It is always exciting to receive church groups from the United States . We would love to share our ministry with you. Over the last twenty years we have hosted many short term mission trips. We welcome you to contact us about this unique and fulfilling opportunity. Mission trips are a blessing to everyone involved and will prove to be an unforgettable life changing experience. Some of the activities which groups have participated in have been Vacation Bible School , English classes, and construction projects. Many of the activities depend on the dynamics of the groups itself and any special skills of the members. More detailed travel information can be found below.
All of us at MVM are looking forward to your upcoming visit. In order to prepare you a little bit more for your visit we would like to give you a few suggestions so that you will know what to expect and what to bring. Hopefully, this will help you in your planning and preparation and make your experience here even more fulfilling and enriching. The following is a lot of information, but we think you will find it very useful!
The MVM campus is located in the state of Mexico about 2-3 hours west of Mexico City by car or 80 miles. We are located in the mountains at an altitude of approximately 9,600 ft. So we do caution vigorous activity until you have become acclimated to the high altitude. The sun, although you might not realize it, is very intense. We would advise a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water to protect you from severe sunburn and heat exhaustion.
The climate at the MVM campus is characterized by warm days (65-75 F) but chilling nights and mornings (35-45 F). So be prepared for all types of weather. Frost is very common from November through March. We would recommend layering clothes during the day and bringing a sleeping bag, although we do have extra blankets here for your use. Sweats are also nice to bring for sleeping if you are prone to getting cold at night. If you arrive during the months of May-October be prepared for rain. Rooms are made of concrete and there is no heating system.
Shaking hands upon arrival and departure is a very strong custom among the Mazahuas. A person may feel ignored and offended if not greeted with a handshake. Mazahua is the indigenous language spoken in this region although Spanish is the predominant language, especially among the younger people. Most people can understand and speak some Mazahua, but it is becoming less widely spoken.
We would appreciate it if you would dress conservatively and casually. We ask that you do not wear shorts outside of MVM. Skirts, below the knee or slacks, are recommended for women when attending church services. As mentioned before, layering your clothes is a good idea. Bring a sweater and jacket. It does get chilly! It is ok to wear jeans. A good pair of walking shoes is also advisable. Pack Light!
As to food and water we suggest lots of common sense and Pepto Bismol. Potable water is not safe to drink unless boiled for a minimum of 20 minutes. The MVM provides bottled water for all of our guests. Food at the MVM campus is carefully prepared, so you do not have to worry about eating uncooked vegetables or fruit. Always wash your hands before eating. Please no alcohol or smoking!
If you visit a community we suggest that you bring a small snack and a water bottle on the occasion that you may eat later than anticipated. Remember to visit the bathroom before leaving for a community unless you like natural surroundings; there are plenty of cactus plants. Be careful of eating uncooked vegetables or unwashed fruit unless it is pealed. Do not eat food prepared in the streets. Again, remember to wash hands or use hand sanitizer, especially before eating.
We do not provide towels or toiletries so we recommend that you bring them or buy these things upon your arrival.  Please do not bring hair dryers and straightners because it can lead to an electric surge.  Remember, you are not in the U.S.
If you wish to donate articles of clothing, towels, or toys, please do so through the administration. We do this so that there can be equitable distribution and to avoid conflicts. We are always in need of individual sheets for our camping ministry! Please contact us if you would like to know of other helpful donation items.
Passports are required by U.S. citizens to enter Mexico. Also, anyone traveling across a national boundary under the age of 18 must have a notarized affidavit from the parent or guardian with their permission. Please ask your travel agent or airlines about this requirement.
The peso is the official monetary unit in Mexico. Right now (2019) the exchange rate is about $18 pesos to $1.00 U.S. dollar. Debit cards are easy to use at the various ATMs. U.S. dollars can be exchanged upon arriving at the airport in Mexico City or before leaving the U.S. at your local bank or airport.