July 31, 2014. Reverend Luis Cortes of Esperanza and a delegation of Hispanic pastors will travel to Washington D.C., Guatemala and Honduras in August at the request of the U.S. government. The delegation will explore how U.S. Hispanic faith organizations can partner with faith leaders in Guatemala and Honduras and support their ministries during the current child immigration crisis.
“The crisis involving the children from Central America is an issue that touches all our hearts and should touch our sense of responsibility to care for those who may not be able to care for themselves,” says Rev. Cortes. “Esperanza and our partners here in the U.S. feel the need to reach out and support those on the ground in Central America to see how we can work together to alleviate further difficulty.”
In Washington, the delegation will be briefed by the White House, State Department, USAID and the National Security Council on the most current information pertaining to the situation. In Central America, the delegation is scheduled to meet with the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras as well as key faith leaders in each of the countries. The Alianza Evangelica Latinoamericana (AEL) will serve as host for the delegation through its president Rev. Cesar Vasquez, in Guatemala, and the executive director of the confraternidad Evangelica Rev. Jorge Machado, in Honduras. These national ministers represent over 90% of the evangelical churches in their countries.
During the trip, the delegation also intends to clarify the misperception that there is a legal path available for the children and their families. Accompanying Esperanza on the trip is Enlace, the largest Christian Cable Network in Spanish in the U.S. and Latin America. Enlace is viewed in 97 countries in Latin America, North America, Western Europe and Northern Africa reaching over 150 million potential viewers.
“It is our hope to connect Latinos of faith in the U.S. to some of the relief efforts that address the children’s present and future needs, ” says Rev. Cortes. “We’re honored to have the opportunity to serve and we look forward to returning with a clear understanding of the situation in Guatemala and Honduras”
Esperanza, the premiere Hispanic Evangelical faith-based network in the country, was founded in 1987 by the Reverend Luis Cortés Jr. and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. With a national network of over 13,000 Hispanic congregations, faith and community based agencies, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America