1. What is DOXA?
DOXA exists to invest in those families in need located throughout greater Tijuana, Mexico by facilitating home building, providing greater access to education, arranging after school activities for Mexican youth, and continually seeking out ways to assist the surrounding communities.
2. What is DOXA Education?
DOXA is committed to serving youth through education in Tijuana. We send 25 students each year to neighborhood schools providing tuition, medical costs, uniforms, books and sports fees. We also have an after-school tutoring program that serves the scholarship students plus additional 25 kids from the neighborhood. Each summer we host a four-week long day camp for 60 students to play, learn and have a great time.
3. What is the house building project?
This is an opportunity for groups of students and adults to spend 4-7 days of their lives building two-room houses for homeless families living in the rural hills above Tijuana, Mexico and expand their understanding of social economic needs and discovering new life by giving themselves away.
4. Where will we stay?
Groups stay in an old dormitory on the Casa Hogar de Los Niños orphanage property in the hills above Tijuana. The orphanage is about 20 minutes from the Mexican/American border in a region where the annual income is between $300 and $3,000. Casa Hogar de Los Niños is one of the few orphanages in Mexico that allows children to stay after their twelfth birthday. Currently there are about 40 children living in the orphanage. Our accommodations at the orphanage will be very much like camping out: sleeping bags on pads, porta-potties and bucket showers.
5. Who gets the houses?
Most of the houses are built for single moms or families who, up to this point, have never owned their own home. Often we are replacing shelters made from pallet crates, tarps, and scrounged materials. A new home, with screened windows, a cement foundation, and a locking door provides not only safe shelter, but also an economic foothold in their community.
6. How do you build a house in so little time?
It takes about 8-10 people to build one house in 3-5 days. We start off by leveling the site, lay a 12ft x 24ft concrete slab and then construct a two-room wood frame house on top of it. The building plans are straight forward, and there will be people on site with experience building these houses. Very little construction skill is required, you really only need to know how to use a hammer and read a tape measure. A good attitude and a willingness to try new things are the greatest assets you can bring to the team.
7. Is the water and food safe for us?
We recommend that all food is purchased at the Chula Vista or Tijuana Costco and stateside grocery stores. Water is supplied by the orphanage. Please see the water section for more details. Depending upon the size of your group, it is a great benefit to have a cook to coordinate food preparation. While food preparation is the responsibility of each group a typical day has breakfast which is usually cooked every morning, lunches consist of a hearty sack lunch, and dinner served up hot.
8. Why go?
The reasons to participate in this venture are many. For some it is doing something enduring with friends from work. For others, it is the possibility of making a tangible difference in the life of a homeless family or providing that stepping stone that allows a family to help themselves. Then, too, there is the opportunity to be in a different context to reflect on one’s life and how to be engaged at a greater level. The reasons are as many as the people involved. Whatever your reason, you will find this to be a life giving experience and one of Hope.