Mexicali: What to Expect

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GENERAL

WHY ARE WE GOING?
A chance to see God at work in different parts of the world. A chance to partner and work side by side with local church bodies in Mexico. A chance to show orphans love. A chance to live for something bigger than yourself. A chance to make the world we live in a better place. A chance to be changed. A trip that can change your outlook on the world around you and your own life.

FLEX-ICALI
We affectionately refer to the trip as Flexicali. We’re happy to provide details to help you understand what the trip will be like, but it’s really important for each of us to have a flexible attitude as we serve together on this trip.

DAILY SCHEDULE
A typical day involves us waking up early, eating breakfast, heading to a park for a time of devotion with our Rose Drive Friends Church group, and then spending most of the day at our church sites. We typically run VBS programs, or other outreach events for those churches during the day. One of the days is typically a work day where we paint or help repair playgrounds. We usually return to the main camp from the sites around 4:00 or 5:00 pm, then have dinner, free time, and evening chapel.

PACKING LIST / BRING / DON’T BRING
We will provide a more complete packing list once registered.
Here are some things that students typically need to bring: Passport, clothes for each day, dress clothes, Bible, paper, pen/pencil, sleeping bag, pillow, warm jacket, flashlight, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, washcloth, towel, personal medication, personal water bottle, comfortable shoes, beach chair, and maybe musical instruments.

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I NEED TO BRING ON THE TRIP?
Students will want to bring money for meals on the ride to and from Mexico. We typically stop for fast food along the way. Showers will cost $2 or $3 each.  A general suggestion would be $15-$20 for those meals, and $10 for showers. Aside from that, students shouldn’t need money.

There is a group of merchants who set up tents near the camp and sell blankets, ponchos, and souvenirs. There is also food available there, should students want something different from what the camp provides for breakfast/dinner. There is a local Walmart that we stop in occasionally for supplies, in case students forget sunscreen, etc. We have been known to stop at a small local coffee shop called “Starbucks”. These are all additional expenses that students may want money for.

PASSPORTS
Passports are mandatory. The average processing time is 4-6 weeks. There is an expedited service for an additional fee. You should have current passport by Sunday, February 5, so please do not delay. http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html

I DON’T KNOW SPANISH
Thats OK. Neither do we! :) Actually, some of us know some level of Spanish, but more importantly, we bring translators with us for each site. This is a great opportunity to get some practical experience for those of you taking Spanish in school.

CELL PHONE AND DATA USE
Turn off your data on your phone prior to crossing the border or you might have a large bill waiting for you when you get home. Contact your carrier first see what options you have for cell use in Mexico. We ask students not to use their phones except for emergencies. We send a text each day to parents communicating how things went that day.


CAMPSITE

MEXICALI BASE CAMP
Ejido Cuernavaca (“Ejido” means small town.) is located on the outskirts of the city of Mexicali. Since 1970 churches and groups have been staying at this base camp. Click Here to see a map.

CAMP / SLEEPING
Our main base camp is affectionately called “Tent City”, and hosts 500-1,000 students from other churches that join us each year. Rose Drive Friends Church provides the tents, and we have a “tent crew” that heads down before us to set up our area. Security is provided through Mexico Outreach.

Mexicali

BATHROOMS
We have portable bathrooms like what you’d see at a work site in the states. They are serviced and emptied daily. Students should bring their own bathroom supplies for the portables (toilet paper, air freshener).

SHOWERS
There aren’t showers at the main camp. Some of the ministry sites and churches have generously offered showers to their partner teams. Also, in the city there are businesses that charge from $2 to $3 for showers. Our teams typically stop in town for showers every other day.

FOOD
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Food is brought in to our facility from the United States, the local Costco, Walmart, Smart and Final and local grocery stores. 

GLUTEN FREE MEALS
We care about participants who have special limitations on what they can eat. We will do our best to offer special accommodation to those who let us know ahead of time.

CHAPEL PROGRAMS
Mexico Outreach provides Chapels for us each evening that include a speaker and worship. The chapel area is a field, so you will need to bring your own form of seating.


 

MINISTRY SITES

WHERE WILL WE BE WORKING / MINISTRY SITES
Rose Drive Friends Church has partnered with many churches in Mexicali for a long time. We typically have 4 teams that minister at 4 churches in the area. Over the years our locations have changed a few times. Ultimately, we go with flexible hearts, willing to serve wherever we can be best used.

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING
We work closely with Mexico Outreach and the churches that we have connected with. We go with a flexible understanding that each day might look different than our expectations. Typically, our work has involved VBS for the church neighborhoods, Block parties, work day projects such as painting and repairing playgrounds, and supporting the local churches in whatever way we can.

DO I NEED TO BRING TOOLS?
No. We will provide the tools and equipment needed for each site. Teams may decide to bring additional items for VBS such as soccer balls, jump ropes etc.

LEADERSHIP AT SITES
Each site has at least 2 adult leaders, a Team Lead and assistant leader, on location at all times. In addition there are several other adult leaders that may be present helping the teams as well, including our work project team leaders, Mexico Outreach  staff, and Rose Drive Friends Church Pastors.


PAPERWORK DEADLINES:
Sunday, February 5 (Registration Completion Day):
All paperwork and full payments are due. We will have notaries available for free from 12:15-2:00 pm in the High School Room, to help complete your paperwork. (SHOULD HAVE CURRENT PASSPORT BY THIS DATE).

Several forms are required. Please ensure that you have completed the following:

RDFC Medical Release Form (Submit online, nothing to print. You may have already filled this out prior, if you went to camp.)
RDFC Community Covenant
Mexicali Outreach Release Liability
Consent to Travel for Minors- *This form must be signed in front of a notary. Since it contains Jeff Bell’s personal information, it will be emailed to you. When you receive it, please print it, fill it out, and bring it completed but unsigned on 2/5. Your signature must happen in front of the notary. Free notary service will be provided on 2/5.
Provide 1 color photocopy of your passport


IMPORTANT DATES:

TRIP DATES: Saturday, APRIL 8 – Friday, APRIL 14, 2017

REGISTRATION
Early Registration -12/04/16 – 01/15/17 | $389
Regular Registration: 01/16/17 – 02/05/17 | $459
Adult Leaders $389

Translators $269

If you are interested in being an adult leader or translator, please email our High School Pastor Nate Robertson at nater@rdf.org or Jeff Bell at jbellrs@gmail.com.

TRAINING DATES (Students will be placed on teams that will work together at specific sites. Our training times will help them prepare as a team for the work we will be doing. Attendance is required.)
Saturday, March 4 – Global Connections Dinner 4:00-9:00 pm
Sunday, March 5 – Training Begins 3:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, March 12 –  Training Day 3:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, March 26 –Training Day 3:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, April 2 –Training Day 3:00-5:00 pm

REGISTRATION COMPLETION DAY – February 5
12:15-2:00 pm in the High School Room. All paperwork and full payments are due. We will have notaries available for free to help complete your paperwork. (SHOULD HAVE CURRENT PASSPORT BY THIS DATE.)