Archive for ‘News’

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! 

Giving Tuesday & December Matching Campaign

Today is Giving Tuesday and also the launch of Doxa’s 3rd Annual December Matching Campaign. This year, we’ll be showcasing a couple projects and some personal impact stories from both locations: East and West Tijuana. 

First is funding a house build by Doxa’s high school students. For over 30 years, Doxa has helped facilitate life-transforming house builds for high schoolers that come to Tijuana from all over the US. Now, it’s time to provide this same experience for Doxa’s high school students in Tijuana. Learning how to build, work together, and give themselves away. A horizon-broadening experience in their very own city. 

Second, we’ll showcase some stories of family growth. A side effect of Doxa’s education and community programs that operate throughout the year. We’ve seen family dynamics completely change for the better, just through involving the entire family in Doxa’s ecosystem. Likewise, these families have been so gracious in allowing Doxa into their homes, lives, and relationships. 

Third is funding a new Soup Kitchen out of Unidos por Siempre. Maria and Angeles, who lead Doxa’s education program in East Tijuana, have seen access to nourishing and healthy food become a top priority in their area. The Soup Kitchen opened last month and is proving to be an excellent complement to the after-school program, which already operates there. 

And finally, it’s hard to believe, but Doxa’s education program is now in its 17th year! Doxa has been a place where some students have practically grown up with us. We’ll highlight a few of their stories and takeaways from these long-term relationships. 

Doxa’s board of directors has generously pledged $40,000 in matching funds, so all donations up to that amount will be doubled through the end of the year.

Over the next month, we invite you to follow along as we take a deeper dive into each of these projects and impact stories. We’ll focus on one each week. Please also consider donating before year’s end to double your financial impact. Muchas gracias! 

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

It was my 8th grade science teacher who first introduced me to the concept of “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Sounding funny at first, but is so true. Every decision we make has some element of unknown that we are unaware of. In Tijuana, Doxa has seen this happen frequently with youth who have to make decisions about school and work earlier on in life. Without the opportunity or access to try new skills, learn new things, and more fully develop their giftings these critical decisions are made with far too little information. 

Schools in Tijuana operate on a permanent half-day schedule. This allows school buildings and teachers the ability to service twice as many students. However, it also means significantly less classroom time for students. While students receive the usual core subjects, such as math, history, reading, and writing, almost all schools lack access to the performing arts, visual arts, sports, technology, and counseling services. Furthermore, as students finish high school and look towards college, they must declare a major prior to enrollment. This pre-mature decision, forces them into a path with too many unknowns. 

Likewise, Doxa has found that youth who decide to exit school prior to finishing college, often choose work in the same area as their parents. While not necessarily a bad thing to do what your family has done, youth need to be empowered to experience the world and have the opportunity to develop their own giftings before making such a large life decision. After all that, if they decide to follow in their family’s footsteps, that’s great. And if they choose a different path, that’s great, too. This is at the heart of Doxa’s value of empowering young people

Recognizing the void of access to the performing arts, visual arts, sports, technology, and counseling services, Doxa sees an opportunity. Several years ago, Doxa started with a little dance group called Yelitza. Juan Sabino, the dance instructor, has since grown that group into one of the premier youth dance groups in Tijuana. Over the years, kids have shown a curiosity and desire to learn dance. They keep showing up! 

Earlier this year, Doxa’s Tijuana staff assessed what other opportunities we may have been missing and how best to address them. The top three were visual arts, music, and counseling. Over the past several months, we have undergone pilot programs in each of these areas. Ultimately, the goal is to grow Doxa’s offerings into permanent programs. I had the opportunity to interview a few of the newer instructors earlier this week. 

