Latin America contains approximately 17.5% of the world's Quakers. Latin American members of the Religious Society of Friends are concentrated in Bolivia and Guatemala. Most of these Friends are Evangelical and are affiliated with Evangelical Friends International.
There are about 30,000 Friends in Bolivia. Quakerism came to Bolivia in Navajo man, William Abel, who sold Bibles and preached in the capital city of convinced of the truth of the preacher's message and went to study at the Friends' Biblical Institute in Guatemala. After graduating in 1924 he returned and began the Evangelical Friends Church. This denomination consists of 192 congregations throughout Bolivia and sponsors several schools.
Also during 1919 the Holiness Friends Mission, an association of independent Indiana Friends, established meetings in Bolivia's northern Andes surrounding Sorata village. When the Mission reorganized as Central Friends Mission in 1952 the Bolivian meetings divided into two Yearly Meetings -- Central Evangelical Friends Church, and Holiness Friends. At first, Bolivian yearly meetings consisted only of members of Aymara heritage. Aymara Friends are now working among Quechua, Mosetain, Chimani, and other tribal groups. Yearly Meetings include Iglesia Evangélica Amigos Central (Central Evangelical unprogrammed worship groups in Latin AmericaFriends Church), Iglesia Evangélica Unión Boliviana "Amigos" (Bolivian Union Evangelical Friends Church), Iglesia Nacional Evangélica Los Amigos de Bolivia (National Evangelical Friends Church of Bolivia), and Iglesia Evangélica Misión Boliviana de Santidad Amigos (Bolivian Evangelical Mission Church of Holiness Friends).
Guatemala and other Latin American countriesEdit
There are approximately 20,000 Friends in the nation of Guatemala. Yearly meetings are Iglesia Evangélica Embajadores Amigos (Evangelical Ambassadors Friends Church), Iglesia Evangélica Nacional Amigos de Guatemala (National Evangelical Friends Church of Guatemala), and Junta Anual Amigos de Santidad (Friends of Holiness Yearly Meeting). There is also a small unprogrammed meeting, Guatemala Monthly Meeting affiliated with Pacific Yearly Meeting, which operates PROGRESA, an educational program at the high school and university level.
In Peru there are about 5,000 Friends, they are a part of the Iglesia Nacional Evangélica Los Amigos del Perú (National Evangelical Friends Church of Peru). There are about 2,000 Friends in Honduras. They are members of the Junta Anual Amigos de Santidad (Friends of Holiness Yearly Meeting).
Mexico has about 800 Friends in two yearly meetings-- the Asociación Religiosa de las Iglesias Evangélicas de los Amigos (Religious Association of the Evangelical Churches of Friends) and the Reunion General de los Amigos en México (General Meeting of Friends in Mexico). In El Salvador there are about 550 Friends, members of The Iglesias Evangélicas de los Amigos en El Salvador (Evangelical Friends Churches in El Salvador).
There are about 373 Friends in Cuba. They are members of the Cuba Yearly Meeting, which is affiliated with Friends United Meeting.
There are also about 72 Friends in Costa Rica and about 20 in Colombia.
Unprogrammed worship groups in Latin America
There are unprogrammed worship meetings and groups in Latin America in Costa Rica and Mexico since long time.
Also in Cuba there is small unprogrammed group in Havana since 1994, which has done great efforts to spread silent worships to the whole island; there were unprogrammed groups in Holguin for 2 years, one in Santiago de Cuba and in Santi Spiritus for a while but these three couldn't continue.
Unprogrammed worship groups in Latin American had their first anual meeting in November in 2006 in Costa Rica in Monteverde; the next anual meeting would be on November, 2007, in Friends House in Mexico D.F.
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