Population: 10.3 million (2012)
Capital: Sucre; La Paz (seat of the government)
Official languages: Spanish and many others
Major religion: Catholicism
IFES movement: Comunidad Cristiana Universitaria Bolivia (CCU Bolivia)
Bolivia is a multicultural country that has experienced various social changes over the last ten years and is starting an economic stabilization process which impacts will only be seen in the long run. The level of corruption is still high and it is one of the poorest countries of Latin America.
Most students can only get into state universities which generally offer teaching of lower quality. The private universities are not accessible to the great majority of students. The challenge for Christian students is to contribute to their society through their faith in two areas: the academic excellence and the fight against corruption and poverty.
- 3 public universities with CCU groups, 2 private universities
- 3 student groups
- 2 full-time staff, 13 volunteers
- largest student group in La Paz (50 students)
- 4 pioneering groups (2-8 students)
Over the last two years, the local groups have started to become stable and to grow. The new generations of student leaders have taken the lead of the ministry, working alongside the volunteer staff. CCU continues to face financial fragility; and yet, they are thankful to God for the continued support of volunteer staff as well as the graduates’ financial support.
CCU has two main goals: to provide students with the necessary tools to introduce the good news of Jesus Christ in words and deeds in the midst of a context of poverty, mediocrity and corruption; to expand the national donor base.
View from the inside
Carina Roja, CCU General Secretary, says: ‘God has used the student ministry to shape my character. During my years at university, I rediscovered God through CCU Bolivia. Being involved in CCU now is a way of showing my gratitude to God, as Jesus said: ‘…whoever has been forgiven much, loves much’. I am excited as I hope to see similar stories to mine for students of new generations, to see how the Gospel transforms young Bolivians and create a better future for my country. It is exciting!
The letter of Paul to the Galatians has accompanied me recently, particularly Galatians 5:25, where he insists on depending upon the guidance of the Spirit for our missionary task and our personal life.’
- for students to be moved by God in both mind and heart to share his message with passion and with tenderness to a suffering nation;
- for continued financial provision coming from graduates and Bolivian churches.