These pre-designed trips offer the immersion experience that is “tried & true.” They are open to individuals not part of a group or group-leaders who would like to preview the experience before bringing an entire group.
o February 23-March 2, 2014 (Sustainable Agro-technology, Chiapas)
o April 9-16, 2014 (Lutheran Identity, Mexico City)
o April 27-May 4, 2014 (Living Sustainably, Chiapas)
o May 25-June 1, 2014 (International Volunteer Week, Oaxaca)
o June 29-July 5, 2014 (Step-by-Step, Mexico City)
o September 17-22, 2014 (Conflict Transformation, 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.
WORSHIP on Reformation Sunday at a Mexican Lutheran Church * ENGAGE with members of the ecumenical Mexican Theological Community Augsburg Lutheran Seminary *MEET Mexican faith leaders who are responding to local and global inequities
⇛ 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 communities, based on Amextra’s 25 years experience of peace education.
*VISIT a Peace Education project in a marginalized community *PARTICIPATE in two hands-on workshops *DIALOGUE with Mexicans about your experiences and transformation of conflict *REFLECT on transformation theology.
⇛ Step-by-Step: Elements of a transformative social ministry
Details coming soon!
⇛ Amextra Microfinances: Transforming lives through savings and 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.
VISIT educational and recreational projects for children in marginalized communities. PARTICIPATE in a Mini- Olympics for children at risk. MEET families in poverty that are being transformed. HEAR stories, problems, and dreams from children living off garbage. REFLECT about our role in this issue and what God demands from us.
PALENQUE , CHIAPAS
⇛ Sustainable Economics: standing in solidarity with small business owners and farmers
In 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 environment--environmental degradation, severe malnutrition, lack of medical services. It also is a place to witness new models for responsibly and sustainably doing business. During this week excursion, you will see grassroots efforts to overcome poverty and malnutrition in the midst of a context of globalization and increasing transnational/big business interests. See what role you play in people’s lives around the world and reflect on your role as a Christian in the midst of global crises.
HEAR stories of local farmers, governments, and agronomists * CONTRIBUTE to maintaining Pej Pem, training center for indigenous youth * PARTICIPATE in sustainable farming workshops * MEET Mexican faith leaders who are responding to local and global inequities
⇛ Living Sustainably: Combating hunger with organic vegetable gardens
Details Coming Soon!
⇛ Sustainable Agro-Technologies: Caring for lives & the environment
Details Coming Soon!
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.