FMS has been sending missioners to Bolivia for more than 20 years. We have a number of ministry options available in two locations in Bolivia: Cochabamba (a city of over 1 million people) and the more rural location of Carmen Pampa.

Cochabamba

Through a partnership with local Franciscans in Cochabamba, FMS missioners engage in a wide variety of ministries and live at the Franciscan Social Center in the downtown area of Cochabamba. Here are a few examples of ministries, in which current and past missioners have engaged:

Centro Una Brisa de Esperanza(CUBE)/A Breeze of Hope is the first and only center in Bolivia to specialize in the provision of free psychological, legal, medical, and social services for child and adolescent victims of sexual violence.
Franciscans International is a nongovernmental organization that provides a Franciscan voice at the United Nations to address human rights injustices that impact the marginalized and the most vulnerable.
Franciscan Social Center is run by Franciscan religious sisters and friars and provides many free services to those in need in Cochabamba.
Fundación San Lucas is a nonprofit health foundation that provides a variety of services to the most marginalized populations of Cochabamba and the surrounding rural communities.
Manos Con Libertad/FreeHands a Christian co-operative of prisoners from San Sebastián Women’s prison and those who are on probation outside.
Nuestra Casa is a home for girls ages 7-18 who have experienced some kind of sexual violence.
Mosoj Yan is an organization that works with children and teenagers who live or work on the streets.
San Sebastian Women’s Prison is Cochabamba’s main women’s prison in the city. There are currently over 200 women living there, and the women are there for a variety of reasons, anything from debt to murder.

Carmen Pampa

FMS is in partnership with Unidad Academica Campesina de Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP), the only institution of higher education in Bolivia’s mountainous Yungas area. Founded in 1993 by a Franciscan sister, Sr. Damon Nolan, the rural Catholic college is dedicated to making higher education available to young Bolivians with talent and ambition, but who have few economic resources. Approximately 200 students attend UAC-CP. The college gives young Bolivians the tools to become leaders in their home communities by offering curricula that address the most pressing concerns of rural communities – health, education, agriculture, veterinary science, and the environment. In the past 30 years, the college has become a vibrant catalyst for economic and social change in one of the poorest areas of Latin America.

Franciscan Mission Service missioners have served in different capacities at the college since 1998. Below are examples of different ministries in which missioners are engaged:

  • Teaching English classes
  • Tutoring students in a range of subjects
  • Running the children’s library on campus
  • Assisting with maintenance, gardening and grounds-keeping
  • Caring for the college’s farm animals
  • Assisting at the food co-op and preparing meals with students
  • Planning retreats, leading reflections and assisting with other campus ministry activities
  • Helping out with extracurricular activities including sports, art, and student groups