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.
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. Download the packing list pdf here.
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.
We pride ourselves in knowing what is going on in the areas where we work and minister throughout the year, and offer our expertise freely to any who contact us. 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.
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. There is limited indoor housing available for groups in Ensenada at the Ranch, and first priority is given to teams traveling from far away. Base camp facilities can be booked during the year for hosted groups as space is available.
There aren’t showers available in Mexicali 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. The Ranch in Ensenada does have limited access to showers on site and is available upon request.
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.
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.
We welcome RV and trailers on site at our facilities. Hookups are available in Ensenada base camp only.
Transportation is not included for church or school groups. 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.
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 for 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.
We rent from Enterprise in Covina, California, near Azusa. Mexican auto insurance is a must. Mexican law is different than where you are from, so avoid ending up in the police station without a way to pay for damages in the unfortunate chance you get in an accident. The airport rental companies at the San Diego airport also rent with Mexican auto insurance in the rate. Contact us for our Enterprise contact numbers if you call the Covina branch, and make sure you mention APU Mexico Outreach.
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.
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.
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. We also follow an emergency action plan that includes protocol in case of emergencies. Learn more about safety statistics
We provide chapels in english for your groups before and after you go out to minister each day. Motivational speakers are brought in to point us toward deeper relationships with Jesus, to stay focused on why we do what we do! Worship bands wake up our spirits to motivate us to thank the LORD Jesus for who we are in Him. Special moments happen during the week where many stand to dedicate their lives to Jesus. The greatest miracle is to see a changed life, where we are being set free from the bonds that hold us. Remember that the chapel area is a field or amphitheater, so you will need to bring your own form of seating. Ask us what options are available.
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.
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. Download the packing list pdf here.