April-2010-trip-group

About

La Luz de Cristo translates as “ The Light of Christ”  is a non-profit mission organization that was established in June 2007. Our purpose is to show God’s amazing love in action to the people of Empalme de Boaco and surrounding communities in Nicaragua.  This is done through a variety of programs and ministries that focus on health maintenance, community development, leadership training and children ministries.

The need is great in this area.  Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere.  El Empalme de Boaco is a rural area in Nicaragua where most people live under extreme poverty with less than $1.00 per day.  The main town of Empalme serves 9 surrounding communities with even greater needs.  The area is home to approximately 15,000 children under the age of 15 years and their families with limited access to health care.

Since June 2007, La Luz de Cristo Ministries has been providing basic medical care through our health program.  Our community health clinic was completed April 2009 .  The clinic is staffed with a local physician, Dr. Jessie Castillo, who sees patients 5 days a week with the help of a nurse assistant.  Our clinic provides all the necessary medications and treatments to our patients all free of charge.

The ministry works with six local churches providing leadership training to the pastors and leaders of the communities.  Organizing the different communities is a vital part of improving the quality of life for everyone there.    Providing work opportunities to heads of households is an important aspect of  our community development/economic program.   Through small business loans of $300, an entire family can become self-sufficient and be able to send their children to school.    Projects include Tilapia ponds, bee hives, raising chickens, road side merchandise stands, and others.

Home in El Empalme de Boaco

This initiative started in the heart of a young pediatrician, Dr. Beatriz Juncadella and her family several years ago. They are originally from Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States escaping the Sandinista-Contra war in 1988. They shared this vision with their hometown church La Luz de Cristo, which quickly embraced it. This small congregation has been actively involved with El Empalme de Boaco since 2005.  Knowing first-hand what is like to live in third world standards without any of the basic medical and public health services has fueled this community to make a difference in El Empalme. The Juncadella family donated the land to build the clinic as a first step to fulfill this vision.

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