Latter-day Saint missionaries evacuate from Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Due to civil unrest in Bolivia, 63 missionaries of the Church serving in the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission are being evacuated and are being assigned to other missions.

According to Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff, other missionaries in Bolivia will remain in the country and continue with missionary work where they may do so safely.

See the statement below:

“The Church is in the process of transferring 63 missionaries from the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission. This is due to growing political unrest as well as the U.S. government’s recent decision to pull non-emergency workers from that country. The missionaries — who are all from North America — are being temporarily reassigned to other missions. A few who are nearing the end of their missions will return home. At this point, in coordination with security professionals, all other missionaries throughout Bolivia are remaining where they are and will continue with limited missionary work in those areas where it is safe to do so. The safety of our missionaries is our highest priority, and we will continue to carefully monitor developments in Bolivia and make further adjustments and decisions as circumstances require. We pray for the people in Bolivia as they navigate this difficult time in their country.”

As of Nov. 12, Elder Enrique R. Falabella, a General Authority Seventy, who presides over the South America Northwest Area, reported that mission presidents and Area Seventies had been exchanging updated information regarding the situation via a group chat.

Read more about the conditions in Bolivia for missionaries and members of the Church

According to a Church News article, missionaries first arrived in Bolivia in November 1964. The Cochabamba Bolivia Temple was dedicated on April 30, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinckley.

In November 2018, President Russell M. Nelson visited El Alto, Bolivia, during one of his stops on his South American Ministry. Today, there are approximately 200,000 Latter-day Saints and hundreds of wards and branches in the nation.

Elder Falabella noted in a Church News email on Tuesday that Latter-day Saints are looking forward to an improved situation in the future.

“We hope that peace can return soon,” he said.