Q: Do you have a formal statement regarding participants’ safety?
A: Yes, please visit our Safety with Amor page to view Amor's official statement about our procedures in each of our ministry locations.
Q: What new things have you implemented to keep groups safe in Mexico?
A: In close partnership with local pastors, we are currently not bringing participants to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Additionally, all Amor Mission Trip groups serving in Tijuana, Mexico, will be escorted across the border to the Amor camp, along with will be able to "opt-in" to be escorted to and from the Amor worksites daily, but it is not mandatory at this time. Also, work days will end before dark (visit the Safety with Amor page to learn the specific times for each of Amor's ministry locations). In Baja, Amor's vehicle check-in/check-out system is in effect to ensure every Amor Mission Trip participant and vehicle return to the Amor camp each night. There will always be an experienced Amor Team Member at every Amor camp each night and camp caretakers to monitor the Amor camp gate and patrol the area 24/7.
Q: What is your evacuation plan in Mexico?
A: In case of an emergency, the following steps will be taken:
- An Amor representative will inform the trip leader for the reason of the evacuation. (e.g. severe weather)
- An Amor representative will provide a timeline for the evacuation with specific instructions to remove the Amor Mission Trip group. (e.g. Please be off of the worksite in 15 minutes and head back to the Amor camp.)
- Amor representatives will remain in the field until all Amor Mission Trip groups have been safely evacuated.
- All Amor Mission Trip groups will be accounted for and checked into the Amor camp by an Amor representative.
- All Amor Mission Trip groups will be escorted to the U.S. border, if necessary.
Q: What is the current U.S. State Department Advisory on travel in Mexico?
A: U.S. travel warning's definition has recently changed, please visit the U.S. Department of State website for specifics on travel warnings and other travel information in regards to Mexico.
Q: If Amor continues to feel comfortable in Mexico, why the added safety precautions?
A: Amor’s recent safety updates and procedures are due, in part, to the concerns of Amor Mission Trip participants and parents rather than any directly negative experiences on Amor Mission Trips.
Q: What is our greatest risk of exposure while serving in Mexico?
A: According to reports from our Pastors and the government officials that Amor consults, the greatest risk of exposure to violence is due to personal involvement with illegal drug activities.
Q: Has Amor or its missionary groups seen any incidences of violence?
A: No, Amor has had no incidences of violence in its 30 year history beyond that which is typical for a large, metropolitan city. (e.g. vehicle break-ins)
Q: Is there a greater risk for children?
A: There is no increased risk for children than there is for any other individual.
Q: When will it be safe to work in Rosarito, Mexico again?
A: Amor's contacts in the city of Rosarito have indicated that the violence previously experienced has diminished greatly. Therefore, we find it safe to work in Rosarito, Mexico. In fact, Amor will resuming work there in the summer of 2011.
Q: What is the minimum threshold to pull groups out of Mexico?
A: Amor’s Team Members, along with input from our local Mexican Pastors, and government officials continually review any intelligence received. Because Amor’s Team Members serve in Mexico on a daily basis, they are the first to determine whether their personal sense of security has been compromised. Until reports indicate that the violence in Mexico is beyond the control of its government, Amor will continue to serve those most in need—the poor and the local church.
Q: Which border crossing is Amor using for Tijuana, Mexico?
A: All buses must cross at the San Ysidro border. Amor Mission Trip groups caravanning will cross at the Otay Mesa border, as in previous years.
Q: Where are the camp sites in Mexico?
A: In Tijuana, Mexico, Amor is using the main campsite located in Eastern Tijuana. In Puerto Peñasco, Amor is using the same campsite used in previous years. A map of each of the Amor campsites is located within the sidebar to the left.
Q: How have the Amor camps' security increased in Mexico?
A: Full-time Amor camp caretakers patrol the area in and around camp and keep the gate secure 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, in Baja Amor's vehicle check-in/check-out system is being used to ensure every Amor participant and vehicle returns to the Amor camp each night. Lastly, there will always be an experienced Amor Team Member at the Amor camp all night long.
Q: Is it still okay to play with kids in the communities in Mexico?
A: Absolutely! The bigger issue is that you ensure that your group participants do not wander away from the Amor worksite and from the watchful eye of your leaders while playing with kids.
Q: Is it still possible to travel by myself to pick up supplies like food and water while in Mexico?
A: Though Amor feels comfortable working in Mexico, we have decided to exercise caution in response to the concerns of our participants. Amor Mission Trip groups serving in Mexico, are allowed to travel in caravans to and from the Amor camp, or can "opt-in" to be escorted to and from the Amor camp. We ask that you please take extra care to plan ahead before crossing the border to bring everything you will need during your Amor Mission Trip. In the event that you still need to pick up additional supplies, you may shop in designated Amor work areas. Please let your Amor Team Member know where you are at all times. All travel must be done during daylight hours.
Q: May we visit our previous Amor worksite, attend a local church service, or stop at the pay showers while we are serving in Mexico?
A: Again, though Amor feels comfortable working in Mexico, we have decided to exercise caution in response to the concerns of our Amor Mission Trip participants. Until further notice, groups may not visit areas outside of currently designated Amor work zones. If the previous worksite, church, or showers are in an Amor work zone that has been deemed safe by Amor and your designated Amor Team Member has given prior approval and made arrangements for an Amor representative to accompany you, you may proceed provided that you travel during daylight hours and return to the Amor camp before dark. Once again, prior approval does not guarantee permission to travel if an Amor representative is unavailable to accompany your group.
Q: May we leave the Amor camp in the evenings to pick up tacos in Mexico?
A: Once more, though Amor feels comfortable working in Mexico, we have temporarily suspended such activities. Please see the responses to the previous questions in regard to prior approvals. Amor Mission Trip groups are not permitted to travel outside of the Amor camp after dark and must stay at the Amor camp in the evenings. In the case of an emergency, an Amor representative will arrange an escort. If your group is serving in Baja, Mexico, the new Mexican Village at the Amor camp will seasonally have tacos for purchase twice a week.
Q: May we go shopping or visit the beach in Rosarito, Mexico?
A: Amor has lifted its prior restriction for the city of Rosarito, Mexico, but continue to discourage Amor Mission Trip groups from traveling to Rosarito to shop or go to the beach. You will be able to purchase Mexican items at the Amor Store at the Amor camp or in the borderline. If your group would like to visit the beach, we recommend that you visit one in the U.S.