FAQs

This page contains answers to commonly asked questions.

You can also download this material as a PDF here.

Contacting Puente de Amistad

E-mail: pdeamistad@gmail.com
Phone: (International call) 011 52664 625 3114
(Direct to Base) 619.730.2145

Postal Mail:
Puente de Amistad
P.O. Box 530569
San Diego, CA 92153-0569

Mexican Address:
Rto. Monte Everest 19381
Fracc. Loma Dorada
Tijuana, BC

Important Documents:

  • Information, documents and forms can be found on the "forms and documents" tab at the top of the page
  • The Team Member's Guide is required reading to better prepare you for this trip.
  • Forms and applications should be sent to us at least 30 days prior to your arrival at Puente. The Forms you will need are:
  • It is critical that each team member fill out an individual application.
  • There are separate applications for adults and minors.
  • Please take into consideration each individual's ability to handle long hours and the conditions in which they will be working/ministering (hot, dry, and sunny) before approving them for the trip.
  • Minors who are not accompanied by a parent or custodial guardian must have the parent's or guardian's signature witnessed by a Notary Public.
  • All adults on the team must have a passport or passport card.
  • Ministry information, including details about house-building project are listed at www.puentedeamistad.org/opportunities_house.aspx
  • For the most recent pictures visit us on our Facebook page: "Puente De Amistad".
  • You are welcome to use any picture or bit of information from our Web site to help promote your trip.

Before the Flight is Scheduled

  • Puente Staff will arrange airport pick-up or drop-off between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Any and all flights scheduled before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. will require that the group get hotel rooms in San Diego with airport shuttle service. Remember, hotel shuttles usually start at 6:00 a.m.

Puente Costs

  • We need a $500 team deposit to secure your dates. Without a deposit there is no reservation.
    • The deposit is non-refundable, but will be applied to your final bill.
  • If your team decides to build a "Puente" house, we will also need an additional $1,000 house deposit at least 90 days prior to your arrival.
    • We do need the remaining balance of the house 30 days prior to arrival.
    • Please make your check(s) payable to Puente de Amistad and mail to:
  • Lodging: $20.00 per-person, per-night
  • Meals: $15.00 per-person, per-day. Individual meal costs are:
    • Breakfast: $5.00
    • Lunch: $5.00
    • Dinner: $5.00
  • Van rental $120.00 per day per van.
  • Shuttle fee $60.00 per trip per van.
  • Puente House: $7,500.00

General Information about Puente de Amistad

How many people can you accommodate?
The base can accommodate 75 people.

What bedding is provided?
A blanket, sheets, and a pillow are provided on each bed.

What about bathrooms?
There are ten bathrooms available to use at the base. You need to supply your own toiletries. Towels are provided.

Will we have access to the kitchen?
Unless other arrangements are made, the Puente de Amistad staff will prepare your meals at the prices shown on the previous page. If you have special dietary needs, you may purchase your necessities and there is a fridge in the dining room available for group use.

Is the water safe?
We maintain an ample supply of purified water at the base. Bottled water is used for cooking. You should also use bottled water for drinking and even for brushing your teeth. Showering water is not purified. You should not allow it to enter your mouth. The tap water can be used for washing dishes. A drop or two of bleach can be added to the rinse water for good sanitation of dishes. Since the local people can't drink the water either, all reputable restaurants use purified water. It's advised you bring a good water bottle for refilling.

Will I need electrical adapters?
The base is wired with standard US-type outlets. Electricity is supplied at 110 volts, 60 cycles, so electrical adapters are not necessary.

Are there laundry facilities?
There is a coin-operated (Quarters Only) washer and dryer at the base. Laundry soap is available for purchase as well.

Will I be able to check my e-mail at the base?
Only one team leader will be allowed to send e-mail from the base computer. The base will receive e-mail for group participants. However, participants will not be allowed to use our computer or Internet connection.

Does Puente have a wireless network?
Puente does not have a publicly available wireless network.

Is there a curfew?
Because we are located in a residential neighborhood with close proximity to our neighbors, groups need to be inside the base and quiet after 10:00 PM. This is not bedtime; just inside- the base quiet time.

Personal

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Males:

  • Knee-length shorts may be worn for all activities except church.
  • No clothing with worldly themes (Alcohol advertisement or suggestive statements).
  • No earrings or piercings.
  • No Speedo swimsuits.
  • No shirts that reveal your nipples and please keep your shirt on, even on the job site.
  • For Church please dress nicely:
    • A nice shirt, polo, or button down (no t-shirts).
    • Again, no shorts - Nice slacks or jeans.


Females:

  • Knee-length shorts (4 inches above the knee) may be worn for all activities except church (Active wear for night time, at the base only, is ok but must still come to mid thigh).
  • No bikinis, bare midriffs, mini skirts.
  • No skirts shorter than 4 inches above the knee.
  • Leggings are ok, but your privates & rear needs to be completely covered.
  • For Church please dress nicely:
    • A dress is preferred.
    • Nice Jeans will work.
    • Leggings (appropriately worn) with a nice top, etc.


Can I bring jewelry?
Please do not bring expensive jewelry that may be lost or stolen.

What about piercings?
In Mexico, piercings can detract from your testimony and from the testimony of your group. Therefore, during your mission trip to Puente, we ask guys to leave their piercings at home and we ask girls and ladies to limit piercings to their ears.

