Overviewof our work in Central America
For over a decade, dedicated missionaries of the Family International have been serving and working in the different countries of Central America, participating in a wide array of initiatives and projects in the region. The primary focus of Family volunteers is to provide support and service to the people, by bringing them the hope, faith and love that every human heart yearns for.
Among the services Family volunteers offer are programs for personal development, youth programs, and assistance to underprivileged families. We also assist in disaster relief and humanitarian aid efforts. Our goal in all our efforts is to offer a message of faith to the people of Central America.
Relief aid to Haiti | In the aftermath of the earthquake which devastated Haiti in January 2010, Family International teams joined others from around the world to help in the relief efforts. Family volunteers were on the scene providing assistance, comfort and support to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who were affected. Stories & articles | Photo album
Medical aid | The Family International in Saltillo, Coahuila, a city located in the north of Mexico, regularly visit underprivileged villages to supply medical aid. Members organize fundraisers to sponsor medical assistance for those with special needs, focusing in particular on providing ocular prosthetics. Thanks to the companies and businesses that have helped to promote this program, many have been able to acquire a needed prosthetic and enjoy better eyesight. Stories & articles
Ministering to street children | Family International volunteers in Costa Rica frequently visit “PANI”, an institution for street children, conducting motivational rehabilitation programs and classes addressing the topics of drugs and depression. Positive peer pressure and activities, as well as regular Bible studies and motivational music performances is our approach to offering these youth a brighter future and showing them that we care.
Project smiles | “Project Smiles” was initiated with the goal of bringing educational opportunities to orphans in Guatemala City. Once a month, we take groups of orphans on an outing, which includes a trip to the national zoo, a meal, and a puppet performance promoting moral values. Through this project, we have been able to bring a smile to over 250 orphans in the course of one year.
Sponsor-a-Book program | Through Sponsor-a-Book, a program based around the Family International-produced Stories to Grow By series of storybooks, disadvantaged children gain a sense of self worth and learn about positive values. Thanks to the generosity of various sponsors, the Family International has organized a number of book distribution projects throughout Mexico. Stories & articles | Photo album
Feeding the needy | With the support of friends, companies and government agencies, each year we hold what has become known as La Comida del Cariño, a project to provide a free meal and entertainment to the homeless of Guatemala. 2000 plates of food are donated to the homeless, while three benefit performances are given, to provide them with faith and hope for the future. The program also includes a clown and puppet show for children.
Laughter therapy | Members organize training courses and seminars for medical students, one of which covers "laughter therapy." Family volunteers train the students in this therapy by practicing comedy routines that we perform for the children. Educational books and interactive computer games are distributed to the children, sponsored by individuals and companies. We also organize activities such as lively games, interactive songs, puppet shows and skits, and do bed-side visits with the children. Stories & articles | Photo album
Helping children in need | Family volunteers in Mazatlan, Mexico visit DIF shelters (sponsored by the government's social welfare program) for street children and abused children weekly, bringing them needed clothing and school supplies, as well as teaching them classes in art, music, the Bible, and sports. Members also take the children on outings, providing them a rare opportunity to leave the shelter. Volunteers in Tijuana also donate food and clothing to a number of orphanages, among them "Lirio de los Valles", an orphanage with more than 100 children. Stories & articles | Photo album
Ministering to juvenile prisoners and orphans | Family International volunteers have made weekly visits to the Juvenile Prison in Tijuana for over two years. Children as young as eleven years old are jailed there for every kind of offense and crime. Besides donating large quantities of food to this institution, we have also reached the inmates in a personal way through personal counseling, English classes, music and Bible classes. We have befriended them, with the goal of assisting in their rehabilitation and influencing their lives.