Project Mexico is an international immersion program that takes place in the Mexicali / San Diego border region for 10 days in early January. The trip to Mexico follows after a semester of student organized preparation, education, team building and fundraising, which primarily focuses on the popular annual Loyola tradition of the Project Mexico Auction.
During their stay in Mexico and San Diego Loyola’s team of 20 sophomores, juniors and seniors along with 3 faculty/administrator/ staff members participate in community directed projects. They also engage in cultural and social activities and education programs that address topics such as immigration, the environment, human rights and political and economic issues. The program also emphasizes personal reflection on the Mexico experience and its impact on one's personal and spiritual development. This reflection encourages the participant to feel and think critically about the reality they experience and helps them to integrate applicable changes into their future life choices.
- To educate ourselves and explore the social justice issues faced by people of developing countries
- To serve alongside people in need of schools, shelters and community development projects
- To reflect on all that we experience in light of the various beliefs, expertise, value systems and faith or spiritual perspectives that participants may bring to the team
- To form relationships and a community with the Mexican people through immersion in the Mexican culture
- To build and experience a strong community among our team members
- To bring the spirit of Mexico back to the Loyola community
- To foster personal growth in the exploration of our commitments to service, justice, and our own values, spirituality or worldview
- To introduce participants to the history, cultural life and political, social, and economic realities of Mexico
- To introduce participants to the most critical justice issues that our work with Los Niños, our host organization, exposes us to; including human rights; migration/immigration; the history and politics of the border; environmental concerns; the economic realities of the border region; the goals and possibilities of community-based development and intercultural cooperation on behalf of such development needs.To facilitate participants’ reflection on the above issues in light of their Loyola education, the realities of our own position in society and the personal values that we bring to the experience
- To explore, in light of the experience and especially in light of exposure to the material poverty but social and spiritual wealth of Mexican culture, connections between: the direct service done in Mexico, the learning about issues that service connects to, follow-up advocacy and participants’ growth in their own commitments to or understanding of service, justice and their own personal identity and values
“For four hundred years, Jesuit education has sought to educate “the whole person” intellectually and professionally, psychologically, morally and spiritually. But in the emerging global reality, with its great possibilities and deep contradictions, the whole person is different from the whole person of the Counter-Revolution, the Industrial Revolution or the 20th Century. Tomorrow’s whole person cannot be whole without an educated awareness of society and culture with which to contribute socially, generously, in the real world. Tomorrow’s whole person must have, in brief, a well-educated solidarity.”
Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)