Global Ministries: The United Methodist ChurchClick to skip to content.

 About Us  Our Work  Get Connected  How to Give  Resources  Mission News
Facebook Twitter YouTube print. email.

Twenty-Five Years of Colegio Rio Colorado (Bolivia)

by John and Suzanne Funk

John and Suzanne Nunn Funk from the North Alabama Annual Conference will be working at the Colorado Technical Agricultural High School in Rio Colorado, Bolivia. <br>GBGM Annual Meeting 2006
John and Suzanne Nunn Funk from the North Alabama Annual Conference serve at the Colorado Technical Agricultural High School in Rio Colorado, Bolivia.
GBGM Annual Meeting 2006
Image by: Cassandra Heller
Source: GBGM Administration

Colegio Rio Colorado, a mission-founded school near Yucumo, Bolivia, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The institution, which focuses on agricultural, technical, and general studies for middle and high school students, was started as a partnership between the Evangelical Methodist Church in Bolivia and the General Board of Global Ministries. Four missionary families have served Rio Colorado. Below is an account of the anniversary from John and Suzanne Funk, the current missionaries. It is from "The Vine," the Funk family's newsletter.

Twenty-five years is a long time. When something has been around for 25 years, the general consensus is that it is probably here to stay. People have faith in something that can boast 25 years. Twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries are highly celebrated. A person who has worked for a company for 25 years often retires with accolades. A business that has been around for 25 years is considered to be stable.

We are happy to share with you that the last week of May was set aside to commemorate Colegio Rio Colorado's 25 years of service to one of the poorest communities in Latin America. What a testimony to the community about the commitment of Christians worldwide.

Whenever we mention that we are with the Methodist Church, the people here always have something good to say. It is a known fact that the Methodist Church came to Bolivia and set up schools and hospitals in many communities. Many times those who benefited the most were the poor lower class, often the indigenous people. They've heard that the church was educating the indigenous people when it was illegal to do so.

Bob and Rosa Caufield decided to answer a call to be instruments for God to bring education to those who would otherwise not receive any. The Rio Colorado school came about through an international effort. All of the initial buildings were built by work teams sent by United Methodist churches, mainly from Alabama and Tennessee. The Caufields had a dream and were blessed to see it come to fruition. On May 28, 1984, the Colegio Técnico Agropecuario Rio Colorado was officially inaugurated.

Jack and Flora Warner followed the Caufields. Flora has said on numerous occasions that Rio Colorado was both the most rewarding and the most challenging place that they served. With all the buildings and infrastructure finished under the Caufields, the Warners emphasized changes in curriculum and administration. Under their watch, the school started its first computer class.

The Hudy family followed next. Peter's experience in agriculture was a natural fit. Because Estela was from Guatemala, she was able instantly to connect with the local people. Under the Hudy's watch, a science lab, a new girls' dorm, and a teacher activity room was built. The new construction was vital in meeting the needs of increased enrollment.

We are the fourth family to serve at Rio Colorado. With John's experience in administration and Suzanne's experience in education, we felt that it was a perfect match. During our short time here, we have had buildings repaired, expanded, and better utilized. Some new construction supports current programs.

We think our strength is in classroom management. We have focused on quality instruction, more discipline in the classroom, and workshops to help our teachers teach better. As with previous families, we have also spent numerous hours mentoring young people in the name of Jesus Christ.

For 25 years, churches in several states have been an integral part in the birth and the life of the Rio Colorado school. From mission teams to financial support, donations of machinery and other needed items to correspondence, for the last 25 years you have been the hands and feet of Christ to the poorest of the poor.

Read more about the work at Colegio Rio Colorado on the Funks' website at

Your local church may choose to enter into a multi-year Covenant Relationship with or other United Methodist missionaries, for ongoing support of their work. For further information, please contact:

The Advance
General Board of Global Ministries
475 Riverside Dr, #350
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-3718
Fax: 212-870-3775



You can make gifts to support the mission work of by making a donation through The Advance. The Advance is an accountable, designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100% of each gift reaches its intended mission or ministry.

Make a secure gift online: Visit Global Ministries Online Giving

Checks may be written to 'Advance GCFA' and placed in collection plates at United Methodist churches, or mailed directly to:

Advance GCFA,
P.O. Box 9068, GPO,
New York, NY 10087-9068.

Credit card donations may be made by calling
(888) 252-6174.

Please note on your check the name and The Advance Number of the missionary you are supporting:

See Also...
Topic: Agriculture Children Education Youth
Geographic Region: Bolivia
Source: GBGM Mission News

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Bolivia   

Date posted: Jun 18, 2009