Susy is Doxa’s art teacher. She started with Doxa about 6 months ago in partnership with Tijuana’s cultural center and has a background of working with vulnerable communities. She believes that “art is therapy that changes lives” and that “art is important for the full human being because it opens doors that allow us to develop our talents.” She has seen how autistic kids have used art as therapy to become more independent and others have used art to calm their anxiety attacks. Susy hopes that exposure to visual arts will spark “changes in kids’ personality, growth in their confidence, self-esteem, and the skill of working in teams.” Susy’s motivation comes from her belief that cultivating the next generation of adults starts now, with how we treat and view the youth around us. She says that “while I may not be able to change a kid’s life in one day, I can help them to express themselves and mitigate their burdens through art.” 

Manuel is Doxa’s music teacher. For about the past 8 months, he has been teaching acoustic guitar and singing. His classes consist of teaching basic cords, rhythms, reading music, singing, and putting it all together in a finished song. His class’s first public performance was last month at Doxa’s fall fair. Manuel knows that his music classes are a success when “kids enjoy the class, learn the song, and their parents like what their kids have done.” While Manuel provides the instruction, he often lets students pick which songs they’d like to learn. He sees motivation in each student to keep getting better. 

Jorge is a psychologist, who works with Doxa a few times per week. He works with groups of elementary-age kids and adolescents. The age-appropriate workshops focus on emotional intelligence, depression, anxiety, family trauma cycles, and identity. Jorge has also dedicated time to grieving and processing losses experienced by the pandemic. Almost every single student at Doxa has experienced the loss of someone since March 2020. In addition, Jorge provides one-on-one sessions where necessary. Jorge strives to “form human beings who are emotionally intelligent and conscious of their surroundings, that can accept their errors and see them as a learning opportunity, that will be empathetic and help others without wanting anything in return.” 

While Susy, Manuel, and Jorge have all been a tremendous value-add for Doxa this year, it is only the start. Susy hopes to undertake a community-wide mural next year. Manuel can expand classes to other instruments besides acoustic guitar. And Jorge would love the opportunity to work with parents, as so much more progress can be made when families are in sync with each other. Additionally, Doxa sees opportunity in the areas of sports, technology, and engineering (to name a few). Whether through partnership with other organizations or directly with subject-matter experts, Doxa can facilitate impactful programing that exposes youth to the world around them. 

Doxa’s community center is a gathering place and facilitator of quality programming. Ely, Doxa’s director of operations, has worked hard to build a pipeline that can be flexible to changing needs. A way to bring experts into the community to share their passions and knowledge. These opportunities afford Doxa’s youth exposure to new things and a safe space to explore their curiosity. A way to find out what they like and don’t like. Youth emerge better-equipped to make decisions in their own lives and know a little more about themselves and the world around them. Doxa serves as a stepping-stone to greater things. 

Doxa’s Value: Empowering Young People

This article is part of a series, taking a deeper dive into each of Doxa’s five values. Our last article was on collaboration with local organizations

Empowering young people has been central to Doxa since day one. At a basic level, empowering others involves equipping with necessary tools and facilitating opportunity. When both of these are done well, it leads to intentionally holding space for growth. Allowing young people to surprise you as their unique gifts blossom and develop. 

Another essential part of empowering young people is not controlling the outcome. Allowing space for failure also means allowing space for success. Having young people develop their own motivations and agency results in growth. We, meanwhile, fully acknowledge that this process may be a bit bumpy. Afterall, life isn’t always perfect. 

Doxa has been careful to incorporate the value of empowering young people into the fabric of each mission area: house building, education, and community. It certainly looks different in each area, but the central ideas of equipping and facilitating remain constant. 

House Building 

In the early 1990s, house building operations were just starting. Volunteer groups were all comprised of high school youth from churches. James B. Notkin, youth pastor at the time, recalled using the house building experience as part of a shift in youth ministry from an entertainment model to an empowerment model. An opportunity that allowed young people to push themselves, see Christ in a new way, and make a big impact on others in the process. 

Doxa provides the materials, qualified recipient family, tools, and manual necessary to build a house. The design of the house is purposeful in its simplicity, utility, and appropriateness for the context in which it is in. A wood structure that is easy enough to build for those without experience, but also of necessary building standards and quality for life in Tijuana. This intentionally provides space for groups of young people to successfully build a house in less than a week’s time with little or no building experience. It is not necessarily easy, days can be long, hard, and dirty. However, it is more than doable and each team completes it in their own way. 

