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Students make children a priority during their missions trip to Bolivia

When Brisa deAngulo of Eastern’s 2007 graduating class wanted to give back to her home country of Bolivia, she found Eastern’s community eager to help her achieve that goal. In the Spring of 2011, her sisters Marta and Nabi continued in that tradition by organizing a missions trip to Bolivia.

From May 15 to June 2, Marta and Nabi led a group of seven other students to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where they served as volunteers with Medical Assistance Programs International.

According to the MAP International mission statement, the organization’s goal is to “envision a world in which individuals, families and communities have the hope and capacity to build conditions that promote Total Health.”

When she orgnized the first missions trip to Bolivia, Brisa wanted create an opportunity for Eastern students to experience Bolivia as she had in her youth. She wanted to give others the chance to understand Bolivia’s rich culture, its people and the struggles that they face. When Brisa graduated, her younger sister Marta took on this initiative.

Students who went on the Bolivia Summer Trip spent much of their time learning about the different projects being undertaken by MAP International in Bolivia. They also had the chance to go out into the community to contribute to these missions themselves.

During last spring’s trip, seniors Caroline Butcher and Jenessa Hosler spent most of their time volunteering at the A Breeze of Hope Foundation, a center for victims of sexual abuse. This was the first organization in the country to provide specialized care to child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse.

Butcher and Hosler spent their time at A Breeze of Hope working directly with the children, some as young as 5 years old, teaching them arts and crafts, giving dance lessons and making friendship bracelets. Most important of all, however, was that they were able to simply be an extension of Christ to children who have been mistreated.

“Children in Bolivia are not valued,” Hosler said. “They’re seen as much more of a burden. So it was great to be there to work in partnership with Breeze of Hope, to help these kids … especially since there aren’t many places in Bolivia for children [who have been raped] to go”

Unfortunately, there will not be an official trip to Bolivia this year. However, if you are interested in going to Bolivia, either to learn more about the programs in MAP International or to work as an intern, you may contact Marta De Angulo (mdeangul@eastern.edu) for more information.

 

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