Do I need to bring food on construction day?
Yes, Project Mercy does not provide food or drink. There are a few snack shops in the area in which you will be working where you can purchase chips and sodas, but you should bring your own packed lunch.
What else do I need to bring?
Bring any tools you have. Essentials are a framing hammer, tape measure, and pencil. Also bring your own drinking water.
What should I wear?
Blue jeans and sturdy shoes are recommended, as are working gloves and sunglasses to protect the eyes. A hat and suntan lotion are recommended in summer. Please remember the areas in which you will be working are dirt, which can become very muddy in winter months. There is also a fair amount of litter.
Are there bathroom facilities?
Sanitary outhouse latrines are few and far between but they do exist and you can be directed to the nearest one to your work site.
What about insurance?
Mexican car insurance can be purchased on E Street or at the border. However, the border insurance does not open until 8.00AM and so it is better to try to obtain it the day before at some other location.
Can I carpool?
As long as you advise us well in advance there is not usually any problem in carpooling. Should there be too many people wishing to carpool and not enough drivers, we will do our best to work out a ride for you.
Suppose I am detained and late getting to McDonalds?
Call Paula Claussen on her cell phone, Number: 858.231.0318
What problems do you have coming over the border?
Sometimes entering Mexico vehicles are pulled over by inspection. This is frustrating but normal, we will have made sure you are not carrying anything that would create problems for you. Tools for personal use are acceptable. Returning to the US can sometimes mean a long wait at the border. Try to use the time to relax. We usually leave the construction sites around 4.00-5.00pm, so in either case you should be back in the US by 6.00pm. The wait can be anything from 20 minutes to an hour.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:
You may come back from your house building experience weary and in need of a hot shower but the experience of seeing what a huge difference you can make to the lives of these very needy families will remain in your heart forever.
Thank you for volunteering.