Who We Are
Vida Outreach is committed to grass-roots community development in Baja California, Mexico. We are a bi-national team that partners with local churches and organizations to share God’s love and serve Mexican communities through hunger relief, development, and education programs.
Where We Work
We currently focus our work in two communities in northern Baja California: the retired Tijuana city dump area and La Misión.
Mexican Poverty At A Glance:
Although Mexico’s economy may appear strong from the outside, the majority of the country’s people struggle to make a living. According to recent government statistics, around half of the population live below Mexico’s poverty line. At any given time another 30% are at immediate risk of poverty. Public water is these communities is not potable, forcing people to purchase purified water for drinking and cooking. With no public gas lines, families must also purchase propane tanks to fuel their homes. Due to low wages and a lack of consistent work, many students are unable to afford the cost of a continued full-time education. These circumstances prevent many families from living happy, healthy, and productive lives.
La Misión :
La Misión is a rural town of around 3,000 inhabitants. The local economy has suffered greatly over the last few years due to the decline in tourism and the prevalence of low-wage jobs. The majority of the town’s population struggles to find consistent and well-paid work. Most skilled workers make around $15 a day and farm laborers can make as little as $5 a day. The dropout rate among students in La Misión and the surrounding communities is extremely high due to the necessity to work and the lack of resources available for students. Students need supplies, money for uniforms, adequate transportation to school, tutoring resources, consistent internet access, and access to printing services .
Canon De Las Carretas:
The community surrounding the retired Tijuana city dump suffers from extreme poverty. Many families live in self-constructed houses and sanitation and adequate plumbing are constant problems. Most families do not have dependable running water or adequate access to reliable electricity. It is common to see people cooking outside on open flame. Lack of education and job opportunities also make living difficult for many adults. As a result, a common method of earning an income is to comb the city dump and surrounding area for materials to sell and recycle.
What We Do
Vida Outreach engages in a variety of grass-root, community based development and church outreach programs. All of our efforts mobilize local leaders and volunteers and seek to improve living conditions and quality of life for people in Baja California, Mexico. We believe that every man, woman, and child has the right to enjoy life, pursue his or her interests, and develop his or her potential without the oppression of poverty. We believe in the right to meaningful employment, a livable income, opportunities for leisure, adequate and affordable housing, utilities, transportation, health care, retirement, education, a healthy and safe environment, culture and arts, and social equality.
Some of our programs include:
Vida Outreach supports various hunger relief programs at local churches in an effort to assist struggling individuals and families with the most basic of needs.
Monday thru Friday volunteers at Iglesia Familia de Dios feed over 100 children adults each morning before school. The program has developed into an important center for the community and serves as a catalyst for community development projects.
We partner with local churches and volunteers to initiate positive, grassroots change in impoverished and underserved communities. Our partnerships and programs strive to holistically address the needs of a community and foster local participation. Here is a brief look at some of our ongoing projects:
La Mision Homework Lab for Teens
The purpose of our homework and computer lab at Templo Elim is to offer local students access to resources that help them succeed in school. The dropout rate is very high in rural communities like La Mision and there is a danger of kids falling into drug addiction and crime.
This program provides a free computer lab to students, access to internet, and free printing of all homework assignments. We offer tutoring to students needing extra help as well as a variety of games and activities. Some students also receive support for school supplies, tuition, and uniforms.
Home Construction and Repair
In many poor communities homes are self-constructed. We work with families suffering from leaking roofs to completely inadequate housing conditions. Over the years we have done numerous home repairs as well as complete new home constructions. We believe that providing for people’s basic needs is an important first step to developing a healthy community.
Due to low wages in Mexico, many students drop out of school. Unfortunately, the need to work often outweighs the desire to continue with an education. The cost of living is high compared to wages and many families struggle to pay the added expenses of sending a child to school. There is no public bus system, so many students must pay for taxis. School uniforms are mandatory for public schools. Many schools, especially in rural areas, put additional burdens on families by making them purchase and provide the classroom supplies, including supplies for teachers.
We believe that education is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty and we want to give every child a chance for a brighter future. Education is a way to inspire individuals to take action and change a broken system. Student sponsorships provide school supplies, backpacks, and financial support to help pay for the uniform and school enrollment fees. The program is also a great opportunity to mentor and tutor the local youth and develop relationships with their families. Most of the parents we work with did not go to school and often struggle to help their children with homework.
Working alongside the community church, we partner with the local schools in La Misión to assist them with projects and supplies when they are in need. We have painted and tiled classrooms, constructed a playground, donated library books and school supplies, and repaired roofs.
Service Trips are a great way to join the ongoing work in Mexico. Your skills and talents can be used by local churches to make a real difference in the lives of others. Ending poverty and spreading God’s love will take an international effort. Learn more