The word “Boca” means mouth. It is the name of a well-known neighborhood inside Buenos Aires and is just over 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) from Faith Baptist Church. La Boca is known for it’s colorful buildings and is a popular destination for people visiting Buenos Aires. “El Caminito” (a road at the river) is the central area for tourists with shop after shop lining the infamous road full of every trinket one could imagine. The neighborhood is right at the “mouth” of the river (hence the name “la boca”). The city is also home to one of the largest soccer teams in all of Argentina (named “Boca Juniors”). The city is home to over 46,000 people and many thousands more in surrounding neighborhoods.
Outside of the tourist area, the neighborhood totally changes. I recently read an article about the neighborhood…
“Today La Boca remains a rough, working class and downbeat neighborhood, despites the hordes of tourists who descend upon its attractions every weekend and most weekdays too…La Boca is a bit of an odd fish. It’s fiercely and unreservedly working class and down-at-heel, yet it has a couple of very, very popular tourist attractions. It’s not a place where expats are going to want to live (the chances of being robbed after dark are just too great), but it still has some tempting restaurants, a great art museum, and an interesting history to boot.” (source).
This neighborhood sparks my interest and not for the touristy spots. I met a family that lives in La Boca. They are just normal, working class people. They were very kind. We spent a few hours together. We talked about their neighborhood. They were very proud to live there. It may not be the desired neighborhood of Buenos Aires, but the people are just normal people in need of salvation through Jesus! I dropped this family off at their house. As I left their home, I could not help but think about the need of a Gospel preaching church in this neighborhood. Pray with me for “La Boca”.