Bolivia – September 7-18, 2018 Team trip
One of the fastest growing cities in South America, Santa Cruz de la Sierra has become Bolivia’s largest metropolitan community. Spurred by vibrant business interests in agriculture, oil, gas, ranching, mining and tourism, the population has more than doubled in the last 10 years to more than 2.4 million and become the preferred destination for many migrants. Founded by early Spanish explorers in 1561, Santa Cruz is a modern and prosperous financial center today.
Differentiating itself from other parts of the country, Santa Cruz shines due to its tropical savanna climate, low-lying altitude, unique wildlife (the sloth capital of the world), vibrant entertainment and unique culture. It borders Brazil to the East and Paraguay to the South and is mostly tropical and sub-tropical containing parts of the Amazon rainforest to the North, desert-dry forest savannah to the South, and the temperate foothills of the Andes Mountain range to the West.
Tribal, ethnic groups, mainly from the tropical forests and other impenetrable regions of the upper Amazon, the Guarayos, Guaraní, Sirionós, Chiquitanos, Chamacocos, Zamucos, Lenguas, Tapietes, and Yuacarés, are coming to the city for economic opportunities, but often remain outcast due to illiteracy, and social status. Not native to the region, but increasing in presence due to immigration are the Aymara and Quechua populations which have also migrated to the city in record numbers.
These tribal groups are largely unreached by the Gospel, unchurched, and rejected by modern Bolivian culture and society. RSA plans to minister directly to these various groups scattered around the city through medical clinics, and clothing distribution with smaller festivals held within their rural mountain villages. Working with five partnering churches, we hope to reach out to these migrants with the Good News and establish a lasting connection to the local Christian church community.
We will also be working with volunteers to stop the exploitation of these migrant groups by the sex trade industry. Educating young girls, teaching them job skills, and providing community support will prevent many from entering into a destructive life of drug abuse, prostitution and slavery.
With it’s unique demographic and growing migrant population, the Santa Cruz region is a vital stepping stone in reaching much of South America with the hope of the Gospel. Ending the sex slavery trade in this area through education and providing alternative means of employment will change future generations in Bolivia.
Team trip will cost approximately $2000 plus airfare. Contact Ruth Daniels for additional details