Frequently Asked Questions
Are the food and water safe in Mexico?
Tap water is NOT safe to drink in Mexico. Even a drop on your toothbrush may get you sick! We will provide bottled water at the orphanage as well as purified water throughout the build. As long as you don’t drink from the tap you should be fine!
All of the meals provided on the build is well prepared by our cooks. They are careful to only use purified water and take other precautions to ensure the safety of the food they provide. We also provide snacks such as trail mix, granola bars, fruit etc. brought down from the US during the day.
Where do we stay?
We stay at a beautiful orphanage called Casa Hogar de los Niños. It has flushing toilets and running water to take a nice shower after the build! Most of the children go home for the weekend so you will most likely not see them.
How safe will we be?
Security in Tijuana has been a largely discussed topic in the news and within our community, and we take it very seriously during our home builds. Although the majority of the discussed violence Mexico is between the drug cartels, there is always a chance that we will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However to prevent this, we always drive in a caravan and never leave the site without one of our supervisors. While driving in a caravan, we use flags and car paint to clearly mark that we are a caravan.
The orphanage we sleep at is 100% gated and has a 24/7 security guard and security system. We park our cars in the orphanage compound and have never had a problem with safety.
We are well known in the communities we build in and they are very appreciate of the work we are doing in their community. Our families and other locals look out for us to ensure that we have a safe experience. We recognize that Tijuana has a name for being a dangerous place and we would like to ensure your safety at all times with Casas de Luz, so if you have following questions please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to answer them.
Is it sanitary?
Throughout the build we have hand wipes and hand sanitizer at your disposal. We order a porta pottie for every build that has been freshly cleaned and ready for use. They are always in great condition and don’t have that typical stinky smell!
The orphanage we stay at is very comfortable and has all of the necessary facilities. You will be able to enjoy a shower in the evening and a flushing toilet! The orphanage staff maintains a very clean environment and it is in very good condition. We do recommend that you bring a sheet to put over your mattress to make you even more comfortable! Check out our packing list for more tips.
Must I know how to build?
No! Our master carpenters will help you every step of the way and will show you how to do everything you need to know. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, they will be happy to help!
What does the builder fee cover?
Our builder fee is usually $50 per person but may fluctuate per build. The fee covers all necessary expenses for the weekend. This includes lunch and dinner on Saturday as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday. We also provide a wide range of snacks and water for builders throughout the day! The fee also covers the porta-potty that is brought directly to the build site. Lastly, the fee includes the cost of lodging to stay at the beautiful orphanage. The orphanage provides us with showers, flushing toilets, and plenty of mattresses. Sometimes we treat our builders to a popsicle break, depending on the availability of the popsicle man!
If you would like anything in addition to what the builder fee covers, we recommend bringing a small amount of money to buy some treats at a nearby store. You may use American dollars in Mexico.
How do we get there?
Each building team will select a few drivers to use their own vehicles for transportation. We will be driving in a caravan, marked with window paint and flags. Drivers will never drive alone, we will travel in a caravan from the meeting point in San Diego to the build site, from the build site to the orphanage and back, and finally to the border. We also use walkie-talkies to ensure that the caravan stays together.
Each driver will need to purchase their own Mexican liability insurance for the weekend. We have detailed instructions available on our build preparation page.
We will park all cars very close to the build site, and community members will help watch over them for safety. At night, we will park in the orphanage compound which is very secured and has a security guard on call 24/7.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us!