Oftentimes, the takeway message is that young people do not need to wait, get more educated, have more experience, or grow up in order to make a meaningful difference in the world. That through the gifts they already have, and those they will develop along the way, young people are ready to start now. Another factor, which sometimes gets overlooked is that building a house is a very tangible outcome. It’s easy to step back at the end of the week, see the difference and the life-changing impact on the recipient family (not to mention the cross-cultural relationships that have been formed). It’s a very perceptible experience from start to finish. 

It is Doxa’s hope that this house building opportunity of empowering young people will spill over into other areas of their lives. As they return back home, changed from their experience in Tijuana. 


Doxa takes a holistic approach to its education program. Mexican students come from varying backgrounds, so each needs a little something different in order to have the opportunity to succeed scholastically. Equipping students can mean providing uniforms, shoes, backpacks, school supplies, tuition fees, transportation, and medical/dental/vision checkups. These are the basic necessities just to get in the door and have an opportunity. 

Thinking beyond the basic necessities, Doxa further provides the opportunity to study well and succeed. We do this by operating after-school resource classrooms with qualified tutors, Internet, and computer/printer access. These dedicated spaces, provide the opportunity for students to study in a focused atmosphere that is not distracting or full of other temptations. Almost all of Doxa’s students live in houses that are no larger than 500 square feet and house 4-8 people. It’s extremely rare that any of them would have a dedicated study space.

Thankfully, in the past several years, it has gotten easier to find spots in school for incoming students. However, in the event that a family can’t find a spot in school for their child, we use our network to help. Tijuana’s school system is made up of several types of schools: federal, state, municipal, and private. Each school has its own teachers, principal, and rules. It results in a complicated patchwork system for parents to navigate. 

Doxa is committed to do anything in order to provide a quality opportunity for students to succeed in school, but only when they are also motivated. Each family and student drive their own success, while Doxa takes care of providing the necessary tools and opportunity. This approach results in ownership over their school journey, with almost all students achieving higher levels of education than their parents did. 


In 2017, Doxa interviewed over 70 families who had received houses since the early 1990s. One of the key takeaways of this study was that youth who did not experience much outside of their own neighborhood ended up following in their family’s (and neighbor’s) footsteps. While not necessarily bad to do the same as your parents, it’s important to be equipped with the knowledge that there’s other options and avenues. 

Empowering young people at Doxa’s community center is all about exposure and opportunity. It’s exposure to new skills, things, and experiences. It’s opportunity to put into practice, perform, and showcase what one has learned or seen. 

For example, Doxa’s dance group (called Yelitza) is led by Juan Sabino. He not only teaches the dance moves, history, and meaning; but also uses his connections to get performances lined up. Yelitza performs about 35 times per year in venues that range from city-wide performances to private parties. He takes the group all over Tijuana. It’s a way that Doxa’s youth get exposure to others within the dance world and can use Yelitza as a stepping-stone to bigger things. In this way, Yelitza’s reputation has also been elevated and is known for cultivating some of the best new dancers in Tijuana. 

It’s also important to get young people exposure to new surroundings. Baja California is an extraordinary state, rich in history and natural beauty. However, you wouldn’t necessarily know that from living in the city of Tijuana. Each year, Doxa takes its youth to the cultural center and then out of the city for a camping trip. An opportunity to leave one’s surroundings and see something new. For many young people, this is their first time outside of the city of Tijuana. 

Through exposure to new and unfamiliar things, young people’s imagination and curiosity are awakened. They can see possibilities that they didn’t know existed and try many different things to see what fits them best. After all that, if they decide to follow in their family’s footsteps, that’s great. And if they choose a different path, that’s great, too. It’s the provision of opportunity that allows them the freedom to choose and become motivated about their own futures. 

