Bolivia Bound!

by Deanna Lawson

The Amistad Mission, one of our world mission partners, provides more than “housing” for the orphaned and abandoned children of Cochabamba, Bolivia. We provide a home and a bright future. Begun in 1989, La Villa is Amistad’s campus where more than 70 children and youth—all abandoned, abused, or orphaned—receive the support they need to rebuild their confidence and find joy again. At La Villa, our children grow up in a loving, Christian home with a Mamá and a Tía where we reunite biological siblings who otherwise would be separated in overcrowded orphanages. The children receive the educational, medical, spiritual, and emotional support they need to overcome their often traumatic past and become healthy children and young adults.

As young adults, they go on to attend university or technical school supported by Amistad. There are currently 23 sibling groups ranging in age from one to 24 years being cared for within Amistad. Since 1990, St. John the Divine has provided prayers, visits, and full sponsorship to the children and youth of Casa Amanecer, the house built by our church. We invite you to become a part of our history!

Join me, the Rev. Libby Garfield, and parishioner and Amistad board member Stefan Murry, and a group of SJD adults and older students to Amistad this summer. Our team will spend a week at Amistad sharing friendship with the children, youth, young adults, mamás, tías, and staff of Amistad. The team will then take some fun excursions with the children living in our house and with the young adults who have grown up in Casa Amanecer. We will also spend time with the children, families, and staff at Amistad for Families. Amistad for Families is a center providing intensive intervention to families to prevent child abandonment. We will stay as a group in La Morada, the retreat center for visiting groups owned by Amistad. Meals are beautifully prepared for American travelers by the lovely caretaker of La Morada, Esperanza.

A visit to Amistad Mission in Bolivia is as different as any travel experience you might have, encompassing renewal and transformation, an increased appreciation for gifts personally received, and a strengthened faith.

Estimated cost of the Amistad trip is $2,200-$2,500 including airfare, lodging, Bolivian visa, meals, and tips. You may use air miles to book a ticket and lower the cost. Please contact Deanna Lawson at if you are interested in knowing more about this trip and for scholarship inquiries. The trip is limited to 12 people.

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