Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Project Mexico Details and Schedule

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Loyola’s International Immersion Programs, sponsored by the Center for Community Service and Justice, encourage applications from motivated sophomores, juniors and seniors who have a sincere desire to fulfill the programs’ mission statements, are willing to learn very basic Spanish, have a sincere commitment to social justice and demonstrate maturity, emotional stability and a good sense of humor.

Each team member is asked to leave her/his comfort zone to benefit from the concrete experience of living and working in solidarity with the materially poor of Mexico. This immersion involves new foods, demanding physical labor and a loss of modern comforts to which we have all grown accustomed. Prior to the trip we focus both on raising funds to bring to the communities we visit, as well as raising our awareness of critical issues of justice and faith through preparation, education and reflection.

Participant Selection Criteria

  • Since the experience is enhanced by a strong, collaborative and focused team, members are asked to be able to set aside approximately 10 hours per week in the fall semester leading up to the immersion, and 3-5 hours per week in the off-semester, to the team and the project. We ask that all applicants consider and commit to this time component, being aware of the many other curricular and extra-curricular demands of Loyola. Every applicant should therefore consider whether s/he can make Project Mexico a year-long priority and devote the dedication and time needed to meet the programs’ goals.
  • The team selection process endeavors to find a diverse and dedicated group who can share their varying beliefs and backgrounds to add to the team’s spirit. Team members should be willing to assume leadership roles in facilitating reflections, organizing fundraisers, educating one another and the Loyola community, and various other responsibilities.  Spanish fluency, international experience and/or extensive service experience are not strict or exclusive requirements for acceptance.
  • Applicants may choose to apply for either of the two programs, or may choose to be considered for acceptance to either of the programs. See application  for more information concerning this option.
  • Students will be accepted to ONLY one Loyola immersion program per academic year. Therefore, participants who are accepted for Project Mexico can not particpate in Encounter El Salvador, Campus Ministry's Jamaica Program, Campus Ministry's Ecuador Program or Spring Break Outreach during the same academic year.
  • Priority will be given to qualified applicants who have not participated in a Loyola International Immersion program.

Program Components and Responsibilities

  • Weekly 2 hour evening meetings, beginning immediately upon selection of the team
  • 6-8 additional hours per week for fundraising, individual readings and educational activities and committee meetings
  • Weekend half-day for team building activity at the FAC
  • Overnight (Friday p.m.-Saturday p.m.) Retreat
  • Auction responsibilities for the night before and all day on auction day
  • Send-off mass (optional) and dinner the evening before the trip
  • Participation during the 10-day trip to Mexico/San Diego
  • Post-trip reflection, sharing of experience with the campus and involvement in educational events regarding the social justice issues relevant to the trip. (Bringing Mexico Home)

Benefits for Participant

  • Life-altering international immersion experience with other Loyola students
  • Team bonding and friendships that last a lifetime
  • Opportunities to work closely with Mexican community members and hear their stories
  • Significant experience to include in your resume
  • Opportunities for in depth reflection, both personally and socially and insight into the issues of the border community
  • Opportunity to come back and educate the rest of the campus and promote social justice

Program Dates

The trip is January 2nd - January 11th, 2014

Team make-up

  • 20 undergraduate students (2 of which are student leaders: Jennifer Cisternas and Tori Osborne)
  • 2 moderators (faculty/staff/administrators) - Wendy Smith and Emilie Linsenmeyer
  • Program Coordinator – Andrea Goicochea     

Program Fees - $650*

$100 deposit upon acceptance to the team, and a balance of $550 to be paid by November 8, 2013.

Each team works as a group to raise between $15,000-20,000 to cover travel and program expenses and to bring funds (largely for construction projects, education and development initiatives) to the communities with whom we will work and live. Do not let financial concerns inhibit you from applying to the programs! If the individual contribution poses a problem, we encourage you to speak with the coordinators.

Calendar for Project Mexico - 2013-2014

View the Project Mexico Syllabus.

Date Time/Location Event
Thursday, 9/5 7pm, CCSJ Information Session
Monday, 9/9 7pm, CCSJ Information Session
Tuesday, 9/10 4-6:30pm, Quad
Student Activities
Wednesday, 9/11 4-6:30pm, Quad Community Service Fair
Friday, 9/13 3pm, CCSJ Applications are due by 3pm
Friday, 9/13 5pm, CCSJ Pick up any copies of references/ Review & gather your email applications and references.
Sunday, 9/15 5-8pm, CCSJ Review applications/ First-round decisions
Monday, 9/16 12pm, CCSJ Applicants can pick up final decision letters. Sign up for interviews
Monday, 9/16 4-7pm, CCSJ Interviews
Tuesday, 9/17 11am-6pm, CCSJ Interviews
Wednesday, 9/18
11am-6pm, CCSJ Interviews
Thursday, 9/19 6-10pm, C31 Decision Meeting
Friday, 9/20 12pm, CCSJ Applicants can pick up final decision letters
Sunday, 9/22 7pm, Cohn31
Leaders Meeting
Sunday, 9/22 8-10pm, C33 First team meeting
Wednesday, 9/25 8-10pm, C33
First Wednesday, Regular meeting
Saturday, 10/5
10am-2pm, FAC
OAE team-builder
Fri-Sat, 10/25, 10/26
4pm (10/25), 2pm (10/26)
Sunday, 11/3
Wednesday, 11/13
8-10pm, CCSJ
Auction Final Preparation
Thursday, 11/14
8-10pm, CCSJ
Auction Final Preparation
Friday, 11/15
1pm, C33
Move items over to McGuire
Friday, 11/15
All Day, All Over
 Auction (4-9pm, McGuire)

Team Meetings

Fall Semester: 2013 meetings at CCSJ

9/22; 9/25; 10/02; 10/9; 10/16; 10/23; 10/ 30; 11/6; 11/13; 11/20; 12/4

Spring Semester: 2014

Wednesdays:  8-9pm:
(1/22, 2/5, 2/19, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23)


Trips Dates

January 2nd - 11th, 2014