30 January 2013

The End of Benemérito???

I just hear that apparently Elder Nelson and Elder Holland were at the Church-run school in Mexico City, El Centro Escolar Benemérito de las Américas, yesterday (Tuesday, 29 January 2013) to make an announcement that as soon as school lets out in July the school is going to be converted into a new Missionary Training Center (MTC). Rumors are also going around that this will become the biggest MTC in the world.

This appears to be a consequence of the change in the Church's age policy for missionaries. With the highest number of Latter-day Saints outside of the United States, Mexico is probably seeing a relative increase in applications comparable to what has been seen in the United States. Just as the MTC facilities in Provo will soon need to increase capacity, we can expect the Mexico MTC will as well. This will be especially the case if some American missionaries are sent directly to the country for their language training, as has been the case in many Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking missions over the last decade.

While I haven't yet been able to find an official Church statement on the subject, I assume this means the old Mexico MTC will be closed, as will the operation of Benemérito as the Church's flagship secondary education program. Obviously we can't begrudge the Church in its decision to shift resources to missionary work, but the loss of the school will be felt by students and alumni throughout Mexico. As one with a special interest in LDS education programs, I'm especially sad to hear the news. Benemérito is a boarding school, so, if the rumors are true, converting the campus facilities into a new MTC should be a relatively easy process.


  1. My cousin said that her friend will serve in a U.S. Spanish speaking mission. (I don't remember where) but will go to the new Mexico MTC then back to the U.S. to serve.

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