Doxa’s Sustainability: Leadership and Funding Models

Prior to the early 2010s, sustainability wasn’t much talked about at Doxa. The organization had hummed along just fine and survived various ups and downs (thankfully). A good testament to diligently taking things one step at a time and not concerning ourselves with things too far into the future. While that strategy worked for a while, if Doxa was to grow its impact as an organization, the topic of sustainability would need to be explored. The addition of education programming and community development to ongoing house building operations further emphasized the need for sustainable leadership and funding. 

By 2011 Doxa’s operations and partnerships were becoming more complex on both sides of the border. Even with these changes, it took several more years to implement some sustainable leadership and funding practices. In fact, the COVID pandemic actually helped to speed some of this work along and put sustainability back on the minds of everyone at Doxa. Two distinct areas where Doxa has focused on sustainability are in its leadership and staff structure, and its financial and funding sources. 

Leadership and Staff Structure 

Prior to 2015 Doxa had only 1 full-time staff member in Tijuana, which was Rosa. For those that knew her, she was an incredibly capable and efficient person. At times, we marveled at how she seemed to do the work of many people at the same time! Everyone has their limits, though, and even Doxa’s operations got to a point where it was getting to be too much for Rosa on her own. Starting in 2016 and over the course of the next couple years, we added 5 more full-time positions and various part-time positions. 

With the exception of Doxa’s executive director, everyone else is employed in Mexico to carry out Doxa’s operations on the ground. This serves as a direct commitment to employing and building up people in the same neighborhoods in which Doxa works. Staff are active community participants, regularly involved in the local church, orphanages, and other activities apart from their Doxa work. Doxa’s staff have a culture of love, hard work, joy, and fun (we’re still working on having a little more grace sometimes!) Simple things, like giving vacation time to staff no longer necessitates the pausing of operations as there are people available to temporarily fill various roles. This allows Doxa as an organization to more easily grow and adapt as necessary without being dependent upon one person. 

Another change has been the creation of a Mexican non-profit entity, Doxa Tijuana A.C. This entity provides Doxa with legal standing in Mexico, ability to own land, legally provide employment, and creation of a local board of directors. It also qualifies Doxa for resources throughout Tijuana that are only available to legal and registered non-profit organizations. Having Doxa legally exist in Tijuana allows for future opportunities and adds an additional level of staying power for future generations. 

Finally, regarding the U.S. non-profit entity, something as simple as term limits for U.S. board members has helped gently nudge Doxa to recruit some new leadership. Developing a pipeline of new board members also helps to continuously expand Doxa’s footprint. Whether its governance, fundraising, organizational history, leadership, or just about anything else, it can help to have more people, expertise, and resources under the same tent. 

Financial and Funding Sources 

Prior to Doxa’s expansion into the education and community mission areas, its funding model was fairly simple. Volunteer groups would pay for house building materials and a few other items that helped them successfully stay in Tijuana during their trip. Items such as drinking water and even a small donation to the orphanage where they stayed. While this was sufficient in the early days, there were years where both Doxa and the partner orphanage were not even covering their own costs. Upon realizing this, Doxa reworked its house building model to fully cover building materials, administration, family selection, and make it a revenue generator for the partner orphanage. This ensured financial sustainability with regard to house building operations and also helped contribute to the financial sustainability of the partner orphanage. 

From the early 2010s, as Doxa’s education and community programs started to grow, we sought to diversify funding sources and develop new ones. These included individual giving, private company matching, applying to church mission budgets, board giving, and in-kind donations from Tijuana sources. COVID provided the first big test of these other funding sources, as groups were unable to come build in 2020 and 2021, so house building revenue dried up. Thankfully, we made it through, but still have work to do. In 2020, Doxa saw a total of 134 donors and 79 first-time donors. In 2021, Doxa saw a total of 124 donors and 63 first-time donors. When you give, you’re in good company and part of a larger community! 

There is still lots of room for improvement as Doxa evaluates what sustainability looks like through various lenses. It is something that needs careful and diligent stewardship; commitment for the long-run. We are so thankful to everyone who has stepped up and journeyed along with Doxa, especially over the past few years. We hope to continue building on this progress towards an organizationally and financially sustainable Doxa that can continue for generations to come. 

