In Mexico, the initiative is transforming the traditional way of doing business.
A new online platform will provide hundreds of students enrolled at Adventist universities in Mexico an opportunity to earn money toward their education every year. The platform was launched earlier this month thanks to a group of professionals at Adventist-owned Montemorelos University.
Every year, student literature evangelists, or colporteurs, work during summer vacation and on weekends during the school year, selling more than 60,000 Adventist books to nearly one million families throughout 500 cities in Mexico. Their profits go toward their tuition, university leaders said. Sales and earnings are processed through the Montemorelos University and GEMA Editores of Mexico, one of two publishing houses in the Inter-American Division (IAD).
The project began a little over two years ago to reach a social media demographic not tapped into before, said Carlos Gastelum, director of the literature evangelist program at the university called Emprendum.
“I believe that God led us [with this project] for this situation,” Gastelum said. “He took us from our comfort zones to prepare us to target for this need online. Even though we did not visualize a pandemic situation like this, God in His providence led us to start this project and complete it to be utilized in these circumstances.”
First of Its Kind
This first-of-its-kind platform for student colporteurs was conceived and created in the IAD, said Ervin González, publishing ministries director for IAD. González has been part of leading and working with the five regional unions and Adventist universities in Mexico, as well as GEMA editors, from the beginning of this project.
“Literature sales by students represent a big part of the publishing ministry throughout Mexico, and it was important for the engineers and IT specialists at Montemorelos to provide this opportunity to tap into the virtual business,” González said. “The church in Mexico, in Inter-America, and the Adventist world church all see it as another step toward impacting those online, on social media, and connecting with many who need to find hope through Adventist books and literature.”