Immokalee, Florida—U.S. Mission Trips
Nestled in the headwaters of the Everglades in southwestern Florida is Immokalee, one of the most fertile agricultural communities in the United States. Immokalee, which means "my home" in Seminole, started out as a ranching town in the 1800s. Its farms annually produce a significant portion of the nation's fresh produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, potatoes, citrus, and more.
Immokalee is located in northeastern Collier County, approximately 45 miles from Naples, the county seat. The rural, unincorporated community has been considered isolated from the coastal county in location and in social and economic demographics.
Standing out amid the challenges faced by Immokalee are the strong assets, skill, and commitment of the people who live and serve the rural community. Approximately 76 percent of residents have Hispanic roots, with most migrating from Guatemala, Haiti, and Mexico, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Only 4 percent are Anglo-Saxon. Many of the social problems associated with economic poverty are prevalent in the community. Citizens face lower earned income, lower educational attainment, lower property values, higher unemployment, and fewer opportunities for long-term employment than any of the surrounding areas.
Adding to the challenges of the area was Hurricane Wilma, which hit the region in October 2005, just before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf states. Recovery from Hurricane Wilma stretched for several years and was led by the Reverend Rick Hears and IHope (Immokalee Helping People In Emergency). Participants in the World Vision mission trip will work with IHope and others who are committed to seeing their community prosper.
To teach the spiritual discipline of servanthood and to apply the principles of Christ-centered community transformation by serving in mission work.
Immokalee, Florida in Collier County.
Youth groups, congregations, and families.