Colonia Mar Thoma


Matamoros, Mexico



The Mexico Mission was first established in 2003. The mission field began catering to the needs of a community living about sixty miles away from the city of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on a small group of islands off the eastern coast of Mexico. The first effort was to build houses for the fisher families in the Puntilla Norte and Fantasia islands to replace the temporary shacks that the community inhabited. House keys were handed to the residents in a public ceremony in 2004.


In July 2005, Hurricane Emily, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in the Yucatan peninsula and devastated the Puntilla Norte and Fantasia islands, thus destroying many of the houses that the Mar Thoma Church had built. There was strong concern about rebuilding houses in the same location because of the vulnerability with weather related catastrophes. Eventually, the diocese purchased two parcels of further inland. A housing project was completed on the first parcel as part of Valiya Metropolitan’s Navathy celebrations and was inaugurated on May 10, 2008, by Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Valiya Metropolitan accompanied by Metropolitan Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma and Diocesan Episcopa Rt. Rev. Dr. Euyakim Mar Coorilos. This housing development was named Colonia Mar Thoma. The second parcel of land is currently held for the future youth development projects. Unfortunately by 2010, many families in Colonia Mar Thoma moved back to their original islands, because of the lack of basic facilities (running water, kitchen, and bathroom), lack of consistent access to food, lack of employment opportunities, and facilities for education.


In 2010, Diocesan Episcopa, Rt. Rev. Dr. Gee Varghese Mar Theodosius constituted several subcommittees to study and develop long term plans for enhancing the Diocese’s mission work at Colonia Mar Thoma and making it more effective. Focus areas for the mission work include the following:


Infrastructure and Housing

Since 2010, a kitchen and bathroom facilities along with running water was constructed for each of the houses at Colonia Mar Thoma. The compound now also has two fully refurbished evangelists’ quarters and a fully refurbished parsonage. The colony is fenced and has a controlled access entry gate to provide security. Electric connection is available in the main buildings.On October 12, 2013, the Iglesias Mar Thoma de Matamoros Jubilee Chapel was consecrated on the grounds of the Mexico Mission by Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius, Diocesan Episcopa. The chapel provides the facilities to have Holy Qurbana services at the Mexico Mission and also provides a gathering place for spiritual activities of the mission.



The Mar Thoma church has helped a number of students in their on-going education.

  • Eight students received assistance and have graduated with degrees in the fields of Engineering, Nursing, IT/Engineering, and Vocational.
  • Twenty-four students are currently receiving tuition support. Currently students are enrolled in medical school (1 student), university (8 students), high school (8 students), and middle school (7 students).
  • Thirty-five students currently attend grade school at the Colonia Mar Thoma School, which is located on the mission field compound and was started in conjunction with the Mexican state education department.


Food Assistance
In June 2011, the Diocese instituted a food assistance program, Manna, as “Feed the Hungry” is a commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Manna program is a weekly distribution of groceries and basic hygienic essentials for Colonia residents. Since the inception of the program, families have been getting well-balanced and sufficient nutritious foods. The general health of the Colonia residents has improved, and the availability of food has allowed many families to look beyond meeting basic needs of getting enough to eat.


Spiritual Development
The spiritual growth of the residents has also been a focus at the mission field. Every year, Youth Fellowship members from the Southwest region churches spend three days conducting Vacation Bible School in the Spanish language. The 2014 and 2015 Mexico Mission VBS for had over thirty volunteers participate and 80-100 local students in attendance. In 2014, the mission field also had its first clergy-in-training, Mr. Mat Stan Samuel, live at the parsonage on site and conduct prayer meetings, praise & worship, and general ministry during his time there. Since the Fall of 2014, clergy from various parts of the Diocese have been visiting the mission field on a monthly basis and conducting Holy Qurbana services at the Jubilee Chapel.


Medical Assistance
Concurrent with the 2014 Mexico Mission VBS, the Diocese conducted the very first medical mission at the mission field. A group of volunteer doctors and staff came to Colonia Mar Thoma to conduct check-ups and counseling for residents, and their time there was fully utilized. Due to the continued need for medical care for the Colonia Mar Thoma residents, plans are being made to provide medical missions in the future. The second medical mission was conducted concurrent with the 2015 Mexico Mission VBS.


Self Sufficiency & Economic Development

A number of programs are being put in place to foster self sustenance. A program called “Tree for Family” has been instituted. Fruit trees are planted in every household and they are asked to maintain the tree, thereby promoting the idea of growing and cultivating foods for daily needs.Economic development initiatives such as a tailoring institute and a seafood processing facility have also been implemented. In addition, a number of entrepreneurial initiatives have been taken up by the individual families with encouragement from the mission coordinators. An example of a successful entrepreneurship story is the convenient store at the entryway of the compound, which is leased by a family living at the colony and is run as a profitable business.


Future Plans

Future plans for the mission field include:

  • Enhancing ongoing programs such as education, Manna, spiritual growth, and medical assistance that require continued support and development.
  • Applying thought and work for developing additional jobs for the residents of Colonia.
  • Identifying a full-time evangelist for Colonia Mar Thoma. This individual would manage the day-to-day administration of the mission field and would be able to continue to build out the spiritual growth activities at Colonia Mar Thoma.
  • Transportation is a major hurdle for a number of programs at Colonia Mar Thoma. Reliable transportation is needed to ensure students are able to travel to institutions for higher education, access to basic medical care is available, and to help adults get to their places of employment.
  • The children at Colonia Mar Thoma must travel long distances in order to complete their educations. A hostel with a safe, Christian environment and one which is closer to educational institutions is necessary in order to ensure that the children are able to complete their educations.


How You Can Help
  • The Mexico Mission encourages all parish mission coordinators to consider planning a trip to the Mexico Mission.
  • Financial support for the activities of the mission is also needed.

If there is an interest to visit the mission field or to support via donation, please contact the Diocesan office for more information. We ask that you continue to keep the Mexico Mission activities in your daily prayers.

Special acknowledgement for the continued hard work and dedication at the mission field goes to the Mr. P.T. Abraham, Local Coordinator, Mr. John Thomas, Program Administrator, and to the leaders and volunteers who have helped this mission work.