Crisis Response: Guarani Community, Bolivia

In Bolivia (population 12 million) there are around 96,000 Guarani, an indigenous group with distinct languages and traditions who live primarily in the southeastern lowlands. In many cases the Guarani have experienced a history of subjugation by local ‘patrones’ or landholders. Guarani families are traditionally part of close knit communities and often make a living from subsistence farming supplemented by seasonal head of household work in major city centers away from the community.

As part of MAI ministry, Dr. Bibiana MacLeod has been partnering with a Guarani community leader named Orfa Gomez Parra, for nearly a decade. Orfa facilitates relational connections and CHE trainings with Guarani communities, churches and individuals in Bolivia and Argentina.

Most recently, Orfa is supporting community and church work in her home region of Isoso (made up of 32 dispersed Guarani communities with a population of 16,000 people). These communities have been impacted by the effects of Covid, including an increased rate of death amongst the elderly and an increase in seasonal migration for work.

Covid Impact: Many families returned from seasonal migratory work to their local communities in late 2021 with little money, only to be hit by the 4th wave of Covid in December. As the Omicron variant spreads and infection rates increase, community health centers are running short of basic medicines for sick community members. Distribution of new medicines is complicated by poor roads made worse in the rainy season.  Communities are lacking basic medication to alleviate symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, body pains and headaches.

Response/Opportunity to Support: Through MAI, the Alto Isoso Covid Response, community health center medicines will be restocked in the central Guarani communities of Tamachindi Alto Isoso (300 families) and Rancho Nuevo Bajo Isoso (200 families). The purchase and distribution of medicines will be carried out by the community emergency committee in conjunction with established community and church leaders and oversight from Orfa. Community health members will visit homes to support families and collect health information for the emergency committee. Project efficacy will be evaluated every 15 days.

The cost of this project is $4,000. If you feel led to support, please make a donation here and put Bolivia in the subject line.

Pray for the Guarani community. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippines 4:19