Our youth group from church is in Orlando this week doing mission work. We'll end our week at Walt Disney World touring the World Showcase at Epcot and learning a bit of "missions & outreach" information about each country. This is what we'll be learning:
· History of country The site of advanced Amerindian civilizations - including the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec - Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved its independence early in the 19th century. The global financial crisis beginning in late 2008 caused a massive economic downturn the following year, although growth returned quickly in 2010. Ongoing economic and social concerns include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states. The elections held in 2000 marked the first time since the 1910 Mexican Revolution that an opposition candidate - Vicente FOX of the National Action Party (PAN) - defeated the party in government, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He was succeeded in 2006 by another PAN candidate Felipe CALDERON. National elections, including the presidential election, are scheduled for 1 July 2012. Since 2007, Mexico's powerful drug-trafficking organizations have engaged in bloody feuding, resulting in tens of thousands of drug-related homicides.
· Population in 2011 114,975,406
· Population age 0-14 in 2010, 27.9%
· Life expectancy (females and males, years) 79.7/ 74.9
· Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) 16.77
· Unemployment in 2011, 5.2% % of labor force
· Homelessness rates In Mexico City an estimated 40% of people live in informal housing Source: www.unhabitat.org
· Population Below Poverty Line 18.2% note: based on food-based definition of poverty; asset based poverty amounted to more than 47% (2008)
· People living with HIV/ AIDS 220,000
· Religion Mexico has no official religion; however, most people in Mexico report they are Christians, and this is reflected in several aspects of life there; Christmas is a national holiday and every year during Easter all schools in Mexico, public and private, take vacations. During the Spanish conquest and colonization of Mexico, Roman Catholicism was established as the dominant religion of Mexico, and today, about 89% of Mexicans identify themselves with that division of Christianity. It is the nation with the second largest Catholic population, behind Brazil and before the United States. 6% of the population adheres to various Protestant faiths (mostly Pentecostal), and the remaining 5% of the population adhering to other religions or professing no religion. While most indigenous Mexicans are Catholic, some combine or syncretize Catholic practices with native traditions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) has a growing presence in the major border cities of northeastern Mexico, and over one million members nationwide. Judaism has been practiced in Mexico for centuries, and there are estimated to be more than 45,000 Jews in Mexico today. Islam is mainly practiced by members of the Arab, Turkish, and other expatriate communities, though there is a very small number of the indigenous population in Chiapas that practices Islam.
· United Methodist Missionaries
· Berman, Guillermo - Mexican Methodist Border Mission Coordinator in Reynosa, Mexico.
· Henderson, Muriel- Program coordinator, fundraiser and teacher for the "Give Ye Them To Eat" program in Puebla, Mexico.
· Henderson, Terry-Director, "Give Ye Them to Eat", Southeast Annual Conference, Methodist Church of Mexico.