Mmmm....tacos, beach bonfires, cacti, and the chance to change someone's world? Sounds like Live Different's Mexico Hero Holiday!
Just south of California, there is a beautiful Mexican state called Baja California. In that place there is an area called the San Quintin Valley, and in that valley, many of us in Live Different have made a whole lot of memories and have been transformed by our experiences. San Quintin is an irrigated agricultural area surrounded by beautiful desert. It is only four hours south of San Diego, but it is 100% Mexican!
The Live Different base is located on the west side of the peninsula, just a couple of miles from the Pacific Ocean. The cool breeze coming off the ocean moderates the temperature, but in our part of Mexico, the days are warm, the nights are cool, the food is amazing, and the people will capture your heart!
Trip Dates and Applications
|Type||Trip Date||Registration Deadline||Details|
|Chad Dalley||Private||Jul 1, 2013 to Jul 10, 2013||2012-10-15||Details|
|Building for Hope||Private||Jul 7, 2013 to Jul 16, 2013||2012-07-31||Details|
|Grace Baptist Church||Private||Jul 12, 2013 to Jul 23, 2013||2013-04-19||Details|
|Summer Internship||Internship||Jul 31, 2013 to Aug 24, 2013||2012-10-31||Details|
|Public Trip 1 - MX 2013||Public||Aug 1, 2013 to Aug 10, 2013||2013-05-01||Details|
|Public Trip 2 - MX 2013||Public||Aug 15, 2013 to Aug 24, 2013||2013-06-01||Details|
|Deep Cove||Private||Dec 27, 2013 to Jan 5, 2014||2013-06-30||Details|
|Christmas Public Trip||Public||Dec 27, 2013 to Jan 5, 2014||2013-09-30||Details|
|MVDHS & FLCC||Private||Mar 6, 2014 to Mar 15, 2014||2013-06-01||Details|
|Oak Bay||Private||Mar 9, 2014 to Mar 18, 2014||2013-05-20||Details|
|J.N. Burnett Secondary||Private||Mar 14, 2014 to Mar 23, 2014||2013-06-03||Details|
|Rosenort Church||Private||Mar 28, 2014 to Apr 6, 2014||2013-08-31||Details|
|Scouts Build A Home Challenge||Private||Jun 28, 2014 to Jul 13, 2014||2013-05-31||Details|
|LoL Church & Beaumont||Private||Jul 13, 2014 to Jul 22, 2014||2013-05-31||Details|
Payment and Donation Log - Must accompany all payments and donations.
*Prices listed may be subject to extra fees. See application for full pricing and package details.
**Dates subject to airline availability
While Mexico has experienced some gains in the past decades and is no longer considered a developing country by the international community, once you arrive, you will see that there are still many people who are living and working in incredibly difficult conditions. Many of the people living in the San Quintin Valley have moved to the peninsula from mainland Mexico, most commonly from the southern state of Oaxaca, in search of work in the fields of vegetables and fruit. Many of them arrive with no savings, sometimes only speaking their indigenous languages, unable to read or write Spanish, and without birth certificates, which in turn limits access to health care and education. Despite all this, we have come to realize that our friends here are resilient, creative, and generous with the little resources they have.
As a result of the need we saw in the town of Vicente Guerrero and the surrounding San Quintin Valley communities, Live Different started working in Mexico in 2005. Many of the migrant families living here are forced to construct their small homes out of whatever they can find: scraps of wood, cardboard, and plastic. Thanks to the help of Hero Holiday volunteers such as yourself, we have been able to build many homes, schools, and clinics in various communities in the area - and we have each been changed in the process.
The structures that we build are simple by our standards, but each home, school, and clinic is so much more - it is a beacon of hope for a better future, a reminder of the solidarity of friends from different cultures, a place of security and refuge after a long day of work, shelter from the dust and rain, and a place for celebrating the big and small joys in life.
Itinerary is trip specific, check out the "details page" of the specific trip you're interested in participating in for more information.
- Fly into San Diego International Airport (SAN), California.
- Orientation at Best Western.
- Stay overnight.
