Sonia N. Vargas-Maldonado is a United Methodist missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries, serving at the Santurce Cooperative Ministry of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico.
The Santurce Cooperative Ministry is a cluster of five congregations and is the starting point for a new Initiative for Social Transformation of the Puerto Rican church. Santurce, a district of the Borough of San Juan, is one of the most heavily populated areas of the island of Puerto Rico. The ministry includes outreach to the poor, elderly, immigrants, the unemployed, and the homeless.
Sonia is coordinating existing programs and helping to launch new ministries. She also serves as staff for the Board of Church and Society of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, assisting in strengthening that agency.
Prior to her appointment to Santurce in the summer of 2011, Sonia served for 10 years as a missionary with the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. She worked with that church in an administrative position for 17 years before becoming a missionary.
Sonia is a native of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico in San Juan. She is a member of La Restauración (Restoration) Methodist Church in Arecibo, where she began her faith journey.
She went on her first mission trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic at age 17. “I was touched by this experience as I shared with girls as young as 18 months who were either orphans or abandoned. This marked my life and my heart, and I learned to see the needs of others as I learned to see God’s mercy and love. I also learned the importance of sharing the gospel and Jesus’ love wherever we go.”
Sonia is married to Rafael Antonio Soto Álvarez.