FMS has been sending missioners to Bolivia for more than 20 years. We have a number of ministry options available in a city of over 1 million people: Cochabamba, Bolivia.
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:
CUBE is a pioneer in its field because it uses transdisciplinary treatment protocols. Professionals from different disciplines—lawyers, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and physicians—all work together to form an integrated treatment plan and legal strategy for the child that is compassionate and comforting. In order to prevent sexual assault, CUBE provides educational workshops for the legislators, judges, prosecutors, police, government officials and the general public. CUBE has provided education and training to over 70,000 people and has brought awareness to over 1,000,000 people through massive information campaigns.
The priority areas for the Franciscans International include: extreme poverty, the environment and peace-building. Missioners have the opportunity to collaborate with leaders from Bolivian religious orders to raise public consciousness about the social justice issues affecting local Bolivian communities.
In the prisons, Manos Con Libertad provides materials and instruction on how to make crafts that can be sold in order to cover the cost of the inmates’ food and beds in the prison. Manos con Libertad also leads Bible studies, reflections and workshops. Outside the prison walls, the organization provides classes (including business development, personal finance, self-esteem, cooking, baking, crafts, etc.) for women who have recently been released from prison in order to help them reintegrate back into their local communities. The organization also runs a restaurant, a bakery, and a store where the women’s’ crafts are sold.