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¡Bienvenido a Cochabamba!

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Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner Victor Artaiz reflects on his recent arrival to Cochabamba, Bolivia.

What a joy to have arrived and spent my first month here in the land of the “Cochabambinos,” an endearing name for the dear, diverse, multicultural, indigenous, and cosmopolitan people of this Bolivian department. Kind, gracious, and muy simpatico are the words that come to mind in describing the people who have made me feel so welcome. From my initial week of beginning Spanish classes at CLIMAL, being made to feel at home with my host Familia, and making the transition to living with my FMS sisters, Nora and Domo, the word Welcome! Bienvenido! truly fits the sentiment of being in Cochabamba.

Thank you to our FMS staff for a thorough formation that has blended into a well-planned and organized introduction into mission. Your years of relationships and experience here in Bolivia have made my prayerful decision to go such a blessing. My continuing thanks and blessings to my family and friends who selflessly support this journey.

I look slowly ahead with a faith in Jesus Christ to smooth my path in continuing to build a solid foundation that leads to accompanying in solidarity those I will meet on the periphery.

Paz y Gratitud,

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After a 30 year career in international business and serving communities in Kenya and locally in New Haven, CT, Victor Artaiz is grateful for the opportunity to serve and accompany individuals living on the margins in mutuality and simplicity through FMS’ Overseas Lay Missioner program. Victor's ministries in Cochabamba, Bolivia, include addiction recovery services, accompanying men who are incarcerated, and serving meals to people experiencing hunger.