What is different about a Mano Amiga mission trip?
Mano Amiga means Friendly Hands. Much of Mano Amiga work is "hands-on" mission work. Participants in a Mano Amiga mission trip work hard, sweat and get tired! This is not mission tourism. Real work gets done. Lives get changed. And participants come back with a new outlook on life.
Who can go on a Mano Amiga trip?
At present, Mano Amiga can accept applications for volunteer mission work in the Chuburná area of Yucatán, México, from church, school and community groups. The group size can range from 25 to 75 people. The construction work is difficult, but other jobs need doing on any project. These jobs might be kitchen assistants, medical personnel, translators, musicians and spiritual leaders. We cannot accept applications for individuals, couples, families or unorganized small groups in Chuburná.
What leadership must a group provide?
Each group should have a leader/spokesperson. This might be the person with whom all communications and financial arrangement are made or might be the person "in charge" during the trip. We also require identifying a medical person, a musician and a spiritual leader for your group.
Is it safe?
In over decades of running trips to Mexico, Mano Amiga has not had a single serious incident. We take precautions relating to personal safety, food safety, etc. Mano Amiga has developed relationships with many local officials and community members. Our teams are welcomed into the communities we serve.
What is provided by Mano Amiga?
In-country transportation, project materials, lodging accommodations, meals, learning materials, and cultural site tours are all included in a Mano Amiga mission trip! Best of all, we will tailor the trip to your group.
What are the accommodations?
Accommodations in Chuburná are pretty basic. No hot water, just cold/cool showers unless it has been a very sunny day. You sleep in hammocks. No individual/small group rooms...all hammocks are hung dormitory style. No electrical outlets for hairdryers, shavers, radios etc. Still, the setting is beautiful and breathtaking only a hundred feet from the ocean shore.
What is the food like?
The Mano Amiga staff and volunteers from your group prepare and serve all of the meals. We can accommodate any dietary need. We have a menu that has received great reviews from participants from all across the country. We have three simple goals in the Mano Amiga kitchen No one gets sick, everyone has enough and you enjoy every meal.
Can I write my own religious curriculum?
Yes, and we encourage this.
Who is helped?
Every small village in the Yucatán is full of vulnerable homes. Even modestly paying jobs are hard to come by. So it can take 7 or 8 years for a family to build a concrete-block house, one block at a time as they can afford to purchase the blocks.
But when it comes to the concrete roof, it's kind of like a barn-raising in rural America; a lot of help is needed for a short time to get the beams on the roof, raise and set the blocks on the beams, temporarily support the roof with wooden poles and then mix, lift, spread and trowel the wet concrete to cover the entire surface of the roof. Once the roof work is started it has to be completed. Then there's the cost of the materials for the roof.
This is where Mano Amiga groups enter the picture. The materials, the tools and the labor for a concrete roof are provided for the families in need. And in a single day, a family receives a gift that will last for generations.
How much does it cost for a group to participate in a Mano Amiga trip?
This varies by group size and preference. We suggest that individuals seek sponsorships to minimize the personal out-of-pocket expense. In the case of church groups, this is also a way of engaging your congregation. We can show you how to do this, too! Please contact us for specifics.