Mexico is slightly less than three times the state of Texas, and Texas is a big state! Our first morning in Mexico City was spent at Compassion's Country office, learning more about this country and how Compassion is partnering with the local churches to help the children and their families in 180 communities throughout this large country.
Omar, who is the Country Director, shared with us some facts about his country and the children:
- Mexico is a country of big contrasts and struggles
- Sixty percent of the people live in poverty
- Most of the poverty stricken live in the southern parts of Mexico
- Mexico has over 123,000 communities with populations of less than 3,000 people each
- In the state of Chiapas, more than 4 million children live in poverty
- There are more than 3 million children involved in child labor (brick making, picking coffee, working in sugar plantations)
- Forty-two percent of children who are working do not attend school
But here is where things start looking up! Compassion's ministry in Mexico began in 1976. The 180 Compassion-assisted churches are serving 33,000 children and their families. At least 80% of Compassion children are completing junior high, and many are learning vocational skills. By 2020, Compassion Mexico plans to be helping at least 80,000 children escape poverty.
After our time at the country office, we loaded up on the bus and made our way to one of the local marketplaces to do a bit of shopping.
After the shopping was done, we loaded back onto the bus and headed for the Plaza de la Constitucion, or main square of Mexico City.
Once we arrived at the main square, we walked over to see this excavation site of a temple which was originally built in the 14th century!
After peeking at the excavation site (it was really all we could do there, surrounded by gates), we walked over to the Cathedral. What an amazing building! According to Wikipedia, the Cathedral was built in sections starting in 1573.
This is probably the oldest and most ornate building I have ever visited! We don't have buildings this old in the United States and I have never been to Europe, maybe one day...especially now that I have a passport!
One of the great things about going on a Compassion Sponsor Tour is the time we get to spend together with people who have a heart for the same thing you do. We all love the children we are sponsoring and know that God has placed each one of the children in our lives for a reason. Taking time at the end of our long day to fellowship and relax is just one of the benefits of a group tour.
So, this was the end of our first day together in Mexico! A lot happened on this day. We learned a lot about Mexico, its history, and some of the struggles the country currently has. We learned about how Compassion is making a difference in the lives of children and their families. And this is the day I learned more about Felix and his family, and I learned that we would be visiting his home!
There are still many children in Mexico and in the other countries where Compassion works that are waiting for someone like you to sponsor them, today. If you have any questions about Compassion and/or sponsoring a child, please let me know.