Most visionaries look for a green light to move forward in mission. For Dr. Jose Luis Guererro, it was a red light that opened his eyes to a ministry opportunity.
The director of Vida en Abundancia de Mexico realized the immense problem with poverty and life on the streets after a small child offered to clean his windshield at a stoplight in 1999. That small gesture inspired him to start a project tackling street poverty in Jalapa, Mexico.
Guererro connected with the Luke Society in 2002 with his vision to assist at-risk children. He later became the Luke Society regional coordinator in Central America and the Caribbean.
Today the ministry has expanded in ways Guererro never envisioned. A health clinic operates at the street level of a three-story building. The facility also houses ministries for education, skills training, nutrition and Bible studies. Several years ago a church was formed and uses the facility for Sunday worship.
The Vida en Abundancia ministry website may be found at www.vidaenabundancia.org.mx.
Read more about the ministry and Dr. Jose Luis Guerrero in our profile series here: Profile: Jalapa, Mexico.
Miriam Cruz is one of the newest Luke Society directors. She took over as director of Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in January 2018 after the retirement of Jose Luis Guerrero. Miriam has worked as a nutritionist and been involved with a number of programs in the ministry over the past several years. The Partnership Ministry Team in Jalapa includes: Dick and Patty De Jong, Henry and Karen Doorn, Steve and Terry Huizenga, Skip and Kim Van Ryn, and Barb Kamp.
Population: 121.7 million
Size: 1.96 million sq. km, or about three times the size of Texas
Capital: Mexico City
Borders: United States to the north; Pacific Ocean to the west; Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea to the east; Guatemala and Belize to the south.
Religious groups: Roman Catholic, 82.7%; Evangelical churches, 5%.
Primary language: Spanish
Literacy (age 15+): 95.1%
Physician density: 2.1 doctors per 1,000 people.
Population below international poverty line: 52.3%
Life expectancy: 75.7 years
Infant mortality rate: 12.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Major exports: Manufactured goods, oils, silver, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton.
Climate: Varies from tropical to desert.
Terrain: High, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert.