Doxa creates opportunities for people to serve Tijuana through
house building, education, and long-term community.

Board Chair Report – Patrick McCallister

Greetings on behalf of the Doxa Board of Directors. We come to you with gratitude for your partnership and support and with humble eyes to see what God is doing in this chapter of our organization’s history. 

In February, the Board completed its annual retreat and first quarter board meeting in Tijuana. The board members cover their own travel expenses to San Diego where we cross the border to Tijuana each January or February. The remaining three quarterly board meetings are now conducted virtually as the board is becoming geographically dispersed. Many board members travel to Tijuana at other parts of the year to participate in housebuilding trips, educational programs or community events like summer camp. 

While in Tijuana this year, we had rich discussions with our Doxa staff, our partners at Unidos por Siempre, Rancho, and Hogar de Los Niños. We attended the first church service in ten years on the campus of Rancho and were blessed by the pastors of Grupo Unidad, the church that owns and operates Rancho. Pastor Marco spent time with us and credited Doxa with breathing life back into Rancho with our investments and the church has a renewed energy for its programs there. 

Breaking bread or tortillas together has the ability to bring people together to build relationships and this year we were shown hospitality with tostadas at Unidos por Siempre, a wonderful taco dinner we shared with Doxa’s staff, partners and their families at the Doxa Community Center and breakfast provided for us by the staff at Hogar de Los Niños.  Each of these encounters nourished our spirit and were rich in conversations along with good food. We cherish our time with our friends in TJ and they make us feel at home. 

We have diversified our board with many members joining from outside the Seattle area. Over the last couple of years, we have enabled long time board members, Andrew, James B., Sharon and Ben to roll off the board and have made room for new board members to implement the strategic plan they developed and complement the work with their own innovative ideas to grow the mission of Doxa. We now have members on the board from Seattle and Spokane, Washington; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, Ojai and Oakland, California. Each of our board members brings a unique perspective and a unique connection with the people of Tijuana. We have members in ministry, banking, education, investments, nursing and business. We’re here to learn from our team in Mexico and from each other while using our gifts to help others. Get to know our board (and Doxa’s entire team) by following this link to their profiles. 

We are excited for 2024 as we continue to see housebuilding teams coming back and increasing in numbers. We are excited for our community programs and the growth of programs like the dance team and summer camp. We’re excited to provide meals and educational support to young students on both the East and West sides of Tijuana. We are also looking forward to making progress on the Community Center plans and to accelerate our fundraising efforts to bring that vision to life. 

God has been at work in Tijuana long before we got here and He will be here long after each of us is gone. Let us be faithful to the part He has designed for each of us and let us work well together with humility and praise for His good work. 

With gratitude, 
Patrick McCallister
Doxa Board Chair 

Rancho’s Transformation

Starting in 2017, Doxa expanded house building operations to a second location in East Tijuana. Explosive population growth and economic development trends led to this expansion. In East Tijuana house building is a primary need, whereas on the West side it is no longer as big of a need as it once was. As the community’s needs change, so must Doxa.

This gave rise to the need for an East Tijuana Home Base: a place where house building groups could arrive, stay, plan, and be sent out with all necessary resources and materials. After bouncing around for the first couple years, Doxa found Rancho. Part of a local church called Grupo Unidad, Rancho’s property is extremely large at about 20 acres. When we found Rancho, we immediately recognized the opportunity that God had put before us. 

Rancho is located on a main road with great access to many surrounding neighborhoods and has lots of open space for programming. In getting to know Marco and Jaime, who are both primarily responsible for Rancho’s operations, we found some kindred spirits. People who were motivated to more fully activate Rancho and turn it into a focal point for the local community. We worked on a rough vision, where Doxa is one member of the team that helps to give life to Rancho’s spaces and buildings. 

In addition to a close partnership with Doxa, Rancho hosts a soup kitchen, church, rehabilitation center, summer camps, and monthly community events. Marco recently said that “prior to Doxa, many people at Grupo Unidad forgot about Rancho. Doxa coming alongside helped to wake us up and see this great opportunity!” 

Doxa’s intention is to grow with Rancho and continue to more fully activate the spaces! 

Throughout 2023, Doxa has worked on some larger projects at Rancho that help to turn it into a great home base. With these projects complete, Rancho is setup for the foreseeable future to competently host and send house building groups to all East Tijuana neighborhoods. These projects include a new materials shed, bridge for better vehicle access, enhanced entrance ramp, and kitchen appliance upgrades. 

The new materials shed is capable of storing 14 houses worth of lumber and has multiple access points so more than one group can use it at a time without being on top of each other. 

The bridge provides easy vehicle and semi-truck access to the shed; thereby allowing vehicles to park for loading and unloading. The enhanced entrance ramp helps to make Rancho’s driveway accessible by semi-truck and easier for smaller vehicles to enter and exit the property safely. 

