AWARE stands for Alternative Work-study And Reality Experience. This program provides educational and work experiences for Mexican and international visitors, volunteers, and teams. The AWARE program is designed for adults of all ages, immersing them in the reality of life in rural Mexico as it relates to the issues of hunger, poverty, development and global awareness. This cross-cultural experience focuses on the needs of villagers and farming families and the Church's response through Christian outreach; sustainable agriculture; community development; health issues; creation stewardship; and church and faith development.

The "Tree of Life" Training Center also receives local groups and organizatios that want to be AWARE of actual rural needs and learn how to help improve impoverished communities.

We invite you to see the pictures of the groups


The GYTTE staff and the Methodist Church of Mexico are grateful to the many Christians who volunteer to participate in AWARE Teams that come to serve with the “Give Ye Them To Eat” program.   Teams of ten to seventeen people come to serve for nine to ten days at the “Tree of Life” Training Center for integrated devepment.

Besides the various work projects at the Training Center and in the community the team participates in daily devotions and study segments which are a vital part of the AWARE experience.   The team members attend church services in a village setting and/or the city of Puebla.   They visit a village project where they have the opportunity to see GYTTE trained community-based health workers involved in teaching villagers the basics for good health.  Throughout their time in Mexico the team works, worships and lives beside their new Mexican friends and colleagues thus participating in a truly cross-cultural experience.

From the outside looking in the AWARE experience appears to be a construction project.  But for those working the program the view looking out is seen through the eyes of faith and Christian commitment as an international journey on this walk of life.

Team Season 2015

Belmont UMC, TN Team:  
January 16-25, 2015  (10-Day Team)
Team Leaders: Joaquin and Barbara Garcia








Virginia-California Team:  
January 2-11, 2015  (10-Day Team)
Team Leaders: Gary Gross and Mike Easterly








Team Season 2014

Mount Nittany UMC, PA:  
October 10-19, 2014
Team Leader: Rick Grazzini








May 16-28, 2014






Belmont UMC/Brentwood UMC, TN:  
January 3-11, 2014
Team Leader: Dwight Armstrong



Impressions from some of the members from Belmont UMC/Brentwood UMC, Tennessee in the GYTTE [Give Ye Them to Eat] Experience at Tlancualpican, Puebla/Mexico

I have learned to adapt to the reality I encountered both rural and urban
I learned to embrace living in community.
I experienced God’s presence in the embrace and kiss from a little girl in the Gethsemani Methodist Church in Tlancualpican.
I enjoyed stretching my comfort zone of a daily routine both for waking up and sleeping, and in being aware of the world I was placed into.
I was energized by the co-workers in the Tennessee Team for their care of the GYTTE Community and its staff and for their care of the land and its resources that sustain the land!  RBA

Where have I seen God? 
--In the faces of God’s people who live in Mexico.
--In the beauty and fearsomeness of the natural environment (scorpions, volcanoes;  flowers, birds).
My faith has been impacted:
--I have been reminded not to put my faith in possessions and comparing myself to those who have more.
--I have been reminded to show hospitality to the sojourner [such as the Mexican persons who have moved to the US for work].
--I have been reminded of the question put to Jesus,”Who is my neighbor?” and the story Jesus offered in response, with his own question, “Who was the neighbor in this story?”  I feel even more strongly that the U.S. needs to be a good neighbor to Mexico.  We are stronger if the nations of North American partner, including Canada.  We are stronger as the body of Christ if we brothers and sisters partner in building the realm of God and acknowledge there are no borders that separate us.  VR

There are so many things to share that I have a bottleneck in my heart and center!  I will think and process soon.  Epiphany moments:  How inspired to live my faith—more than abundant life.  LZ

Great moments of experiencing God’s presence were in church in the village while hearing the people singing hymns and offering their praise;
Seeing the young people sing “The Holy City” at church on Sunday and understanding their commitment to God;
Being with the GYTTE Family and seeing their joy and satisfaction in the work they do every day;
Knowing that what we are doing makes a real difference in people’s lives.   EAM

--I saw the Lord in the faces of the staff, workers, and people of the village [happiness and kindness].
--I will simplify my life & focus & slow down to hear and see the creation God has for us! This is the major “take away” for me!
--I have experienced God’s presence in learning the key to relationships which leads to accomplishing daily events to glorify God.
--It will take more time to process fully and implement changes, but I pray my routines are changed and my service to the Lord , plus examples to my children.  Show your glory, Lord.  RJB

In trying to think of where I saw God, I find it more accurate to ask where didn’t I see God?!  My answer is there wasn’t any place where I didn’t see God!  Such things as friendly faces, patient guides, presentation and renewal of God’s Creation, not to mention the programs and mission, all bear the Face of God.  The health ministry sticks out the most for me.  I can better see God!  JLK

This week I have had my eyes re-opened to different ways of working because our way is not the only way.  Often times we rely on a certain trip or a certain place to bring us close to God, but the truth is, we cannot get any closer to God.  He is here with us and in every fiber of our being.  We must open our eyes to experience God to the fullest in our lives;  to live in an attitude of prayer and not to pray on certain occasions only, but to always thank God and give Him the glory in good times and bad!  Here at the Tree of Life Center there will never be a shortage of things to do or reasons to thank God; and for that I am eternally grateful.  JRA

I have been humbled by my experience with GYTTE this week.  I have worked harder, but laughed harder.  I have eaten more and smile more.  I feel a stronger and deeper connection to myself, to God, and to the people of Mexico.  I am thankful for what I have learned and I pray that others will be able to have this unique experience.  I am anxious to see how this experience will shape my ministry back in the United States.  God continues to do amazing things in Tlancualpican.   MS

 Am going to be honest!  This was a hard week.  Without God on mty side, the work would have been impossible.  I saw God this week in the nature and beautify in this place, and the people I have become friends with.  I see abundant life here that I strive to continue back home.  I don’t want to just survive life!  I want to live it!!  JDA

This experience has given me:
--Stronger ties with my church family.
--Smiles and affection of the children in the village.
--A reminder to pray daily for all God’s family, Mexico, US, and places I may not have been.  DA


Team Season 2011 - 2013

During this team season the following groups participated in the AWARE experience.

Susquahanna Conference Volunteers:  
October 11 - 20, 2013  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Rev. Marian Hartman



Belmont UMC - Nashville, TN:  
January 25 - February 3, 2013
Team Leader: Barbara and Joaquin Garcia



Virginia-California Team:  
October 11 - 20, 2013  (10-Day Team)
Team Leaders: Gary Gross and Mike Easterly

We invite you to see pictures of this AWARE Team clicking on this link:



Susquahanna Conference - Tennessee Team:  
October 5 - 14, 2012  (10-Day Team)
Team Leaders: Rev. Marian Hartman and Barbara Garcia




Indiana Team:  
February 10 - 19, 2012  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Steve Shoaff




Grace UMC - Hastings, NE Team:  
January 6 - 15, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Roger and Sharon Selley




Central Pennsylvania Conference Team:  
September 30 - October 9, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Rev. Marian Hartman




Brentwood UMC - TN Team:  
September 9 - 18, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Dwight Armstrong




Kansas East Conference Team:  
February 14 - 18, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Mike Parks




Nebraska Team:  
January 21 - 30, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Ron & Gloria Patrick




Tabernacle UMC, VA - North Ridge UMC, CA Team:  
December 31, 2010 - January 9, 2011  (10-Day Team)
Team Leader: Gary and Linda Gross




Team Season 2009 - 2010


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