- Drive to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico (approx 4-5 hours).
- Meet the family you will be building for.
- Further orientation and debriefing.
Day THREE - SIX:
- House Building Days. When you first show up to the work site, there will be a concrete slab waiting for its four walls, roof, and your enthusiasm! Together with the family, you and your team will be a part of making a dream a reality. Through this experience, you will develop friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.
- Time to purchase gifts for the families' home. Groups in the past have pooled extra cash they have brought and purchased beds, cookware, groceries, stoves, furniture, etc. for the family.
- House Dedication. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hand over the keys to a brand new home and give the hope of warmth, security, and a brighter future to a family? This gift and moment will be etched in your memory for many years to come.
- Preparation for what is next - Live Different Hero Holiday is going to be one of the most intense and life-changing experiences you will ever have. Because we believe that this is just the beginning of something for you, we want to help you to prepare to return home and integrate this experience and the lessons learned. On the final day of our trip we will have a final debriefing that will help you to take this experience and help others understand how we can make a difference in our global community.
- Excursion Day.
- Today is an opportunity to explore some of the beauty the Baja has to offer.
- Drive up to San Diego, California.
- Stay over night.
- Fly home out of San Diego International Airport (SAN), California.
Dorm style accommodations will be provided, location depends on the size of group.
While in Mexico you will experience a wide variety of food. We serve a balance of familiar North American food along with a cultural experience of some special Mexican meals and treats! All meals are carefully prepared and are full of nutrition. We do our best to cater to specific dietary restrictions, so please inform us of any restrictions you have at your time of registration.
Staff / Security
Mexico is our only destination where we have our own base on the ground. We have staff who live there year round and have had a constant community presence for several years now. Our community partnerships and relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. We feel privileged to be welcomed into their community and to be an active part of it.
All of our staff are very passionate about what we do and we believe that we all have a responsibility to help those in need and to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Hero Holiday maintains excellent community relations and works diligently alongside of community leaders, other NGO's working in the area, and often government officials in each country that we work in. Safety is always our number one priority. All of our key staff are first aid certified and we always have access available to quality medical attention (if needed) in all countries that we work in.
Before a Hero Holiday begins, all parents are given contact numbers and emails for Hero Holiday Trip Host(s). We are available at any time for parental concerns or emergencies. Our staff also works hard to keep families and friends back home updated on a daily basis with stories and pictures on our website and Facebook of what is happening with each particular group.
In the past decade, as a result of press stories about drug-related violence, Mexico’s reputation as a safe and secure country to travel in has been called into question. Despite what you hear in the news, the areas in Mexico where we work are safe and welcoming. The Mexican government’s "war on drugs" has generally resulted in confrontations in large cities on the mainland between rival cartels or between the Mexican army/police and the cartels. As humanitarian volunteers and visitors to the Mexican Baja peninsula, we have no reason to be involved in this type of activity and always reinforce common-sense street-wise rules to ensure a safe and fun stay in the rural, agricultural community of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico. You will have access to local staff who happily make this community their home, know the area, and feel very safe living in the San Quintin Valley. We do travel through Tijuana, and as with any major city in the world, there are areas with higher crime rates than others.You will be traveling with Live Different Staff who know which routes to take and there will be no opportunity to be wandering around these neighbourhoods. We genuinely believe that each of our volunteers will experience a rewarding and fun-filled stay in Mexico and prior to departure, our Live Different staff in Canada will be there to answer any questions you have via phone and email. Once you arrive in San Diego and Mexico, the local team will be there to look after you.
"This Hero Holiday trip has benefited me in ways that I never thought possible. It truly was a cleanse for the soul and I can honestly say that it will always be one of the most important things I have ever done in my life. The impact it had on me as a person is incredible and I would not trade this feeling of fulfillment for anything. It opened my eyes to what truly is important in this world and for that I am thankful. I promise that if you do decide to go on this trip, you will not regret it. I went on this trip on my own and came out with a close family. Live Different's Hero Holiday trips are definitely what this world needs more of. Also, always remember that change starts with you." ~ Ankit, Mexico August 2012