In 1997, Todd and Beth Guckenberger arrived in Monterrey, Mexico. Eight days later, they hosted their first short term mission team. In the first year, over 350 mission team guests came to serve alongside Back2Back in Monterrey.
From 1997 until 2001, Back2Back Ministries focused on partnering with children’s homes (orphanages) in the Monterrey area. By providing staff, training, and financial resources, Back2Back helped its partners provide more holistic care for children growing up in institutional children’s homes.
In 2001, Back2Back launched the Hope Education Program. Teens were often leaving children’s homes at the age of 15 without completing high school, which put them at high risk to repeat the orphan cycle with their own children. The Hope Education Program provides tuition and other educational resources in family style living, allowing students to complete high school and college education.
In 2006, Back2Back’s ministry expanded to Jos, Nigeria to begin serving in the Kisayhip Village. Soon after arriving, land was purchased and a campus developed. Today we partner with local children’s homes, host a community education program at Back2Back’s Igmin Kibe Education Center, and offer the Hope Education Program to teens in Jos.
In 2008, Back2Back expanded to its third international site in Hyderabad, India. Today, Back2Back owns a campus which provides family-style living for up to 40 children. The campus also houses an English-medium primary school, and a training facility. In addition to work on the Back2Back India Campus, Back2Back partners with other children’s homes in greater Hyderabad, and offers the Hope Education program to teens.
In 2010, a family preservation program (later named the Strong Families Program) was launched in Cancun, Mexico. Later, land was purchased and a community center opened to serve the families of the Tres Reyes community. Today, Back2Back also has a community center in Bonfil, another community in Cancun.
In 2012, Back2Back launched its third Mexican site in Mazatlan. Today, this site has a large staff team, thriving partnerships with area children’s homes, and a strong Hope Education Program. Back2Back also owns and operates a home for children and young adults with special needs called Rancho de los Niños. Additionally, Back2Back owns and operates a center for holistic child development which provides therapies and resources for orphans and vulnerable children and their families, and individuals with special needs.
Also in 2012, two years after the devastating Haitian earthquake, Back2Back’s work began in Haiti. Back2Back Haiti partners with children’s homes in Port-au-Prince, and offers the Hope Education Program to students. Later, land was purchased and a campus developed to provide housing for staff and mission team guests, in addition to facilities used for training and unifying the many other non-profit organizations working in Haiti.
In response to the overwhelming statistic that over 1 billion children in the world today have experienced trauma, in 2014, trauma and child development experts Dr. David and Jayne Schooler joined Back2Back to develop Trauma Competent Caregiving. This training series has been used around the world to help caregivers in orphanages, foster parents, teachers, church volunteers, and many others provide better care for children who have experienced trauma. We’ve witnessed incredible emotional healing as a result of this training.
Today, Back2Back has 300+ staff internationally, has hosted over 20,000 mission guests, and impacted hundreds of thousands of children around the world. The story isn’t over yet. We won’t stop until every child is known and loved!