A country rich in history and natural resources – fertile soil from the volcanoes help yield excellent coffee – Guatemala is the perfect place to initiate your World Race experience. Outside of its aesthetic appeal, Guatemala needs God’s touch. Gripped by poverty and bound to a spirit of religion, the people of Guatemala hunger for the kingdom of God to pervade their lives. You'll have the opportunity to usher in the kingdom to this land and reach out to the people on the fringes of society through hard work, relationships, and maybe even a miracle or two.
"Hondo" comes from the Spanish word for depth and there's lots of depth to Honduras. It's home to the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, whose ruins are still stand. Honduras is mostly mountainous and the weather's as tropical as it gets. What really runs deep in Honduras are its needs. Honduras is the third poorest in the region, after Haiti and Nicaragua. Like her neighbors, Honduras has had her of share political/military troubles, e.g., the six-month constitutional crisis in 2009. There's a need to reach out to the youth, not just to keep them out of trouble (e.g., gangs) but for them to know their worth and that they're loved.
This location is always a World Race favorite. It's a country full of wonderfully warm and caring people, and participants always leave having had a powerful experience. However, hopelessness, addictions, destitution, and poverty still plague the many lives of Nicaragua. There are orphans who have grown up without knowing the love of a parent and families who get by each day by scrounging scraps from the city dump where they have made their homes. In Nicaragua, you'll have the opportunity to bring God's love through slum ministry, door-to-door outreach, outreach to children, and more.
Costa Rica is a hot spot for surfing and just enjoying "pura vida" - literally, "pure life", it's a concept of a "chill," relaxed, laidback way of life. The beautiful beaches that line both coasts are the perfect setting. Among the Central American countries, Costa Rica ("Rich Coast") lives up to its name. While the natural beauty attracts lots of tourists, there are still large pockets of poverty and family brokenness. Because of its relative affluence, Costa Rica also draws in immigrants from neighboring countries, like Nicaragua, who don't fare much better than they did before. You might help feed their physical and spiritual hunger - and discover other creative ways to give new meaning to the concept of "pura vida."
While it's been several decades since apartheid has formally ended, there’s still more healing and reconciliation to take place in South Africa. One of the wealthiest countries on the continent yet much of the population living outside the cities is poor. Like the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, this country struggles with a high rate of AIDS/HIV. Host to the 2010 World Cup and breathtaking natural attractions, it’s also a place full of kingdom potential, waiting to be released -- by you.
One of the most beautiful countries in the African continent, Mozambique is a favorite location of World Racers for a variety of reasons: the people, the landscape, the ministry partnerships, the miracles that this country has seen, and more. The former Portuguese colony is seeing signs of redemption and economic recovery; because of, or in spite of, the extreme poverty gripping the nation, the church grows. You will teach, preach, and practice "true religion" with widows and orphans while you grow in your identity in Christ. One of your most interesting travel "days" may happen here.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is one of the last remaining monarchies in Africa. Home to 1.1 million people and breathtaking scenic views, it's also where the world's highest HIV/AIDS infection rate lives (26.1% in adults and over 50% of adults in their 20s). It's estimated that by 2050, Swaziland may cease to exist. Young orphans are scattered throughout this nation in desperate need of attention. For years, Adventures has been committed to seeing these statistics reversed. Here, you’ll most likely find yourself involved in a variety of outreaches, including education, orphan care, care point feedings, and more.
The kingdom of Thailand, known as Siam until 1939, is the only country in the region not colonized by Europe. Their 2000 census showed that 94.6% of the population is Buddhist, 4.6% are Muslim, and 0.7% are Christian. Approximately 600,000 people live with HIV/AIDS in Thailand. With nearly two million people estimated to be forced into prostitution, it has become one of the most popular places for sex tourism. Change lives in the city-where you, like Jesus, might befriend prostitutes-or in the countryside-where you may serve youth, care for orphans, and encourage a remnant of believers.
In a struggle for independence, first from Britain, then from its own government, Burmese political groups have fought an ongoing war for over 60 years, full of rebellions and insurgencies. This political unrest has led to nearly 200,000 refugees in Burma, many fleeing to neighboring countries like Thailand. When the cyclone hit in 2008, it not only left $10 billion in damages in its wake, it also resulted in nearly 140,000 people losing their lives. Natural disasters, a sinking economy, and corrupt government have led to despair and poverty for many Burmese people. Bring hope to refugees, the lost, and the broken, in a country fighting to embrace tradition while moving away from the old regime.
Enter a world entrenched in Islam. A people within the thriving metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians still live in ignorance of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As you delve into this culture of works-based religion, strong self-discipline, and uncanny faith, you will have the unique opportunity to deliver hope and point the people to their Redeemer.
This Asian island nation, former Spanish colony then American protectorate, is a country in tension, trying to cross the threshold between the third and first world. It offers a variety of landscapes - beaches, mountains, volcanic lakes - and languages, with Tagalog as the national tongue. The Catholic Church is a substantial piece of the religious pie, however, and Islam is growing in the island of Mindinao. The Filipino people and culture love music, dance and community. While there, you may find yourself living with and giving hope to the destitute, caring for orphans, and challenging the growing number of Christ-followers to rise up.