Mexico Church Building Teams
Team Prep Costs Mexico Info Things to Bring Evangelism Tools Contact Info
Each year nearly 150 individuals from all over the U.S. join us in the construction of new churches in Southern Mexico! The Gospel is spreading and the need is obvious, with the average Mexican income at approximately one-tenth of that of the United States. Your help is much appreciated.
Our construction season general runs from January through March with preference on the middle two weeks of each month. Optimum team size is from 12 to 20. Smaller teams may combine to reach that number.
Church Buildings are being constructed all over southern Mexico as the Gospel spreads. Our aim is to help as many congregations as possible with the roof of their new church buildings. We will intentionally try to limit our help to the roofs, so as not to take away from these new Christians the feeling of ownership. You may see many of the most recent projects at www.mexmission.com .
Evangelism- Many work teams are effectively mixing afternoon events with the work project. Mimes, puppets,dramas, music,are all excellent ways to bond with the local Christians and make a difference.
Other Acitvities- There have been a variety of initiatives from those coming, and we encourage teams to consider additional activities they may want to be involved in. Some teams may want to include a Saturday kid's club, or fitting reading glasses, or a mini-language school for adults. Talk with me about any particular interests and we can likely make it happen.
Airfare to your destination in Mexico. The following travel agencies have been used by teams in the past: 1) Menno Travel (800)635-2032 2) Hobbit Travel (800)633-2111 3)Mission Tours (800)458-1364 4)CornerstoneTravel (800)448-8174. It is wise to check travel sites such as travelocity.com before calling your travel agent.
$160 per person in the group to go towards expenses while in Mexico (this includes transportation costs in Mexico, food for the group, and money for building materials or ministry materials for the church you are working with.) This cost applies to evangelism and ministry teams as well as building crews. This cost can be the responsibility of the individual or the sending church or organization, however you want to arrange it for your group. We ask the group leader to collect this amount and give it to the facilitator in Mexico.
”Free Day” team travel expense. This varies a lot depending upon the destination (Acapulco, for example, will cost $100/vehicle for tolls and gas, while the “waterfalls” may cost only $20).
$50-$100+ for spending money (souvenirs, restaurants,free-day expense, etc.) Most teams eat in restaurants two to four times during the week. This money should be exchanged for pesos at the airport in Mexico, when possible.
Any"left-over" money given
will be used to help churches which are unable to receive groups.
NOTE: Do not bring Traveler's Checks as they cannot be cashed in Mexico. Money brought in should be in cash, preferably $20 bills or larger for ease of exchange.
needs a Passport. If you are under 18 you must have a notorized
Parental Release Form (get one from your leader). This requires both
parents signatures, a photo, and must be notarized. You may download
a release for at
Make sure you know where your cameras and other valuables are at all times. Once in Mexico you must not lose your tourist paper.
Please check with your family doctor on recommendations for vaccines. You may want to have a tetanus booster if it hasn't been done in the last10 years.
Please check with your insurance agent to see if you are covered in Mexico.
Packing: Check with your airline for current luggage restrictions. Think small and light, you're carrying it. Pack in soft luggage if possible. Limit yourself to one large bag and a carry-on. Your carry-on must fit into a 8" by 13" by 22" space (A gym bag or backpack works well). Put an address label on and in each bag.
You will be issued a tourist card on the plane on the way to Mexico. Keep your copy with you at all times. You will need it to leave the country. Also keep your ticket, release form, and passport safe.
The septic system in Mexico becomes plugged if you flush toilet paper down the stool. Therefore, all toilet paper is placed in the waste basket next to the toilet (Exception: you may flush at the Stilwell's place).
Drink lots of purified water. Only drink purified water or drinks made with purified water. Brush your teeth with purified water too.
If you feel sick or light headed - stop, drink water, rest, get out of the sun, and ask for prayer.
Don't eat raw fruits and vegetables unless they have been chlorinated. If you can peel it, you can eat it.
Always wash your hands before eating!
Check shoes and gloves for scorpions before you put them on.
you are not doing anything look around and ask yourself the question,
"What can I do to help?" or ask someone for instructions.
Remember - you're going as a servant so keep a servant's
Everything is subject to change. Be flexible! The #1 rule is "NO COMPLAINING"
Try to stay in groups and if you're in doubt as to whether you can go somewhere or do something, please ask. We want to know where everyone is at all times. If you get lost go to the last place you were at as a group or the designated meeting area. Please be courteous, kind, and respectful. We are representing Christ.
The Mexican culture is much different than that of the United States. It puts a lot of attention on relationship, and less on efficiency. Lack of definition in the schedule, work inefficiency, and changed plans may irritate some. Please talk this through before arriving! Shorts can be worn at missionary's houses and bathing suits (not bikinis) on the beach. But, to respect the conservative Mexican culture, please pack extra conservatively. Girls should wear skirts or modest pants for church and guys wear pants. Blue jeans, knee-length shorts, and T-shirts are fine for travel and work.
People The majority of the population are of mixed Spanish and indigenous descent and speak Spanish, the official language. There are, however, more than a dozen active non-Spanish languages spoken in Mexico,including various Mayan dialects. Three great civilizations - the Mayas, the Olmecas, and later the Toltecas - preceded the wealthy Aztec empire in Mexico. It was conquered in 1519–21by the Spanish, who ruled Mexico for the next 300 years until the Mexicans won independence in1821.
History Mexico lost Texas to the U.S. in 1836, and in 1848 it lost the area that is now California, Nevada, and Utah, most of Arizona and New Mexico, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexico has experienced much political unrest resulting in many wars from 1877-1920. Since a brief civil war in 1920, Mexico has enjoyed gradual agricultural, political, and social reforms.
Politics During the mid-1970s Mexico became a major petroleum-producer, however, unrestrained borrowing led to accumulated external debt. In Jan. 1994,Mexico joined Canada and the United States in the NAFTA agreement, which will phase out all tariffs over a 15-year period. In 1995 the U.S. won virtual veto power over much of Mexico's economy as they agreed to prevent the collapse of Mexico's private banks. In elections held July 2, 2000, the PRI party lost the presidency, ending 71 years of one-party rule.
The State of Guerrero, established in 1849, is extremely mountainous except for the coastal strip of Acapulco. Some of the heaviest fighting of the Mexican war for independence took place in the area, which was named for Vicente Guerrero, one of the revolutionary leaders. The coast and valleys are hot and rainy, but the highlands are cooler and drier. Tourism is centered mostly in Acapulco for its beach, and Taxco for its silver products. Agriculture (the growing of coffee, tobacco, cotton, tropical fruits, and cereals), forest products, and mining are the state's other chief economic activities.
Religion Official statistics have the nominal Roman Catholic population at 90%, "Protestants" at 6%. The Evangelical Christian population is likely much higher than that, with many estimates around 12%. The percentage has doubled in the last 15 years as there has been an openness to the Gospel. The ethnic groups in Mexico continue to be the most difficult challenge due to mountainous terrain, distinct languages,and cultural issues.
FOOD (for team/missionaries-no glass)
TOOLS (to be left in Mexico)
and Teresa Stilwell
Phone: 011-52-733-33-33959 -Iguala, Mexico
Or (715)203-0063 US number rings in Mexico
to Latin America ~ N5293 Conroy Dr ~
www.mexmission.com ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
**This Info Sheet is available on the web at www.mexmission.com/teaminfo.htm