New Back2Back Site in Cancun, by Julie Cooper, Back2Back Mexico Staff

This fall, Back2Back will be expanding, by opening a second site in Mexico, specifically in Cancun.  Staff will help in the fight against human rights violations against children and provide “care for today, hope for tomorrow” to orphans in need.  Below, Julie Cooper, who will be heading up this site with her husband, Matt, explains how the idea began:

My husband, Matt, with two siblings from San Jose Children's Home in Cancun, during a visit to the area in March.

I want to share with you a little bit of the story behind us going to Cancun. This won’t cover every angle but mostly that which involves us personally. In the fall of 2008, one of our SMCA (the school on campus) teachers held a fundraiser to help an organization that works in areas where human rights are being violated. I was interested to learn more about this organization so I visited their web site to see what kind of work they were involved in. I was struck by an article about the great need in Cancun and how poor and street children are at incredible risk there. It just kind of became a burden to me. I thought a lot about the kids and their needs and began to wonder if Back2Back could maybe someday be “back to back” with the work that was going on in this city.

Later in the fall of 2009, Back2Back decided that it was time to branch out and begin work in another Mexican city. By this time, I had shared with pretty much everyone what I had read about Cancun.  However, back in the US office while researching options, our team was unable to find even a word about Cancun on this organization’s web site. Apparently, they don’t even work there! Whatever it was that I read over a year ago, was clearly God’s way of bringing this area of Mexico to our attention. Many associate Cancun with beaches and hotels – not with the thousands of children in need. Some are living in children’s home but many, many more are at home unsupervised while mom is gone twelve hours a day trying to earn a living working in one of the hotels. Older kids often turn to the streets.  Below is first-hand insight into the situation in Cancun, as reported by Chris Hawley,  of Republic Mexico City Bureau:

Cancun is a place of brilliant turquoise waters and cool white sand, tropical breezes and icy margaritas, glittering hotels and immaculate streets. That’s the Cancun seen by some 4.6 million visitors a year, making this tiny island one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations, a major source of cash for Mexico and the model for new resorts from Tunisia to Thailand.

But there’s another Cancun just beyond Kilometer Zero, the place on Kukulcan Avenue where the vaunted Hotel Zone ends. And things are not so idyllic there. It’s a city of 500,000 struggling with the social ills of a frontier boomtown: crime and poverty, drugs and gangs, political unrest . . . It’s a place of gritty “superblocks” where hotel workers live in cinder-block houses, and of even poorer areas where squatters build shanties out of scrap wood and old advertising banners.

“If the tourists knew where we live, they’d understand what Cancun is really like,” said María Eternidad Jiménez Orinano, standing in the door of her scrap-metal home in the Tekach neighborhood.

Back2Back will work to meet the needs of the children in the area and offer opportunities for short-term mission teams to partner with us as we serve.

God has worked in His own time and I am encouraged by that as I think about the obstacles that still stand in our way. I’m going to write about it in my journal right now, so that next year I can look back again at our faithful God who supplies all of our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus and see how He was again faithful!

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8 Responses to “New Back2Back Site in Cancun, by Julie Cooper, Back2Back Mexico Staff”

  1. Esther Winchell Says:

    Hi Julie and Matt,
    I don’t know if you remember me, but I visited and worked at Back2Back twice with Family Christian Stores about 5-6 years ago. I am not longer with FCS and miss the news about what is happening with Back2Back. This morning, I awoke and God was urging me to go to your website and just read. What I read about your new work in Cancun just touched my heart. It also broke my heart to hear that this is happening to children there because I was unaware that this was occurring there. My husband Tom and I are both retired, but still wanting to work where God would have us go. We currently volunteer in our hometown at a shelter/thrift store. Can we help you with your current work in Cancun? Where is help needed? Please add us to your email list so we can keep in touch and keep updated on your work.

  2. Leah Says:

    Hello my name is Leah and I’m currently a college student studying comparative cultures and politics…I was just surfing the internet and read your blod and i just was so encouraged by the work you are doing in cancun. when i graduate i want to do work to prevent human trafficking, and what you are doing sounds AMAZING. i know it is just getting started, but if you could keep me on your email list, and just keep me updated with any mission trip opportunities, or even internships (that would be GREAT!) i would really appriciate it. human trafficking is something really close to my heart, and i want to do everything i can to help those who are suffering because of it.
    thanks so much and God bless. i will be keeping your ministry in my prayers.

    • Back2Back Says:

      Thanks for sharing your heart for human trafficking prevention, such a tragic and important issue. Please email kate@back2backministries.org with your mailing address to receive our ministry’s magazine twice a year. We’d love to keep you updated on our expansion into Cancun!

  3. Kelly Meininger Says:

    My family and I have travelled to Cancun often for vacation and have recently discussed looking into doing some mission work there. We have gone beyond the hotel zone and realize there are needs to be met. We have 2 children that we would like to include in the work as well (youngest 6) We would be very interested in learning more about the work you are doing there and how we can get involved. What an exciting time for you as you seek to serve the people of Cancun. We would consider it a privilege to serve alongside you so when you are ready for groups to come and work, please keep us updated on the progress!!

  4. nicole smith Says:

    Hi,
    My name is nicole smith and I take distance learning classes from moody bible institute. Could you email me and keep me updated on the progress. Also,I am going to email kate and get on ministry magezine mailing list.

  5. Sharla Tate Says:

    My family and I travel to Mexico every year for a vacation and have often wanted to do mission work while we are there. My husband is a minister and the only time he gets to disconnect from all the stress of being a minister is when we travel to Mexico since he does not have his phone etc. We usually travel in May and would like more information about your ministry. My daughter is currently in college and feels led to do mission work in Africa for the child trafficking. Please let us know if there is anything we could come and help with. Sincerely – Sharla Tate

  6. Andrea Rodriguez Says:

    Hello, I am Andrea and I would love to stay updated about this. I am really interested in working or volunteering with something like this. I am a student studying Comparative Cultures and Politics with a specialization in Latin America. It is awesome to see all the work that is being done.I hold Mexico and all of Latin America very close to my heart and I really want to be part of something so amazing like this. Please add me to the email list or please if there is other ways to stay connected please let me know. THANKS! and God bless !

  7. Michael Pratt Says:

    I am going to be in Cancun May 20-26th, 2011. I was going there because I am going through a very sad divorce and wanted to get away for a bit. I saw your site and was wondering if If there was any labor available that you need done? I am a property manager and am experienced in property maintenance, light plumbing, electrical, sheetrocking, painting etc… Is there a family that might need theeir house painted or something like that? I would be happy to buy all of the materials. I just want to help someone else in this lonely time of my life. I have done mission work before in Haiti with the Nazerine Church. Please let me know. You may contact me via my email address. Thank you.

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