Since March 2020, hundreds of you have been sharing support for Latin American communities affected by COVID-19, by taking on or sponsoring an Indoor Expedition.

But what difference has your support really made?

Here are a few examples of how your donations are impacting lives across Latin America.

Struggling families in Argentina

In Salta, Latin Link members at San Andres church have been able to support families in their congregation during this difficult economic time.

Latin Link's Priscilla Breekveldt says, "Since lockdown began in Argentina at the end of March, we have been conscious of the huge effect this has had on many people who work on a daily basis and are, therefore, receiving no income.⠀

"This need has mobilised the leadership of San Andres Church to start supporting vulnerable families in the congregation. Each week, we have been buying basic food supplies for 10 families. Several of them are friends of church members and this has led to wonderful opportunities for sharing the good news of Jesus with them when the food parcels are delivered.⠀

"For Latin Link member Daniel Lescano, who delivers these parcels, doing the rounds takes a considerable amount of time, but it's a joy to be able to pray for each family and know that this is part of the answer to their prayer: give us this day our daily bread!" ⠀

Prison ministry in Bolivia

In Oruro, Bolivia, your donations have been used to purchase essential food and hygiene products for prisoners and their families.⠀

Julie Noble, Latin Link Bolivia: "One of our projects, the Angel Tree Centre, normally provides a hot meal for prisoners’ children three days a week, but it's currently closed because of government restrictions and will remain closed until the end of the year. The prisoners themselves are not able to receive visitors and, therefore, aren't getting the regular support from family members they rely on."⠀

Thanks to your help, the Angel Tree team have been able to provide food parcels for 19 families whose children are part of the Angel Tree Centre. They have also provided hygiene supplies for over 40 male and female prisoners, including 15 mothers who are in prison with their babies or pre-schoolers.⠀

Care for migrants in Colombia

Since the collapse of Venezuela's economy in 2014, millions of Venezuelan's migrated to neighbouring Colombia. Many now work in the informal economy, living day-to-day. But when the lockdown began, countless migrants lost their jobs and were unable to access state support. As a result, families face homelessness or a long walk back to Venezuela.

Your donations have been able to reach some Venezuelan migrants through a range of projects in Colombia.⠀

Ian Horne: "As a church, we are giving out large food parcels every fortnight to benefit 70 vulnerable families, of which half are Venezuelan migrant families. Your funds have enabled us to increase the nutritional value of the parcels, which can now include fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs." It's also enabled the project to respond to some emergency medical needs, including one young Venezuelan mother who needed emergency surgery on her jaw to remove a tumour - she was otherwise unable to access state medical services.⠀

Supporting the vulnerable in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, a Christian charity called Uno en Cristo has used donations to provide food parcels for families in isolation. Families like Marta's: ⠀

Marta's daughter, Zaynad, was born with very serious spina bifida. After suffering a complete kidney failure ten years ago, Zaynad had an urgent transplant. Marta has been her full-time carer ever since, and after losing her husband some years ago, she's also providing for them both financially.⠀

Until COVID-19 struck, Marta was working as a secretary in a small bus company. However, during lockdown there's been no business and she has lost her entire income. She’s been unable to look for other work because she needs to shield for Zaynad. And because they live many miles from their local church, no one has been able to offer support.⠀

Thankfully, with help from your donations, Uno en Cristo has been able to deliver food and hygiene parcels to Marta, as they have also done for 12 other struggling families. Uno en Cristo is a church-based ministry which supports families in Costa Rica where a member has a significant disability.⠀

Community development in Guatemala

AMI San Lucas is a community development project that works in rural towns and villages in the Sololá department of Guatemala. During the lockdown, many local families have struggled to earn a living and have been going without basic supplies.

Your Indoor Expeditions fundraising has helped to provide valuable food parcels and hygiene kits to 66 families connected to the project, which is around 264 individuals.

One family that has gratefully received this support is Petrolina’s. She lives with her husband and five children. Her husband lost his job due to the lockdown. After some time, he managed to find a job selling firewood for one or two days a week, earning £3 a day – this simply couldn’t cover the cost of living. Many times the parents went without food so the children could eat a little.

Thanks to the funds you raised, AMI San Lucas was able to provide the family with regular food supplies. Petrolina said: “I am truly thankful to you for the support you have given me, which is of much help for my family.”

Economic need in Mexico

Puebla is a city of great contrast, with rich and poor living side by side. But during these past few months, the extreme levels of poverty have become more evident. As lockdown began, Joel and Mayra soon started to see the overwhelming need around their neighbourhood. ⠀

"We've seen how families - that were just about getting by each day - are now living in hunger, and sometimes in physical pain due to the lack of medicine."⠀

Joel and Mayra have been able to use money donated to the Indoor Expeditions fundraiser to provide food parcels, drinking water and cleaning products to vulnerable families in their neighbourhood. Families like Hilda's: ⠀

"Hilda lives in Puebla with her daughter Zoe (8). She used to cook and sell food to local workers, but when the lockdown hit, there were no workers around and her income dried up. Hilda suffers from an autoimmune illness, so couldn’t risk looking for other work outside of her home. Hilda was unable to pay rent, buy food, or pay for Zoe's school tuition." Thankfully, God made their situation known to Joel and Mayra and, using your donations, they've been able to support Hilda and Zoe through this difficult time.

Peruvian communities in isolation

Due to Strict lockdown measures taken early by the Peruvian government, families were forced to stop working. And because many belong to the large informal economy, families have had no income to afford basic food and medicine.

In a remote Amazonian village two hours from Iquitos, your money has provided around 75 families with groceries and crucial medical support, through a local Christian project. Thanks to your support, the project has been able to visit this village and provide care for the first time all year.

Thank you so much for your generous support during these past five months. So many communities and projects depend on this aid.
If you want to learn more about fundraising for Latin Link, click the link Fundraise for us