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Prospective student from Guatemala impacted by Evangel grad, athletes

May 27, 2014 | Paul K. Logsdon

Last week, the proverbial “Long Distance Award” went to Paula Fares and her father, Jose, who were visiting Evangel University from Guatemala. Paula is interested in studying Psychology and hopes to enroll next spring.

The family first heard about Evangel through one of its graduates Meagan (Ephraim ’07) de Rios.

On the edge of the Guatemalan jungle, de Rios runs a mission named El Faro. For 10 years the mission, whose name translates as “The Lighthouse,” has reached out to the surrounding villages.

Over the years, de Rios has hosted volunteer groups at El Faro as diverse as medical-mission teams, construction workers and athletes from Evangel.

In the past three years, Evangel has taken service trips with the women’s basketball team, the volleyball team, and last August, with the softball team.  These trips are part of Evangel’s TEAM (the Evangel Athletic’s Ministry) outreaches.

See photos and learn more about TEAM

“The softball team stayed at the mission with a team from Guatemala City, playing and interacting with them for two days,” says de Rios. “They then put on a series of softball camps, children’s ministry outreaches and service projects in the surrounding villages.”

And that is where Paula and her father fit in — Jose is the photographer/videographer for El Faro, and on occasion, Paula comes along to help.

“I live five hours away, in Guatemala City, and travel to El Faro whenever a group is there,” says Jose. “Sometimes I stay a week or two weeks, whatever Meagan needs.”

Through the interactions with the Evangel students, Paula became interested in a campus visit, and that dream came true last week.

“As the admissions counselor for international students, I enjoy the rare opportunity to meet with those prospective students face-to-face,” said Josh Cincotta. Most days, he finds himself working online with students from literally around the world.

“At the end of their visit, Mr. Fares and Paula gifted me with a bag of fine Guatemalan coffee and invited me to visit them in their home,” Cincotta says. “I think we can call this a successful campus visit.”

Senior Ian Richardson also contributed to this story.

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