Event Features

Can I stay at APU the night before or after a trip?

Often, APU offers free limited use of university on-campus classrooms, restrooms, and showers for the night before and after the event in Mexicali or Ensenada. APU is about 210 miles from both Mexicali and Ensenada.

RV & Trailer Use

We welcome RV and trailers on site at our facilities. Hookups are available in Ensenada base camp only.


APU Student teams: transportation is included. Church and School Groups: transportation is not included. If you are flying, we suggest you fly into San Diego, California, and rent vans from the airport.  You will drive 120 miles east from San Diego to the Calexico, California, border crossing if you are going to Mexicali. You will drive 100 miles south from San Diego if you are going to Ensenada.

Cell Phone & Data Use

Contact your carrier first to see what options you have for cell use in Mexico. New cell services have started to include Canada and Mexico in their plans of text talk and data. Internet data is also available in the local Starbucks in town. We suggest you tether your phone to your laptop for data use if available.

Van Rentals

We rent from Enterprise for our large number of APU students who go to Mexico. Enterprise includes Mexican auto insurance in the rate.  Contact us for our Enterprise contact numbers, and make sure you mention APU Mexico Outreach.

Immigration Support

Our coordinators offer up to date information on Mexican immigration.  It is, however, your responsibility to comply with the laws of Mexico and the United States when crossing borders, showing documents and traveling.

Ministry sites

We strive to provide an exclusive relationship with a church ministry in Mexicali or Ensenada. We know ministry can go deeper if your relationship continues on from trip to trip. Our coordinators on site are your liaison with local ministries and churches. We have worked with hundreds of churches over the years.

Safety Resources

We provide safety statistics for your leaders and parents to decide for themselves from an informed position whether their decision to go is the right one. Learn more

Chapel Programs

We provide chapels in english for your groups before and after you go out to minister each day. They include a speaker and worship. The chapel area is a field, so you will need to bring your own form of seating. Ask us what options are available.

Facility Bathrooms

Mexicali. There aren’t enough bathrooms for so many, so we have portable bathrooms like what you’d see at a work site in the states. They are serviced and emptied daily. Ensenada. Rancho El Refugio has sufficient flush toilets for all camp sizes.

What You Pack

Passport, clothes for each day, dress clothes, Bible, paper, pen/pencil, sleeping bag, pillow, warm jacket, flashlight, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, washcloth, towel, personal medication, personal water bottle, comfortable shoes, beach chair, and maybe musical instruments.

Meals Included

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Food is brought in to our facility from the United States, the local Costco, Walmart, Smart and Final and local grocery stores. You’ll need to bring an ice chest and igloo to take your lunch with you while you minister during the day.

What Teams Pack

Ice chests (for all lunches and snacks), Igloos (team drinks & VBS snack time), Tents, Folding table (brushing teeth area), Canopy (EZ-up or other), First aid kit, Tarps.

Gluten Free Meals

We care about participants who have special limitations on what they can eat. We will do our best to offer special accommodation to those who let us know ahead of time.

International Customer Service

We pride ourselves in knowing what is going on in the areas where we work and minister throughout the year. Our staff on site and in the United States includes missionaries, pastors and coordinators. Most of our staff have decades of experience taking teams to Mexico. Several have continued on since the inception of Mexico Outreach in 1970.

Facility Housing

All base camps range in size from 250 to 1,000, so our only option is to offer a tent city. You are responsible to bring your own tents. Security is provided. Base camp facilities can be booked during the year for hosted groups as space is available.

Facility Showers

There aren’t showers available for 250 to 1,000 people, but many of the ministry sites and churches have generously offered showers to their partner teams. Also,  in the city there are businesses that charge from $2 to $3 for showers.

First Aid Station

We provide limited first aid at our facility. Our first aid staff are usually volunteer nurses. The local Red Cross is available and offers very reasonable costs. There are hospitals nearby, too. From Mexicali, the hospital in El Centro, California, is a close choice. In Ensenada, there are several options as well.
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