Hispanic Ministries director to resume walk on el Camino de Santiago


ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Education Agency) – If every journey begins with a single step, Marco Güete’s first steps began 35 years ago.

In 1988, Güete and a group of Hispanic pastors imagined a way to train leaders in every Hispanic Mennonite church. “We saw the need and felt called to train leaders of Hispanic Mennonite churches in biblical and theological academic formation.”

The group founded Instituto Bíblico Anabautista, known as IBA (Anabaptist Biblical Institute). They built partnerships with local congregations across the country to establish study centers and recruit students and teachers. Hundreds of students have enrolled in the program since. Many have graduated with certificates or diplomas and have gone on to serve as pastors and leaders in the church.

As the Director of Hispanic Ministries at Mennonite Education Agency, which operates IBA, Güete has invested more than most in the program. Next month he’ll give even more.

Güete will resume a pilgrimage along el Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in Spain to raise awareness and funds for IBA. This will be his third trek along el Camino to support IBA.

In September 2019, Güete walked 164 miles from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, to Burgos, Spain, and raised around $16,000. Last year, he was joined by his wife Sandra (below at right), and they walked 157 miles from Burgos to Foncebadón. They raised close to $18,500. This May, they will rejoin the trail in Astorga and walk 162 miles to Santiago de Compostela. They expect this third leg will take 16 days.

At the end of this year’s hike, Guete will have walked a total of 483 miles. This journey of many steps (about 966,000 steps!) is symbolic of Güete’s dedication to his career, in which he is fulfilling a calling that has spanned decades serving the Hispanic Mennonite Church.

People are surprised and inspired by Güete’s journey. At 72 years young, this is no small goal. What drives him to return to el Camino again and again?

“The students,” he said. “I am inspired by the IBA students and their deep desire to know Jesus and understand the Bible. They feel called to leadership in the church, and I want them to have the resources and education they need to navigate the Christian journey.”

“The Hispanic Mennonite church is growing, and we want these congregations to have well-trained disciples of Jesus to lead them.”

Keeping the program affordable is a priority, and fundraising is critical. Güete hopes his walks raise awareness and inspire generosity within the church.

Online gifts can be made at www.MennoniteEducation.org/donate or Paypal.me/MennoniteEd. Checks can be sent to Mennonite Education Agency, 3145 Suite 2, Elkhart, IN 46517, memo: el Camino/IBA. 

Mennonite Education Agency is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, and is the education agency of Mennonite Church USA, the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States. By partnering with schools and educational programs and helping them flourish, MEA works to strengthen the church through education.


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