How much money should I bring? Do I need Pesos? Here are a few tips:

  • Amount is entirely up to you. It is very difficult for clerks to provide change in US currency, so it is very important to bring small denominations $10's, $5's, and $1's. Whatever amount you decide upon, it is wise to carry it with you.
  • You need cash for use in Tijuana. Credit cards and Traveler's checks are not accepted. ATM machines are harder to come by.
  • Responsibility - You are responsible for the safekeeping of your money. Money has been lost on these trips. Please take precautions.
  • Exchange - Most places you will visit accept U.S. Dollars, so exchanging money ahead of time is unnecessary. However, it is very important to bring small denominations $10's, $5's, and $1's.

What kind of things should I pack?
Any medications, sunscreen, personal hygienic items, appropriate clothing for activities as scheduled (see the team member manual page 8).

Do not pack: towels, sheets, pillows, or valuables.

Will I be able to take pictures?
You will have many opportunities to take pictures during your time in Tijuana. Please be courteous when taking pictures of people and ask their permission first. Some orphanages will allow you to take pictures; some will not. Please ask first. Pictures may be taken during most church services. However, please ask your Puente de Amistad leader ahead of time. Because of the delicate relationship with the neighbors behind the mission base, please do not take pictures of the neighborhood Mexican children around the base.

Is their a store nearby?
Yes, there is a store close by that has all the basics.

Crossing the Border

What do I need to enter Mexico?
Mexico has enacted new rules about bringing goods into Mexico. If your group is bringing toys or other VBS material, you may have to declare the items at the border and be prepared to pay a customs fee (generally about 16% of the declared value). We recommend that you visit the Mexican Customs Web site for more information.

Are their special requirements for minors?
All applications for team members 18 years of age and younger must have the notarized signature of the custodial parent or legal guardian of the minor unless the minor is accompanied by a parent or guardian. Puente recommends that leaders carry a notarized list, on church stationery, of all team members and any major items, such as sound equipment or tools, being brought into and out of Mexico.

What about bringing vehicles to Mexico?
If the owner of the vehicle you bring into Mexico is not in the vehicle, you need written notarized permission from the registered owner. Up-to-date registration cards, tags and driver's licenses are essential. Mexican immigration laws may change. Check with Puente de Amistad for current information.

What about Mexican vehicle insurance?
Mexican insurance is required for all cars entering Mexico. It can be purchased right before entering Mexico or during your trip planning. Below are insurance providers that we use frequently. You can use them or find an alternate provider. If you purchase your insurance prior to traveling to San Diego/Tijuana, you will need to show your proof of insurance to Puente de Amistad staff leading you into Mexico.

Baja-Mex Insurance Services, Inc.
2335 Roll Drive #3
Otay Mesa, Ca 92173
(office at Shell Gas Station by McDonalds at Otay border crossing)
Website: www.baja-mex.com
Phone: 619-661-5420 Fax: 619-428-2533

Gateway International Mexico
Phone: 800-423-2646 or 619-422-2671

What do I need to return to the U.S.?
A passport or passport card.

Puente de Amistad Policy

Teams traveling with young people under the age of 19 should investigate the Special Groups rules to determine if they apply to any of your team members.

It is the team leader's responsibility to:

  • Check the government Web sites and ensure that all team members are in compliance with government requirements.
  • Provide to Puente de Amistad a copy of each team member's passport or other government approved document not less than 30 days before the team's scheduled arrival date at Puente de Amistad.
  • Ensure that each team member has his or her documentation in their possession before departing their home city.

Related links/Required Reading:

What kind of health insurance do I need?
Short-term international health insurance is recommended. The following are names and addresses of health insurance providers:

STM Services International
PO Box 781033
San Antonio, TX 78278-1033
Web site: www.STMServices.com
Phone: 800-422-4350 or 210-493-8590
Fax: 210-493-1987

Adams Associate International
PO Box 5345
Columbia, SC 29250-5845
Website: www.travelwithgallagher.com
E-mail: aai@aaintl.com

Global Travel Insurance
Phone: 800-232-9415 or 604-913-1150 or 604-913-1153
Website: www.globaltravelinsurance.com

Go Mission Trip
Website: www.gomissiontrip.com
E-mail: toby@gomissiontrip.com
Phone and Fax: 309-296-0600

World Outreach Christian Ministries
1607 Skyview Dr.
Branson, MO 65616
Website: www.internationalhealthins.com
E-mail: info@internationalhealthins.com
Phone: 800-641-4614

Insurance Services of America
PO Box 1617
Chandler, AZ 85244
Website: missionaryhealth.net
E-mail: health@missionaryhealth.net
Phone: 800-647-4589 or 480-821-9052
Fax: 480-821-9292

Transportation

Where can we rent vans? Puente de Amistad has a 10-passenger and 13 passenger van that are available for groups to rent on a first come, first-served basis. For liability reasons, the vans can only be driven by Puente personal unless prior consent is received. Therefore, each van can accommodate the listed passengers and a small amount of equipment. Rental cost for each van is $120.00 per-day. This price includes insurance.

Rental vans are also available from several agencies in San Diego. Here are some things to consider when renting vans.

  • Driver age limitations
  • Insurance for Mexico
  • Deposits necessary
  • Credit card requirements
  • Airport pickup and return services
  • Agency office hours and distance from airport

We recommend that you request a printout of all costs and pay in advance or when you pick up the vehicle, if possible, to avoid any add-on charges.

Rentals

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