A commonwealth of the United States, Puerto Rico offers its wealthy residents and its tourists many of the same creature comforts we have available in America as well as exotic beaches and a relaxed Caribbean culture. Yet almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, and unemployment remains high. Many families have been torn apart by emigration — almost half of the island’s people have moved to the United States. Those who remain need hope. Share the promise of a life in Christ to the people of Puerto Rico. Engage with local youth as you teach sports skills and play pickup games in parks. Build relationships and trade stories with them. Learn what life in Puerto Rico is like beyond the resort walls, and share the promises of Jesus with forgotten children, youth, and adults.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Dominican Republic shares an island with Haiti, and after the earthquake in 2010, the country became a refuge for thousands of displaced people. Although known for its vast sugar plantations, the nation’s economy depends on tourism. Political corruption is a lasting issue, along with the expanding gap between wealthy and poor. Will you share the freedom life in Christ with people who need to know Him?
Named after the Spanish word for “Equator”, Ecuador is full of natural beauty. From the Amazon River to Andean glacial volcanoes, this country—and its people—are sure to enthrall you. Quito, is the highest capital city in the world, at over 9,300 feet above sea level. Its views are breathtaking. Although prosperous on the whole, certain regions of Ecuador continue to struggle. With more than half of the population at or below the poverty line, Ecuador is a country waiting for God's Kingdom to come. Will you share the truth of His Kingdom with people looking for hope?
From the breathtaking Andes mountains and vast coastal deserts to the lush, tropical rainforests of the Amazon Jungle, Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth. The birthplace of several proud, ancient civilizations, present day Peru is home to multiple indigenous groups who blend into a unique and beautiful culture. Sadly, the people of Peru struggle with extreme poverty and class inequality. Government corruption hinders economic development, and many people face problems like teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and crime. Will you share God’s love with people hungry for hope?
Although the poorest country in South America, Bolivia is the wealthiest in terms of natural resources. From the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Basin, Bolivia is full of natural beauty. However, the truth wealth of Bolivia is its people. The most indigenous country in South America, over 60% of the population traces their heritage back to one of over 30 different ethnic groups. Ancient traditions and social customs heavily influence the local culture. Will you share your life-changing faith in Bolivia?
Home to the Panama Canal and the largest rainforest outside of the Amazon, the country of Panama connects Central and South America. And thanks to the Canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, Panama is one of the leading economies in Central America. But the Panama Canal is a two-edged sword, because it also allows for increased drug trafficking. Panama sits at a place of power of opportunity in the world, as it holds the key to crossing between oceans, hemispheres, and continents. Will you live your faith in this land of possibility and potential?
A hot spot for surfing, Costa Rica is an adventure seeker’s paradise. Between its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and beautiful people, it’s easy to enjoy "pura vida" there. Outside of the tourist destinations, however, are large pockets of poverty and family brokenness throughout the nation. The country itself is transitioning from self-sufficient farming lifestyles to more urban living. Traditional morals and lifestyles are giving way to a modern, consumer-oriented world. The people of Costa Rica need to remember the unchanging love of Jesus—and that it is still real and relevant to their lives. Will you GO?
Called “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes,” thick rainforests, rugged highlands, and beautiful beaches define Nicaragua’s beautiful landscape. Its rich history dates back to the Spanish conquistadores. However, hopelessness, addiction, destitution, and poverty plague many in Nicaragua. The poorest nation in Central America, almost 80% of Nicaraguans live on less than $2 a day. One in four Nicaraguans is either starving or suffering from malnutrition. Entire families live on and scrounge for scraps in city dumps. The people of Nicaragua need to know they are seen, loved, and not forgotten by God. Will you share this life-changing truth with them?
Known as "The Land of Eternal Spring", Guatemala is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in Central America. Tourists travel from all over the world just to climb its volcanoes, drink its coffee, and zip line through the the rainforest. However, the true beauty of Guatemala is its people. Gripped by poverty, the people of Guatemala hunger for the Kingdom of God. Will you share the beautiful truth that there is so much more to this life with people in Guatemala?
El Salvador is the third largest economy in the region after Costa Rica and Panama and the smallest country (in land mass) in the Americas. A coup d'etat in 1979 led to civil war from 1980-1992 in this country. Oscar Romero, a Catholic bishop well-known known for supporting liberation theology, advocating for social justice in El Salvador, and protesting the government's persecution of the church was assassinated in 1980 while conducting mass. Much of the country's revenue comes from remittances. In a land whose name translates to "The Savior", you'll be the signs that point to the one true Savior - not a better political system or economy - Jesus Christ.
"Hondo" comes from the Spanish word for depth and there's lots of depth to Honduras. It's home to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, whose ruins are still stand. Honduras is mostly mountainous and the weather's as tropical as it gets. What really runs deep in Honduras are its needs. Honduras is the third poorest in the region, after Haiti and Nicaragua. Like her neighbors, Honduras has had her of share political/military troubles, e.g., the six-month constitutional crisis in 2009. There's a need to reach out to the youth, not just to keep them out of trouble (e.g., gangs) but for them to know their worth and that they're loved.