Q. WHAT'S THE FIRST STEP?
A. Check the Reservation Calendar for available dates! Get the registration started soon since we fill up quickly. Once the dates are set for your trip, we will send you an invoice for the dorm fee/deposit (due within 30 days of booking) as well as the information necessary to adequately prepare your group for the trip.
Q. WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
A. The ministry focus is on high school and college students, however, adults are welcome!
One leader/sponsor for every 8 students (1:6 for those younger than 18) is required. Group size will be limited by available space (we can accommodate up to 100 at a time).
Q. WHAT IS A CARAVAN?
A. A caravan is a church, service, or school group (or any other kind of group for that matter) of 4 to 100 people that comes to Tijuana for anywhere from a day to a week for a hands-on, short-term, cross-cultural missions experience. A caravan comes to meet the needs of the poor, to contribute to the on-going ministry in Tijuana, and to be made into disciples and world Christians. Though there is opportunity to minister to others, the greatest benefit derived from coming to Mexico will be what the Spirit of God does in the lives of caravan participants themselves.
Q. WHEN CAN WE COME?
A. We take Saturday or weekend groups year round except for spring break and summer vacation. We take week-long groups any time during the year, but you must get on the calendar early for those high-demand spring breaks, Thanksgiving breaks, and summer vacation times since they fill up fast.
Q. WHERE WILL WE SLEEP/EAT?
A. You will be staying in a dormitory in the Mariano Matamoros section of Tijuana, Mexico’s fastest growing city.
The accommodations at the dorm are rustic. You will be sleeping on wooden bunk beds. Most of them have foam mattresses. There are indoor restrooms (though no showers), running water (most of the time!) and electricity (most of the time!). You can use local public showers, which are very clean and offer complete privacy. During vacation times you will probably be sharing the dorm with other caravan groups.
The meals, you will prepare your own breakfasts at the dorm. Please keep it simple (cereal, yogurts, etc...). There is a coffee pot, toaster, and refrigerator available. Necessary groceries (including disposable cups, plates and utensils) for breakfast and lunch can be purchased either in the U.S. before you cross the border or at a supermarket in Tijuana. Anything you need to get during the week can be purchased in the Mariano Matamoros area. In the evenings you will eat out at local restaurants.
Clean filtered water will be provided at the dorms. Please bring your own water bottles to refill.
Q. WHY BRING A CARAVAN?
A. Though needs are met among the poor, the real purpose of this ministry is to make disciples, to create world Christians and to mobilize the next generation of missionaries. We appreciate the opportunity to expose participants to cross-cultural ministry and third-world poverty, but our focus is really to present God’s plan for worldwide disciple-making and how He wants us to participate in that plan. The challenges are pointed and the teaching is for the mature. It is not meant to be an adventurous vacation or a means for justifying a trip to Disneyland.
Q. HOW DOES IT WORK?
A. Come hear teachings regarding missions from missionaries, mobilizers, and other speakers. Help build shelters for the families in need in the Tijuana area. Fellowship with the staff and other believers who come down to MCM from all over North America.
Q. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A. There are two costs. Our registration/deposit fee is $20 person/night or $100 a person for week-long groups. For day groups, there is a registration fee of $5 per person. For weeklong groups a typical week consists of building Monday through Thursday with Friday as a service/debriefing day. You will send your non-refundable dorm fee/deposit as soon as we agree upon a date for your group. Make the check payable to “Mexico Caravan Ministries”.
In addition to the registration fee, our building cost is $850/shelter. The size of the group determines how many shelters will be built. We allow no more than 15 on a work site and a group of 8 to 15 can comfortably complete a house in one day. We need to have your building funds in hand – no later than two weeks before you arrive so we can buy the materials and plan the projects for you.
As you plan your budget, remember that you are also responsible for your travel to San Diego, your transportation in Tijuana (you can rent vans in San Diego), and all of your food.