Children in Latin America are often victimized by poverty, neglect, high crime rates, abandonment and family violence. The majority of CERI programs in Latin America are concentrated in Mexico, one of the poorest nations in the region.
Mexico is plagued with extreme poverty, weak infrastructure and social services, poor access to gainful employment and medical care, escalating violent crimes, and other socioeconomic factors that devastate families and children. Most homes – or lean-tos – in CERI service areas are pieced together using scraps of tarp, wood, and metal. Families and children also live without electricity or running water.
Popular missions to Mexico include medical/dental missions, Vacation Bible School (VBS), and constructions missions. CERI operates weekly children’s retreats in one of Mexico’s poorest cities, creating a safe haven for children to eat, play, learn, and receive spiritual encouragement.
CERI is also developing processes to assist families in getting their children documented by the government so they will be eligible to attend school and utilize other government benefits. In addition to planning new medical missions to provide free medical and dental assistance to impoverished families, CERI has recently launched a new sponsorship program there.