Youth Development in Pedregal

One of Doxa’s values is empowering youth, to help develop the entire person as they grow. This can be seen in house building, education, and community programming. In the areas of education and community, Doxa has experienced its middle and high school age kids grow significantly in number. This is a product of scholarship students who have practically grown up with us for the past several years. 

This past summer, we specifically felt called to offer more age-appropriate experiences for middle and high school aged youth to mature and develop. As Doxa continues to grow, we would like to continue developing offerings for older kids. 

First was summer camp, during the entire month of July. Doxa welcomed a total of 94 kids to summer camp. Typically geared towards elementary aged kids, this year offered several activities for middle and high school aged kids. Activities included teamwork on various environmental projects, making a pitcher out of plaster, volleyball, and making new paper out of recycled paper materials. 

Second was a dance group exchange, where some of the older kids in Doxa’s dance group (called Yelitza) were given the opportunity to train with a professional dance group (called Ixchel). This exchange provided them with exceptional experience working alongside dance professionals in Tijuana. Maybe some of our dance students will pursue this in the future! 

Third was a camping trip to a ranch just outside of Tecate. The overnight was full of activities, games, a hike, campfire, and some work with Jorge (Doxa’s on-site counselor). The camping trip was the first time that some of the older kids were ever outside of the city of Tijuana. Exposure to different areas around Baja California is key to waking up each kids’ imagination and an overnight allows for some much-needed bonding time between everyone. 

Fourth was a house build. While almost all of Doxa’s houses have been built by volunteer groups from the United States, we do have a local team in Tijuana that has built houses during the pandemic when volunteer groups were unable to come. This team continues to build some houses every year and we wanted to give Doxa’s high school aged kids an opportunity to work. They suited up and went to the worksite for a week of building a house. While it was hard work, they learned about the process and are excited for the opportunity to do it again next year. 

One of the things we’ve learned over the past 15+ years of working with kids in Tijuana is that they’ve got to get out of their comfort zone to grow. They need to get out of their neighborhood and into the world, where they can have the opportunity to try, discover, and learn new things. These experiences help guide them as to what they like and don’t like. Perhaps they’ll also get the privilege of knowing just a little more of the fullness that God is calling each of them into. 

Surrounded by their parents, Ely, Flavio, and Jorge as good guiding examples, Doxa’s middle and high school aged kids can reach new heights. It was busy summer, but also an extremely rewarding and exciting one. 

Doxa’s Value: Collaboration with Local Organizations

This article is part of a series, taking a deeper dive into each of Doxa’s five values. If you missed the introduction article, you can catch it here.

Collaborating with other local organizations is more than just joining forces for good. Specifically, it means the following: 

  • Recognizing that Doxa is just one piece of the puzzle. Too often, organizations enter into situations where they feel they must solve everything, becoming the end-all and be-all. Doxa strives to enter with a humble and teachable spirit, one that recognizes the work that is already being done and how best to complement it. We know that God is doing a much larger work throughout Tijuana, to reconcile each and every person, and pray that He would continue to use Doxa as a meaningful part of that larger work. 
  • Not recreating the wheel. By understanding the work that is already being done, Doxa can be a compliment to it instead of a duplication. Working together, everyone according to their strengths. This also means appropriately honoring the work of others and their unique giftings. 
  • Letting the Holy Spirit lead to greater things. We don’t know where each partnership will lead or the end of this story. Doxa takes one step at a time, doing the best we can in that moment in time. This mentality frees us up to relinquish all control to the Lord, to let Him lead. We focus instead on journeying along with like-minded organizations, and even some not-so-like-minded. Wherever and with whomever the Hold Spirit leads, Doxa will go. 

When done right, collaborating with local organizations results in exponential impact. Something significantly greater than each organization could achieve on their own. 

