What does Guatemala’s population look like?
Approximately 53% are 19 years old and younger.
The book Sustainable Young Adult Ministry shares truths that apply to Sumpango:
  • Teens and young adults are interested in bettering the world.
  • Teens and young adults are eager to engage with Christ and community.
  • Non-Christians are acutely interested in spiritual conversations and in partnering with communities that make the world a better place.
  • Young adults everywhere are asking for depth, diversity, impact, and authentic faith. This generation needs mentoring from older generations.

Sumpango Outreach

We believe that PILAS can be the bridge for Sumpango teens and young adults to engage in the community and serve.

As a result, PILAS’ outreach tentacles are intentionally stretching further and deeper into the municipality.


Un Nuevo Encuentro (A New Encounter) is normally held during but not limited to Holy Week. The event recalls the events that led to the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion and His resurrection.

Twelve stations enable us to reflect on His actions and messages, pondering where we ‘fit’ in the greatest story ever told by living as His disciples in today’s world. As participants wrestle with these questions, they are invited to ALPHA SUMPANGO which helps them understand their greater purpose in life.


Millions of people have participated in ALPHA in more than 100 countries and in more than 100 languages.

Typically, the ALPHA format is:

Food. Whether it’s a group of friends gathered around a table or a quick coffee and cake with someone, food has a way of bringing people together. It is no different at ALPHA. Most sessions start with food because it is a great way to get to know each other.

Video/Talk. Talks are designed to create and inspire conversation. These videos have been created to share over eleven weeks and each last around thirty minutes. They explore the great themes of faith and delve into the basic concepts of Christianity, answering questions of who Jesus is, how we can have faith, why and how to pray, and how does God guide us.

Good conversation. Probably the most important part of any ALPHA is the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas on the subject, and simply discuss it in a small group. There is no obligation to say anything and there is nothing you cannot say. We’re serious. It is an opportunity to listen to others and contribute your own perspective in an honest, friendly and open environment.

Common comments we hear from ALPHA participants:

  • I am learning a ton. The teaching styles are fresh and unique.
  • Why aren’t we asking these types of soul-searching questions in my church?
  • Why can’t I step outside the four walls of my church and serve others? I want to do more.

ABCD is an approach to sustainable community-driven development. Its goal is to build on the assets that are found in the community and mobilizing them to come together to realize and develop their strengths.

PILAS’ goal is to develop a network of capable and willing local leaders, inspire them to work together and be actively engaged in the community to meet the needs around them.

Sumpango’s main asset (young people) is indicating that they are enthusiastic to join the effort. They will likely emerge and continue to emerge from the UN NUEVO ENCUENTRO and ALPHA SUMPANGO events.

With all these motivated new leaders expressing a desire to serve, PILAS can be the bridge to service opportunities and the support needed to help young leaders get involved in their community.

PILAS will be mentoring and creating a new culture of belonging and impact with young people and letting our collective imaginations be captured by our God-sized dreams and aspirations.


A shared vision and goals can lead to a sense of community. A strong connection between the work and the vision of the key players can help everyone see purpose and assume ownership in the process.

PILAS seeks to strengthen our partnerships with Sumpango’s education facilities by offering various activities and training.

This includes:

  • Teaching English to middle school students in a village with a reduced teaching staff and inadequate knowledge of English.
  • Workshops on relevant subjects such as what is social media, what are the risks and benefits, etc.
  • Christian education. For example acting key Bible stories and explaining how it relates to our everyday lives.

Teachers have the power to transform lives.

Professional development opportunities can be a motivational tool to continue improving as a teacher. Regular training and feedback keep teachers current in educational trends and reinforces what works.

PILAS collaborates with schools in the municipality, providing teacher training that is aligned to the trainees’ competencies, resulting in more effective teachers which in turn helps improve students’ learning.

This training is developed by PILAS or visitors with that proficiency, contributing to a win-win-win scenario (teachers-students-PILAS).


Parental involvement is one of the most important factors in a student’s academic and personal development/achievement.

Unfortunately, many families we reach are stressed and stretched beyond belief managing large families.

This is quite normal for them, as they have experienced this with their own parents who did not have adequate or necessary parenting skills.

PILAS provides training to schools and PILAS parents that if applied during childhood and adolescence plays a major role in influencing a child’s developmental competence and ultimately their life course trajectories.