Build homes for needy families in Tijuana and provide a home for abandoned teenage boys at St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage -- all of this is done by utilizing Orthodox youth from across North America

Since 1988, Project Mexico has been involving young people in the alleviation of suffering by building homes for Mexico's poor. In 1996 our outreach expanded through the opening of St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Tijuana which provides a home for teenage boys who live on the streets or who have been put out of other orphanages and would otherwise be left to fend for themselves. In operation only six years, it was named one of the top three institutions in the state for 2001. St. Innocent Orphanage is the only facility dedicated to teenage boys in Tijuana and one of only four in the entire country of Mexico.

This charitable outreach is unique because our very own people do the work. In the process, their lives are changed. This proven, powerful vehicle of change has provided a fertile environment for thousands of youth to grow in Christ and give of themselves by doing works of mercy for a needy world. Volunteers from 43 of 50 states and eleven foreign countries have participated. Additionally, we hope to continue strengthening the ties between the people of the U.S. and Mexico and be an example of how we can help each other when we work together.

Lives have been changed. Families have been catapulted forward in their struggle to have good shelter and a true home. The impact of this step cannot be measured as they can now focus their energies on their family's moral, spiritual, and educational needs. Some families would split up otherwise, unable to adequately provide for their children. Disease and death no longer loom at every spell of bad weather and rain. And spiritually, it is pure joy to watch the tears of thanks flow during the house blessings. The families know that the Lord has visited them, literally, where they live.

The volunteers who build the homes are profoundly affected. We regularly receive letters from participants, parents, and clergy describing the awakening that has occurred. Many become active and eager participants in their home parish. Others have made college decisions and career choices based upon the experience. All seem to be more in touch with the simple yet difficult commandments of our Lord to love our neighbor and to care for the least of these

1. Teenage boys in Mexico must be taken care of and given a chance before they are put out on the street and forced to fend for themselves

2. Families in Mexico should not have to live in shacks made out of garage doors and a dirt floor, but rather in a home like that which PM provides

3. Anyone who dreams of missionary work can fulfill their dream by volunteering, supporting volunteers from their local parish, or with direct donations