Doxa has enjoyed the privilege of partnering with many Tijuana organizations over the past 30+ years. Some of the organizations include the Tijuana Cultural Center, Trompo Museum, Police Department, DIF (child protective services), various offices within the Tijuana Government, Care Mission, World Vision, Comité Binacional, and many churches. Three of our closest partnerships are with: 

  • Casa Hogar de los Niños – It’s impossible to talk about Doxa’s beginnings and not mention Hogar de los Niños. This continues to be the home base for all house building operations in West Tijuana. This partnership has also helped form how Doxa approaches other local organizations. We have enjoyed over 30 years of working together. 
  • Casa Hogar Unidos por Siempre – Starting in 2016, Doxa was introduced to Maria, the founder of Unidos por Siempre. This eventually led to Unidos por Siempre being the East Tijuana home base for house building in 2017. Education scholarships, also based out of Unidos por Siempre, started a couple years later. 
  • Grupo Unidad, Rancho – Starting in 2019, Doxa partnered with Rancho to host larger groups in East Tijuana. Their space is an excellent launching point for various activities, not just house building. 

Doxa continuously stewards these partnerships, being active and present year-around. Afterall, they are some of the most important relationships we have! We are continuously humbled by the way that the Holy Spirit has led and evolved these long-term partnerships. So thankful for all of them – past, present, and future! 

Matching Campaign Recap

Last year Doxa held its first matching campaign, where donations made throughout the month of December were matched by the board of directors. We were blown away by the generosity of everyone! 

As part of that effort, we released a new video each week detailing an aspect of Doxa’s mission and impact on the ground. They included interviews with families, staff, and partners throughout Tijuana. If you missed any of those videos, we’d encourage you to take a quick look. Here they are: 

Doxa is more than just house building, video released 11/30/21.

Impacts of House Building, video released 12/8/21.

Doxa Education, video released 12/14/21.

Doxa Community, video released 12/20/21.

Doxa Partnerships, video released 12/27/21.

As the end of this year approaches, keep your eyes and ears open for when we kick-off our 2nd annual December matching campaign. All funds raised are essential to keeping Doxa’s presence active on the ground in Tijuana year-around.

Introduction to Doxa’s Values

Last year, Doxa’s board underwent several months of working on a strategic plan. A comprehensive process that included assessing the vision, mission, strengths, weaknesses, and operational goals of the organization. Looking back at 30 years of history and commitment to Tijuana, it was so insightful to take some intentional time to reflect and prayerfully consider all these aspects of Doxa. Truly more than just groups building wood houses on spring break. 

Going through this reflective process highlighted the areas where we could’ve done better and where things were clicking on all cylinders. One of the takeaways was that we didn’t have any stated organizational values (even though we had been living out many of the same values for years). The board decided to intentionally state Doxa’s values and incorporate them into our organizational language. 

Values are incredibly important as they shape how we carry out Doxa’s operations. In missions, and just about all other work, the “how” actually matters more than that we simply do something. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and nailing the execution is what ultimately results in greater impact. It’s not that Doxa facilitates house building that makes it great, it is the process that has been developed over 30 years that sets it apart and results in consistent life-changing impact. The same goes for Doxa’s education and community programs. 

Sometimes arriving at the correct “how” is a process of trial and error, but it is worth it. It’s not always clean and orderly. As we like to say, missions is messy. Doxa hasn’t always gotten it right and continues to have areas of improvement, but the dedication is there to journey along together and actively listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance. 

Doxa has five values, which are core to everything we do. We believe in: 

  • Commitment to people, communities, and places 
  • Collaboration with local organizations 
  • Glorifying God 
  • Transformation through service 
  • Empowering young people 

Being an organization that exists at the intersection of different cultures, it is important that we can apply these values to every stakeholder that comes into contact with Doxa. Whether it’s a house building volunteer from Illinois, a middle school girl from Tijuana, or a youth pastor in Washington. These values are weaved into everything we do. 

Over the next five issues of the Doxa Download, we’ll unpack these values and see how they apply to Doxa’s daily operations and partnerships.