northview Community Church, 32040 Downes Rd.

Donations for Love Guatemala can be made at

For more information on this project, visit

Just Posted

Abbotsford woman photographs massive ant swarm in Auguston

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

Several methods to remove the pesky critters highlighted

Speeding traffic damaging heritage homes in Clayburn

Residents of Abbotsford’s Clayburn Village say Sumas Mountain development driving problem

VIDEO: Abbotsford ATV accident sends one person to hospital with leg injuries

Accident occurred at a large rural property on Downes Road

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Most Read