o April 9-16, 2014 (Lutheran Identity, Mexico City)
o April 27-May 4, 2014 (Living Sustainably, Chiapas)
o June 15-22, 2014 (International Volunteer Week, Oaxaca)
o June 29-July 5, 2014 (Step-by-Step, Mexico City)
o July 27-August 3, 2014 (Reforest Chiapas, Palenque)
o September 17-22, 2014 (Conflict Transformation, Mexico City)
o October 23-27, 2014 (Lutheran Identity, Mexico City)
⇛ International Volunteer Week
Contribute to getting rid of malnutrition in Oaxaca’s poorest communities, while learning from the local people. Spend one week of volunteering alongside other volunteers, both non-Mexican and Mexican, immersed in a little-known side of Mexico found in semi-urban communities on the outskirts of Oaxaca City. The first day is spent in an interactive orientation to the holistic methods, mission, and values of Amextra, as well as a training alongside local families. The following four days include building chicken coops, in a participatory and mutually transformative manner, with families trying to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.
⇛ Lutheran Identity in a Latin American Context
The US Census Bureau predicts by 2050 Latinos will constitute 1/3 of the US total population, more than 66% with a Mexican background. More than ever it is important for church leaders and people of faith to cultivate an understanding of the history and context of one of the largest growing segments of the US population. In this seven day excursion, you are invited to immerse yourself in the cultural, historical, and spiritual aspects of Mexico. Eat, live, learn, and worship alongside local Mexicans. Through site visits and engaging lectures, experience the realities of immigration, poverty, ecumenism and spirituality in Latin America, with an emphasis on the role of Lutheran and protestant churches in Mexico.
⇛ Conflict Transformation: Holistic approaches to local and global peace
Learn about roots of local and global violence in Mexico, meet those affected by violence and faith leaders working to make a difference. Participate in International Day of Prayer for Peace with leaders from Churches for Peace. Learn about roots of violence and participate in workshops that will give you hands on tools to transform conflict in your own local and global, based on Amextra’s 30 years of experience.
Conflict Transformation Flier and Info Sheet
⇛ Step-by-step: Elements of a transformative social ministryDo you want to help get your congregation thinking OUTSIDE your church walls? Do you desire to inspire church leaders in how to create a truly transformative ministry? Do you feel your church could help address serious needs, but do you know how to get started? During this five day hands-on workshop, you will create your own plan for ministry as you learn about lessons from Amextra’s 30 year history of developing transformation theology and working in marginalized communities in Mexico. Visit communities to see their work for yourselves and be inspired for your community back home!
⇛ Amextra Microfinances: Transforming lives through savings & loansModern microfinance organizations are developed to lift the poorest of the poor out of poverty through financial services otherwise not available or affordable to them. While all share a similar objective, there are many different models and designs. During this week excursion, learn from the microfinance program started by the Mexican non-profit Amextra in 1990. Amextra’s microfinance arm now works with 14,800 associates in 4 branches in both urban and rural Mexico and uses a unique model that not only focuses on increasing income for families, but works with Amextra’s nonprofit arm to achieve a holistic transformation of whole communities. Don’t miss out on this chance to learn about Amextra’s unique microfinance model and how it transforms lives through savings and loans.
⇛ Immigration: Face-to-face with a global phenomenon
Everyone hears about immigrants and the political problems they present to countries in the north, but how many people have heard FROM immigrants- their stories, their journeys, their hopes, their dreams, their challenges back home, what they risk to immigrate, their faith in God? On this trip, learn about roots of immigration within Mexico and Central America. Meet immigrants and get to know the perils and joys of central American immigrants. Meet Mexican faith groups reaching out to them, and reflect on your role as a citizen and person of faith.
⇛ At-risk Children: breaking the cycle and creating lasting change
Poverty affects millions of children all over the world: children in poverty cannot enjoy a dignified childhood and they are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, violence, destitution, and discrimination. Under these circumstances, with no different opportunities, it is most likely these children will not get out of poverty and their children will live the same circumstances. During the trip you will get to know projects directed at children at risk, which are intended to break the cycle of marginalization and violence that they are living.
PALENQUE , CHIAPAS
⇛ Living Sustainably: Combating hunger with organic vegetable gardensIn the age of globalization, it is difficult to fully understand the impacts of our economic decisions. Chiapas provides a real life classroom to witness first hand impacts of global economics on the people and eco-systems of rural Chiapan communities--environmental degradation, severe malnutrition, lack of medical services. It also is a place to witness new models for responsibly and sustainably creating food and doing business. During this week excursion you will learn about the roots and realities of food insecurity and then participate in a three day hands workshop alongside locals, learning how to create your very own organic vegetable garden in order to minimize your ecological footprint.
⇛ Sustainable Eco-Technologies: Caring for lives & the environmentWhile rich in natural resources, Chiapas suffers some of the highest malnutrition and poverty rates in Mexico. It has a long complex history of exploitation and destruction of the environmental treasures- deforestation, erosion and degradation of soil, and farming practices that hurt human health. During this week adventure, witness first hand impacts of these practices on the environment and indigenous Chol communities and then, witness and learn in a three day hands on workshop alongside locals, sustainable and ecological alternative technologies for creating healthy farms, environment, and communities.
⇛ Reforest Chiapas- International Volunteer WeekParticipate in an intercultural service trip, like none other! Amextra offers this unique opportunity for Mexicans, Americans, and expats living in Mexico to get together for an intercultural week of reforesting the Lacandon jungle in Palenque, Chiapas. While some parts of the jungle are preserved, this important natural resource is decreasing little by little as poor farmers are desperate to clear new farmland. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about Amextra’s work in teaching farmers to take care of the land they have and work side by side locals to replenish a valuable environmental resource and at the same time get to know like-minded service-oriented individuals. Make friends, serve, and get to know a side of Mexico you have never seen before.
PALENQUE , OAXACA, OR MEXICO CITY
⇛ Retreat from the Routine: Discover faith practices in Mexico as you RE-discover yours
Open to anyone who is looking for a retreat time and space. Seeds of Transformation (SOT) plans a retreat, catered to your interests, but with the theme of getting to know faith in Mexico. Activities could include: visiting important pre-conquest faith sites such as Teotihuacan and Templo Mayor, Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, participating in Aztec Temezcal ceremony, visiting Ecclesiastical Base Communities, and worship with the Mexican Theological Ceremony. Seasonal options include: Day of the Dead and Easter festivals. Additional pre and post trip reflection materials are provided. Available any time of the year, in arrangement with the SOT coordinator.