THE COMMUNITIES WE SERVE
Many of the communities that 4CM serves are rural and indigenous communities who are often denied opportunities for quality education because of their far distance from the cities and the cycle of poverty they are trapped in. The community of San Telmo in Baja California, Mexico is mostly comprised of migrant farm workers who migrate from state to state looking for seasonal work in the agricultural sector. A majority of the families originate from indigenous communities that are often exploited by multi-national corporations for cheap labor and overlooked by the government. In need of work, not able to speak Spanish (the national language), and illiterate – many of these families are left with no choice but to work low-wage jobs in damaging circumstances.
THE CYCLE OF POVERTY – CHILD LABOR, ALCOHOL, DRUGS, GANGS
The exhausting work that families endure, open doors for a cyclic dependence on alcohol, drugs, prostitution, and gangs for survival in a life that does not offer any signs of hope or lasting joy. Parents start taking their children to fields to work alongside them between the ages of 8-10 because each child that joins them on field serves as an additional source of income. It is in the fields that children are exposed to a culture of alcoholism, drugs, and gangs. Girls are often forced to stay home and not attend school to take care of their younger siblings. In many cases, young girls are sold off between the ages of 12-14 as young brides as a cultural practice, and many times out of financial need. As the children grow up, they continue the cycle of poverty as they find themselves forced to work low-wage agricultural and harmful jobs due to their lack of education and family support.
EDUCATION AS A SYMBOL OF HOPE – WHY EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES MATTER
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us
the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:8
Where there is light, darkness scatters!
Education is a symbol of hope and light in the San Telmo community. Education breaks the cycle of poverty in this community by offering families an opportunity to walk through a door that was not open before. With a quality education and an experience with the love of Christ, we believe that our students will live with a vision to impact their communities and ultimately, the world by living out the Gospel. A God-given vision and a seed of faith is all that is needed to see a harvest of powerful leaders who will rise up to proclaim the Good News – hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the future years, 4CM envisions planting more schools in the communities we serve at both Panama and Bolivia. We believe that education not only acts as hope for families and transforms the lives of our students, but it empowers the local church. As our students are empowered to change their futures by stepping on the path of education, we believe they will also be moved to serve their local church and act as catalysts for transformation in their families and the larger community.