Date(s) - 03/23/2019 - 03/30/2019
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Off to Baja… Building a home for a family in Baja Mexico is an extremely rewarding and stretching experience. Above all we have the opportunity to provide one of the most basic needs for one of the many amazing families. These families work hard to to save money and pay for there land no matter how long it takes. We would love to have you as part of the team. To get more information please register below and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
What You Should know
Where are going?
Vicente Guerrero is a small town located in the upper third of Baja Mexico. It’s home to around 16,000 people that make up the larger population of over 3.3 Million people in Baja Mexico alone. The average wage for the people In Baja Mexico is between $4 – $6 per day American. The average household has 4 family members living primarily in 1 room homes made from a mix of carboard, pallets, and salvaged building materials.
It enjoys a temperate climate very similar to San Diego. It is located less than 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean coastline. Temperatures at this time of year can range from 60 F at night to over 80 F during the day. It rarely rains – they only get 45 inches of rain per year (but you never know!) As you might imagine, without much rain the area is very dusty, and can get quite windy. (If you wear contacts, you might want to consider bringing your glasses.) Also, be sure to bring bandannas to cover your face if there is a sand storm. There is no heating it is chilly at night and in the morning – so be sure to bring a jacket or sweatshirt!
What are we going to do?
- Blessing a family by building a house — complete with a cement floor (the slab will be ready by the time your team gets there), real windows (they normally use just a piece of cloth over a hole in the wall), a doorthat locks (again, they just use a piece of cloth or cardboard for a door) and a composition roof that will not leak when it rains! We will also provide the families with a bathroom and shower area. When we build a house for a family in Baja we are breaking the poverty cycle, improving the health and education opportunity for the children and giving them more hope and an ability to have dreams for the future. Families understand that it is because of Jesus’s love for them that they are being blessed with a home.
- Playing with the children — playing games, giving away candy and balloons, doing puppet shows, crafts and showing Jesus through our love to the kids that congregate at the job site. Plus, work camp, the Dump ministry, or Christian Rehab
- Attending a local church — we will be attending either a lively Mexican church service Wednesday night, and/or an English church service Thursday
- Spending an afternoon at the beach and enjoying the culture and foods
- And Yes, shopping on Saturday before leaving Mexico!!
- We are not just building a home for these amazing people in need. We are providing a place where they can build a family, have stability, and take some of the day to day challenge out of there challenging lives. We also get to form relationships and show them through our interactions the love of Christ.
What do I need to bring?
- Sleeping bag & pillow, fitted sheet
- Bath towel, soap, shampoo, and other personal items
- Work clothes
- One nice (not dressy) outfit for church
- A jacket and/or sweater (probably cold at night)
- Alarm clock & ear plugs (if light sleeper)
- $30 – $50 spending money in small bills (lots of $1, $5, & $10 bills). You do not need to exchange to Mexican currency
- Swimsuit (modest please – no bikinis), & beach towels
- Hand Sanitizer and/or baby wipes
- Tennis shoes or work shoes (no bare feet at any time)
- Flip Flops for around the base and showers are fine
- Work gloves, water bottle, flashlight and a bandana
Are vaccinations required?
No vaccines are required for the trip to Baja, but we suggest you check with your own health clinic.
The suggested vaccines are:
- Hepatitis A
- Current Tetanus
Is there a dress code?
Since the fashions have become skimpier in the U.S over the past few years, we thought it would be easier to address this prior to arriving in Mexico.
- No undergarments showing at any time (guys and gals)
- No Bikinis (tankinis ok)
- No tight fitting shirts (girls) especially those that barely meet the top of the pants when moving or stretching, showing bellies.
- No tank tops for girls, sleeveless is ok, just no low-cut or scoop-neck
- No skimpy shorts/skirts except on beach day
- No skimpy clothing worn to and from the dorms to the showers
- Men cannot take off their shirts when working. At the beach is ok
- Dresses/skirts for outreach should be mid-calf to ankle
What is the smoking and drinking policy?
If you are 18, and there is a designated area to smoke.
There is no smoking in the rental vans, at the outreach center or at the house building sites in the community.
Also no one under 18 will be allowed to smoke.
All alcohol consumption is prohibited on this trip.
Do I need a passport?
U.S. and Canadian citizen (adult or child): Must have a current passport!
All other countries (not a US citizen): Current passport, plus B-2 Visitor’s visa or current green card
Each person may be asked to obtain a Mexico visa for our trip. At this time there is no cost for this
(but that could change at any time) and cost could be around $20.00 each, so be prepared. All must have the proper identification now as we enter Mexico.
Is it safe to go to Mexico?
The media has been working overtime in recent months spreading exaggerated reports of violence and criminal activity in Mexico, thereby engendering great fear in North Americans about traveling into Mexico. Based on this type of misinformation, many people, both tourists and short-term missionaries are avoiding Mexico. This is a very sad situation on many levels. The financial impact trickles down through the Mexican economy, hurting an already-struggling economy. But, even more devastating is the loss of assistance which mission’s teams bring to the poorest people of this state. We would like to set the record straight: life in Vicente Guerrero where your group will be going, and on the Baja peninsula is normal, safe and calm. People are going about their normal business, going to work and school, shopping and playing. We are bringing teams down at least twice a month and we have crossed the border at Tijuana many many times in the past several months. We do not go into Tijuana at all….we stay on the main highway. Our shopping at the end of our weeks is in Ensenada…where four cruise ships a week allow 1000’s of people to disembark and stroll around the city, with no problems at all. We have never, ever witnessed even a hint of violent activity in all of our travels. Nor have any of our teams reported ever hearing or seeing anything of that nature. The spate of crime that the news media is so quick to inflate and report is, for the most part, between drug cartels and between the cartels and police/military. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has pledged to fight the drug cartels which means, if anything, we are seeing increased police and military presence, which we feel is a good sign. It makes us feel safer. The major areas of violence are Juarez Mexico near El Paso Texas, the State of Guerrero which is almost 2000 miles away from where we minister, and the Mexico City area, which is also close to 2000 miles from where we minister.
The Baja California area and in particular the town that we minister in (Vicente Guerrero) is in the green (safe) area on the U.S. State Department violence maps.
The U.S. State Department site also notes that “millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the U.S. land border every day for study, tourism or business).”
Where will we stay?
You will stay in dormitory-style accommodations- up to 8 to a room. Depending on how many people there are during your week, it may be possible to provide families or couples with their own room, but there is no guarantee. The facilities are clean, simple and adequate. You provide your own bedding.
There are indoor toilets, and showers with hot and cold running water. The food is wholesome and nourishing and is served in a large dining hall, family-style.