In the past, many of our teams have stayed in dorm style cabins at Door of Faith Orphanage in La Mision. This has been a great opportunity to be a part of what they are doing there.
More recently however, the Lord has put it on our hearts to establish a more permanent base in the city of Primo Tapia itself. We have therefore begun construction on a team building adjacent to Casa de Luz.
In the meantime, most of our teams will be staying at a site located not far from CDL. There, teams can expect dorm style rooms with bunk beds. Some family units will be able to stay together, depending on the make up of the team.
All meals, including snacks, are provided for you while in Mexico. Breakfasts, however, will be made by members of the team. We usually make things like toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs in the morning and soup and/or sandwiches for lunch. Some lunches will be catered at Casa de Luz.
Most of our dinners are catered through La Hermosa Church. You are in for a treat! They provide us with delicious authentic Mexican cuisine!
*If you or any of your family members have food allergies/sensitivities, please let the team leader know. Please note that we will try to make special arrangements to provide alternate food for those with allergies. However, if you would like to have different food because of “dislikes” to certain foods, we ask that you make yourself at home in the kitchen and make something to accommodate your needs.
INTERACTING WITH THE KIDS
The children of CDL love when teams come to visit, and even though the language barrier is a bit of a challenge, the children love interacting with visitors! We have found that because of the language differences, the best way to interact with the kids is through playing on the playground, playing sports, etc.
While you do interact with the children, we ask that your team members be aware of the physical contact that may be interpreted as inappropriate. Things like hugs and high-five’s are certainly okay! We also ask that another team member or CDL staff member be present when you are with the children, so that a team member and a child are not left alone together.
Finally, we ask that team members please refrain from giving gifts or money to the children without before making arrangements with the directors.
INTERACTING WITH CDL FAMILIES
When visiting the families of the children, or any other family for that matter, we also ask that you refrain from taking pictures of their houses without talking to staff first. Many of the families that we visit live in very poor conditions and it is important that we make sure to not offend their dignity.
Also, please refrain from giving money to the families while we are visiting them. If you feel led to bless a specific family we ask that you talk to the directors about how to proceed.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?
While in Mexico, our teams engage in a lot of different projects.
We have the opportunity to partner with Casa de Luz. The team can do things like help the staff, play with the children, and hold babies. While some people may want to set up a craft time with the children in the morning, other people may choose to help out at the Nursery, where staff are always happy for some extra hands with the younger ones. There will certainly be other opportunities as well, depending on the giftings and passions of the team members. Former teams, for example, have chosen to do things like dance/music classes, sports camps, and children’s Christmas concerts. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Often times, there will also be a construction team who will be involved in a project – either to complete a home that a team has already started, or to complete smaller home renovation types of projects for the families of Casa de Luz.
We also try to get out into the community as much as possible. One of the ways we often do that is by hosting a city-wide outreach event with our friends at La Hermosa Church. Often times, this includes things like soccer and hockey games, inflatables, face painting, and food. It is always a very fun event and over the years we have seen many people give their lives to Jesus Christ.
There is also the opportunity to participate in a Breakfast Program in Tijuana. This has truly been an eye-opening experience for the people on our teams who have been able to participate. This program feeds approximately 300 people every morning, and is often the only meal that these people will eat that day.
Another way that we have chosen to get involved in the community is to put together food/gift hampers for local families in need. Traditionally, this has meant that teams shop for, assemble, and deliver the packages. This way, we are able to visit with each family and pray for them as we do so. God has done some amazing things as we have served and prayed for people, including several miraculous healings!
Of course, all of this is done in partnership with La Hermosa Church, which we will have the privilege of attending on Sunday morning or on Thursday night.
Not every day, however, will be filled with things to do. Many teams have a day off together where they have chosen to go to Ensenada or Puerto Nuevo for some sightseeing and shopping or to the beach for the day.
LOVE IN ACTION
We ask that you please be hospitable toward the La Hermosa and CDL Staff and volunteers. Show your love and appreciation for them while you are there. Look for ways to serve them.
Also, be warm and friendly to the local people you will be meeting. Let others get to know you. Think of ways that you can help them understand a little about yourself and your country. Above all else, reflect the love of Christ in your words and actions.
As it is well reported in the news, the Mexican government has been fighting the drug cartels for the past couple of years and violence has increased in some regions. What the news does not report, however, is that the violence is centralized in the main routes of drug trafficking in central Mexico, which is very far from Baja California where we are situated. However, the military is present here, as it is in all of Mexico, and we will regularly see members of the Mexican military while on the highways and in local stores. We will also occasionally pass through military checkpoints. These are not situations to be concerned about—they are there to make the region safe for tourism, and are regular occurrences in Mexico.