While still small, Rancho’s kitchen is fully equippd with everything needed to cook for groups of 100+ people. This specifically includes increased refrigerator and freezer space, commercial convection oven, larger sink, more countertop space, and storage shelving. It’s been awesome to see Rancho’s transformation over the past few years and a privilege to be a part of it. A partnership where the Holy Spirit is actively leading! We’re excited to see where we go next together! 

17 Years of Doxa Education

Back in the mid-2000s, after over a decade of building houses, many volunteer groups noticed that it was all too common for kids to drop out of school. They saw the family they were building with struggle when it came to putting their kids through school. A family with 4 kids would regularly have 2 in school and 2 out of school. Most likely, some would finish middle school and none would finish high school. Seeing this need, Doxa started a scholarship program in 2007. Doxa consulted with Tony and Pilar from Hogar de los Niños and worked with Toby and Zoraida to administer the scholarships.

It was a steep learning curve at first. Doxa sponsored 10 elementary school kids in 2007, providing the necessary materials, uniforms, and registration fees to attend school. These were just the basics. After a few years of doing this, it was clear that something more was needed to help students not just attend school, but succeed. This gave birth to the after-school program.

Staring in 2010, Doxa opened an after-school program run by Rosa. A simple classroom setup where students would come after school to complete homework and have access to any additional resources necessary, like the Internet or a printer. Over the next several years, Doxa education grew from 10 to over 120 annual scholarships. Doxa now has students at every level of education: elementary school, middle school, high school, and university. Each year, Doxa sees students be the first in their families to finish middle school, high school, or university.

Throughout the last 17 years, there have been many students who have practically grown up with Doxa. Spending most, if not all, of their educational years enrolled with a Doxa scholarship. All of Doxa’s students are like sponges; absorbing everything around them and growing in their capacities. Without really realizing it, Doxa has been a very formative part of their lives. Rosa, Ely, Flavio, and other Doxa employees have sown many seeds throughout their years of work, and it’s impossible to know exactly when and how those seeds will sprout.

Recently, we asked several long-time Doxa students to share the impact Doxa had on them and their growth. We learned that something different sticks out to each of them. What started as simply buying school uniforms and then opening a basic after-school program, has turned into something much more.

Veronica has been involved with Doxa education for 12 years, starting in 1st grade. When asked about Doxa’s long-term impact on her life she talks about her performance in school and the positive results of the after-school program. She says “I advanced faster than the other students. The teachers noticed that I could learn quicker since I saw things in Doxa before they were taught in the classroom. Rosa taught all of us in a group. I don’t know how she attended to all of us at once, but she did.” The after-school program has been essential to the success of hundreds of students. Local school teachers even recommend their students attend who may need a little extra homework help.

Brigitt has been involved with Doxa education off and on since 3rd grade. She is now in 11th grade. When asked about what has made the biggest difference for her, she talks about the seminars put on by Carmen or Jorge, whom are local councilors. This is offered as part of the after-school program. Brigitt shares, “I learned to control my emotions, be a better person, and relate better to others. I used to be very bad-tempered, but now I know how to not let others affect me or express myself in a way that negatively affects others.”

Angel has been involved with Doxa education for 11 years. When asked about the impact of his involvement, he immediately talks about his behavior: “Doxa has changed me a lot. I used to be distractable and unfocused. Now I’m more focused and calmer. Doxa gave me structure, a place to be, tutors that pushed me to do things I thought I couldn’t, like divisions with 4 digits. I remember one time when Paola gave me a big math problem like that and I ended up surprising myself.” Upon reflecting upon his time with Doxa, Angel smirks as he realizes “I’ve been part of Doxa for more than half my life.”

Alejandro has been involved with Doxa education for the past 11 years. When asked about the difference it has made in his life, he talks about goals and a sense of purpose. Alejandro shares that “we always have to know where we’re going and who we are as people… know our goals and areas for improvement.” When asked about goals Alejandro responds, “finish school, get a good job, buy a house and car, have the necessary income to support myself and my family. This is going to be hard, but it’s not important how many falls I have or how many obstacles I come across, nothing will stop me from completing my goals.”

Veronica, Brigitt, Angel, and Alejandro have all gone through the same education program over the years. Each of them have taken away a different big idea that they hold as formative in their own lives. It’s amazing how such a simple scholarship program can lead to deep and varying impacts. As Doxa continues to grow its education program, now with a second location in East Tijuana, more seeds will be planted and continue to sprout.

Join The Doxa Download! A concise collection of stories that are curated about Doxa and Tijuana,
delivered to your inbox every other month. We'd love to have you join us!

Doxa respects your right to privacy, treats all your information confidentially, and never shares information with any 3rd parties.