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General Information

Frequently Asked Questions


Our participants are men and women of all ages, and different faiths, including teens entering high school, young adults, midlifers and seniors. The ability to speak Spanish is most welcome, but not required. You must have a US Passport that expires no sooner than six months after our trip in July, or valid passport and green card, if not a US citizen.


The volunteers who travel to Tijuana are welcome to work in any activity of the ministry including: Home Building: We build homes that are 16’ x 32’ and include 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen/living room. You do not need to be experienced in construction to be part of a building crew. Professionals are on site to provide instruction and ensure safety. While special skills are not required, we welcome expertise in electrical, plumbing, framing, tiling, roofing and painting. Special Construction Projects: We build more than just homes. Our past special projects have included completing classrooms for a special needs school and providing construction support to enlarge a church building for a growing Catholic community. In 2022, we plan to build two houses. Outreach: To engage more fully with the local community and learn more about their culture, we will have local speakers talking about the area and the challenges as well as time to meet the family. Logistics: At the Home Site we plan and prepare meals, oversee activities at the location where we stay and provide first aid to the participants. We need volunteers to help here. Spirituality and events: We have prayer services, educational talks and a talent show in the evenings.  You can help plan these and implement them during the week. 

 Travelers don’t need to pick one area to work in and do the same thing every day. Participants are encouraged to experience all aspects of the program and may change activities from day to day.


 The cost is $900. Each participant for the 2024 trip may in two parts.  $400 is due by May 15, 2024 this approximates

the cost of travel for the week which includes lodging and food. The balance of $500 is due by July 1, 2024.  

This helps cover the cost of the construction materials. 


There are many ways to participate even if you can’t travel with us. You can participate in fundraising activities

throughout  the year to help raise money for the Tijuana Ministry. Most importantly, you can also pray

for the people of  Tijuana and the success of our ministry.


Since 2016, the Tijuana Ministry trips are being administered by Brothers And Sisters In Community Service (BASICS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose leadership have also served as Tijuana Ministry Core Team members for several years. BASICS is recognized by the Diocese of San Jose as an approved provider of immersion experiences for Parishes.

Community Norms


Goal: Make this the best experience possible for ALL of our volunteers.


Be present so you can encounter God in all of us and around us.

Build community and Fellowship with all volunteers on the immersion trip

  • To that end, we need to be sure we are present with each other and reaching out to build community throughout the week.

  • Make it a goal  to sit next to different people at meals throughout the week. Reach out and make a new Friend!

  • Every day try to have a conversation with at least one person you didn't know before the trip.Consider a daily goal of talking to someone you have not yet spend time with on this trip who is a different generation from you. 


Please be Mindful of your phone and social media use and the following norms:

  • We recognize that people need to keep in touch with families back home. We would like to encourage you to be conscious of when and how often you communicate. We encourage you to limit calls and texting to the morning before breakfast or right before lights out, before you enter the sleeping areas.

  • Please limit your Social Media Connections. If you wish to connect on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter etc. Please do so in the morning before breakfast. Please do not use your phone in the dome. Again, the goal is to be present with the people here in Tijuana with you.

  • If you have your phone out during the day, it should be on airplane mode and only used for taking an occasional photo.

These norms will be on a poster in Tijuana and you will get a copy at the general orientation matting so you don't have to memorize when you can be on you phone, etc.

Safety in Tijuana

​It can be very hot during the day and cool in the evening and mornings and we are in construction areas, so safety is very important. 

  • We have safety checks for all construction workers before or at the start of the trip to assure they know how to correctly use the tools and have safety persons checking that rules are followed.

  • With respect to medical safety, please note that no special vaccines or immunizations are required. Tetnus shot, Hepatitis A vaccine and measles shots are recommended but not required. Please check with your doctor for special concerns. We stress rest and hydration breaks and have first aid persons at all sight. 

  • With respect to personal safety, sadly, the media exaggeratingly portrays Mexico as a nation torn apart due to drug violence. Admittedly, there have been incidents of violence in Tijuana. But the area that we work and stay in is relatively safe. The violence primarily happens in the tourist and urban areas, while we stay in the suburbs, away from the metropolitan area. To ensure safety, everyone stays together as a group and the compound that we stay in is enclosed and guarded. 

Key Points to Remember

  • Not a vacation. We are doing God's work.

  • Remain aware. Everyone's safety depends upon everyone else.

  • The days are long. There is time to relax, but there is more work than not.

  • What you give is what you get. Be present.

  • Drink Fluids constantly (specially at job site).

  • Take your water bottle everywhere.

  • Don't drink tap water our use for toothbrushing (Use your water bottle as much as possible), bottled water is provided at all sinks  in the dome.

  • Wear sunscreen, hats, protective gear.

  • Beware of lice (girls - tie up your long hair during the kids / teen programs.

  • Wear appropriate clothing.

All of the following come from two main principles:

Respect & Safety


  • Christ-like behavior, language and music.

  • Cooperate with all peers and adults.

  • Communicate apropriately.

  • Respect the boundaries and property of others.

  • Promote safe, fun, healthy environment.

  • Be inclusive.

  • No abuse, fighting, misconduct, harassment, inappropriate touch of any kind.

  • Your are representing the Tijuana Ministry. We take that job very seriously and ask you to do so as well.

  • It is your job to know the policies and you are accountable to those policies.

  • Infractions will result in disciplinary action.

  • Your parents are responsible(financially) or damage you cause and/you return trip home.



Absolutely not allowed to bring with you or have with you in Tijuana


  • Weapons

  • Drugs

  • Alcohol

  • Valuable Electronics

  • Valuable Jewelry

  • Condoms

  • You may not wander(anywhere, anytime)- This is super important!

  • Make sure an adult always know where you are.

  • Always have a buddy with you (buddy system).

  • Must remain at worksite, program site or compound/home site.

  • At compound/home site:no roof climbing, no hiding behind buildings or closed classrooms.

  • Keep noise levels at a minimum.

  • Music? Make sure it's appropriate..Clean versions. No wearing etc.

  • Deposit trash in receptacles (Clean up after meals).

  • Clean up floor after shower.

  • Keep your sleeping area clean.

  • Respect curfew (quietly in sleeping space by 10) lights out 10:30 including phones off.

  • Boys are not allowed in girls sleeping quarters and girls are not alloween in boys area.

  • No physical or emotional abuse will be tolerated.

  • No foul, derogatory, disrespectful, hostile lenguage.

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Asked Questions
Safety in Tijuana
Community Norms
Points to Remember
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