The ELCA in Mexico
In addition to working with the Theological Community of Mexico and Augsburg Lutheran Seminary, the ELCA is involved with a number of other partners in Mexico. Those with which I have been most closely related are the following:
The Mexican Association of Urban and Rural Transformation, or AMEXTRA, is a non-profit organization that works with community development projects. Much of AMEXTRA’s work is done in collaboration with churches in Mexico in both urban and rural settings. Among the areas in which AMEXTRA works are education, health and nutrition, income generation, emergency relief and environmental sustainability projects. You can visit AMEXTRA’s website by CLICKING HERE.
IMMERSION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS
In addition to its community projects, Amextra also runs a program called “Seeds of Transformation” (“Semillas de Transformación”), which coordinates visits for congregations and persons from churches such as the ELCA who are interested in a short-term immersion program to learn about serving communities marginalized areas. We have had several groups from our sponsoring congregations visit, such as this group from United Lutheran Church in Bella Vista, Arkansas. For more on this program, CLICK HERE.
The groups that come to Mexico City are often able to visit our congregation, as this group from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, TX did in March:
AMMPARO is a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA to “Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunity.” The word “amparo” in Spanish means “assistance, “protection,” or “shelter.” AMMPARO works especially in Central America and with children who are being forced to emigrate due to the violence in the region, but also in Mexico, since many flee to this country. AMMPARO’s objectives are to:
- Uphold and guarantee basic human rights and safety of migrant children and their families;
- Address the root causes of migration in countries from Central America’s Northern Triangle and Mexico and the treatment of migrants in transit;
- Work toward just and humane policies affecting migrants in and outside the U.S.; and
- Engage as a church body with all of its companions, affiliates and partners to respond to the migration situation and its causes and to advocate for migrant children and their families
For more information, visit AMMPARO’s web page by CLICKING HERE.
A visit with representatives of the Ammparo program in June, 2015. Second from right is Mary Campbell, the Program Director for AMMPARO.
YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION
The ELCA also has a Young Adults Program in Mexico. For information, you may read the newsletters that appear below and also CLICK HERE.