Ethnolinguistic Groups of Colombia’s Pacific Region

The Pacific Region of Colombia stretches in a curved, arc-like fashion from Panama to Ecuador, encompassing an area teaming with natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Traveling inland from any point along the way will take you on an ascent from which a lush jungle coastline leads to high Andean mountain peaks. Divided into the departments of Chocó, Valle de Cauca, Cauca, and Nariño, the region is little known to outsiders; rather, its reputation is that… Continue reading

Colombia’s Unreached Tribes

Deep within the dense jungles and vast savannah regions of Colombia are nearly a hundred different tribes, each one a unique ethnos – an ethnolinguistic nation created by God. Most have little to no knowledge of Biblical Christianity and have never heard the gospel. The majority of these tribes still maintain their indigenous native American languages so some extent, though Spanish has increasingly been adopted. They vary in population size, from tens of thousands to… Continue reading

Mango Maps and South America Research

In the fall of 2022, I began splitting my time in research and mapping of Ethnic People Groups between the needs of ALTECO in South America and Gospelink in 16 countries across several continents. To accommodate the massive new demands, my focus on the Amazon jungle region has had to narrow (become more refined) somewhat. I worked out as a goal with our South America team that for the first half of 2023 I would… Continue reading

Equipping Leaders in Colombia!

At the heart of ALTECO is the desire to prepare indigenous Christian leaders to succeed in a uniquely difficult ministry. Making disciples, planting churches, and shepherding those churches to maturity deep in the Amazon jungle requires a special type of leader, one who is both called AND equipped. In keeping with this vision, ALTECO has partnered with Lead555 to bring a select group of leaders through a 3-year program that (in their words) “is not just about training, but journeying with leaders from idea to… Continue reading

Total lockdown in Panama

Total lock-down. We are in our second month of one of the most restrictive quarantine regimes in the Western Hemisphere. Though home-bound, our ministry has not abated; rather we find ourselves catching up on projects and preparing for upcoming field work, all the while managing a delicate balance between work and family needs. We liken this season to a months-long journey aboard a sailboat on the high seas. Responsibilities continue onboard; our ship is in… Continue reading

“Ides of March” upon us

As lockdown measures were announced here in Panama, I for some reason recalled the famous line by Shakespeare, “Beware the ides of March.” I must say, the timing is interesting. We know that in all circumstances the Lord is faithful. Not knowing where this crisis we now find ourselves in will lead, we are thankful for some very productive months leading to this new season under lockdown. In January, February and early March, Drake and other… Continue reading

Hidden Tribe Emerges from the Jungle

Video footage was released recently by FUNAI (Brazil’s National Indian Foundation) of a formerly hidden tribe emerging from the jungle in the State of Acre near Brazil’s border with Peru. This tribe has been living in voluntary isolation, possibly since the Amazon rubber boom of the late 1800’s, perhaps longer. Speaking a language from the Panoan linguistic family, interpreters brought in by FUNAI were able to communicate with the group of three young men. Transcripts of… Continue reading