CEDEPCA, the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America, is an educational non-profit that works to transform lives by offering education, accompaniment and safe reflection spaces to women and men of diverse Christian traditions and communities.


Why I support CEDEPCA

As a teacher, I've always believed education plays a fundamental role in eliminating poverty, so CEDEPCA's motto, "education that transforms," struck a chord with me, even before I set foot in Guatemala. In 34 years of teaching Spanish, I'd covered Mayan history without really understanding the daily struggles Mayan women face today. I taught about the terrible civil war in Guatemala without having ever spoken directly to a survivor of that bloody conflict. I was unprepared for the emotional impact of talking with Guatemalan women, many of them Mayan, whose lives had been fundamentally transformed by the classes CEDEPCA offers. In turn, their stories of overcoming obstacles I couldn't even imagine experiencing transformed me. The courageous people I met through CEDEPCA not only made me a better Spanish teacher, they gave me hope for a better future.

Like most of the board members of CEDEPCA USA, one trip was all it took to convince me of the incredible ministry this Central American group does, and how worthy it is of my personal and financial support.

CEDEPCA works with women's ministry, theological training, and disaster assistance, but for most of us on the board, an intercultural exchange—a trip through Guatemala—makes all the other programs come alive in a way no printed brochure ever could. Meeting people, staying in their homes, sharing conversations about our two nations, and helping with projects in small villages all make Guatemala come alive. If you have the chance, sign up for an intercultural exchange. I think you'll discover, as I did, that you, too, will be transformed by the education you receive from the program and the people.


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Richmond, VA 23221