Quakers in Latin America

Quakers In Latin America

Quakers in Latin America

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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 1919 through a Navajo man, William Abel, who sold Bibles and preached in the capital city of La Paz. Bolivian Juan Ayllon became 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 Evangelicalunprogrammed worship groups in Latin AmericaFriends Church), Iglesia Evangélica Unión Boliviana "Amigos"...
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