Where We Work

Snapshot of Mexico

38

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

7%

of people can’t read or write

15%

of people lack access to proper sanitation

Mexico has grown in the decade following the 2008 global financial crisis, but deep economic disparity and social exclusion remain. Millions of Mexicans live in poverty and drug-related violence claims thousands of lives every year.

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. It has a young population and historically, many people, driven by poverty, have migrated to the neighbouring United States to find employment.

Yet in recent times, the Mexico-US border has become a focal point of international tension, with US President Trump declaring he would build a wall to keep migrants out. In late 2018, a caravan of thousands of migrants from Central American nations travelled through Mexico en route to the US and fetched up at the border, where they were denied entry and driven back with teargas. Many said they were fleeing gang violence and grinding poverty—two issues that also affect many Mexican communities. More than 50 million Mexicans live in poverty, with 11.5 million living in extreme poverty (on less than US$1.90 per day). Rural areas are often neglected and huge shanty towns surround the cities.

After former President Calderon declared war on Mexico’s powerful drug-trafficking organisations, in 2006, violence spiralled out of control, resulting in more than 200,000 deaths and one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world. In July 2018, Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected President; his campaign focused on ending political corruption and drug-related murders. His success or otherwise will be measured in human lives.

Mexico is a large and diverse country, and there are many areas which do not experience high levels of crime. Yet stabilising the nation to find a long-lasting and widespread peace has proved elusive and even now it seems a distant prospect.

Omar J Villagran

Letter from Compassion Mexico Director, Omar Villagran Arjona

Warm greetings, dear brothers and friends: My name is Omar Villagran; it is a joy to write to you and thank you for the support you provide to our programs. I have been the Compassion Mexico Country Director since 2004. I live in Toluca with my wife, Jeza; we have been married for 30 years and have two daughters, Melisa and Ingrid.

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Pastor Samuel’s Answer

Ixmiquilpan, north of Mexico City, is a large town in the middle of a desert valley. From its outskirts stretch long, dry expanses of land, empty but for rocky formations and all kinds of cacti. In this region, more than 60 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Most of the families here are either dedicated to the fields as day labourers, or else work as cooks, janitors or low-wage employees.

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Prayer requests for Mexico

  • Pray for the children, families, churches and communities affected by Hurricane Willa, which caused widespread flooding and damage in coastal communities. Pray that the families forced to abandon their homes will receive support to return and rebuild; pray for God’s peace and strength in a difficult time.
  • Pray for local churches as they minister to the children and families in their neighbourhoods. Pray God’s Spirit would continue to empower them to be a source of love and strength for the vulnerable children and families they serve.
  • Pray for the Compassion Mexico leadership and staff as they seek to implement new strategies in the coming new year; pray for God’s wisdom and direction. Please also pray for several vacancies on the staff; pray that God will lead them as they recruit and that the people with the right skills will apply to join the team.
  • Pray for Miriam’s mother, who recently was injured in an incident at home. Please pray that God will bring healing and comfort to her.
  • Pray for all the caregivers and infants being supported by Survival projects around the country; pray that their relationships will continue to grow stronger and that they will encourage and support one another. Pray for opportunities to earn some income and for their skills to keep developing.
  • Pray for President Obrador, who was sworn into office on 1 December. Pray for peace and godly wisdom as he leads the nation forward; and that those living in poverty will gain new opportunities for education and employment.