Posted on Sep 04, 2019
Our own club's Pastor Mel Burton and Caroline Fort went to Columbia South America on a mission trip.

They focused on the city of Buenoventura, which is across the Andes from the capital, Bogata.  Because of the drug cartels, there has been an increase in crime, child labor and child prostitution.  Their focus was to train the children in leading a better life.  To do this, they created a curriculum which included how to support yourself without prostitution and held classes with the children.  In addition, they passed out beans and rice, school supplies to a school with elementary, middle and high school kids, lead rallies, fed families, went to a Latino Convention, set up leadership meetings, and performed baptisms.  The women of Buenoventura have their own plot of land and plant, grow, wash, roast, package and sell coffee and cocoa.  Mel and Caroline’s church sells their product for $10 for 18 ounces.  The proceeds are helping the people in Buenoventura, Columbia.

A few comments about Columbia: Columbia is in the northern part of South America and is close to the Panama Canal on the Pacific side.  It has 12 million ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse people.  Many of the people are leaving the Catholic Church because of the church’s connections to the government, which is connected to the drug cartels.  Should you choose to go there, they emphasized that you never wear jewelry, take only the money you need each time you leave your hotel room, and don’t let anyone see your money because thievery is rampant.  They said that the cheapest time to go is September through May.  

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