FAQ

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

We partner with the local church and volunteer teams to build homes for families living in poverty in México, the Caribbean, and Central America. Through this act, the example of Christ’s love is evident to everyone involved.

WHAT CITIES DO YOU WORK IN?

We work in Juárez, México; Acuña, México; San Raymundo, Guatemala; Santiago, Dominican Republic; and Chinandega, Nicaragua.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL FINANCIAL/LIVING SITUATION OF RECIPIENT FAMILIES?

The families we serve earn an average of $60 per week or less. Many live in structures made of cardboard, wood pallets, or other scrap materials available to them. In addition, extended families often live together, making their small living area very crowded.

DO I NEED CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE?

No. A trained Casas por Cristo missionary or intern will be with each team, leading and teaching everything that is required to complete the project. Any group with willing servants can complete the home.

WHO BUILDS/PAYS FOR THE HOMES?

Volunteer teams from across the United States and Canada not only build the homes, but also pay for the materials through project fees.

WHAT IS THE COST PER PROJECT? HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD?

Costs vary based on the location and the type of trip. Check out our location pages for more details.

Acuña, México Trips

Juárez, México Trips

San Raymundo, Guatemala Trips

Santiago, Dominican Republic Trips

Chinandega, Nicaragua Group Trips

See the trip guides for more details.
We welcome all ages to participate, however, group sizes are based on individuals 12 years old and older.

WHAT TYPE OF HOMES DO YOU BUILD?

We build a wood frame home, complete with a concrete foundation, electricity, windows, and doors. In each location, the home design differs based on the specific needs of the culture and country’s cliimate.

DO YOU INSTALL PLUMBING?

No. Families typically have an existing outhouse, and most areas where we build aren’t equipped with sewage systems.

DO YOU SUPPORT/EMPLOY LOCALS IN THE COMMUNITIES YOU SERVE?

Yes. Casas employs locals as staff in each of our locations to manage our warehouse facilities, deliver materials to work sites, prepare food for our teams on the meal plan, and complete various tasks relating to the building of the homes such as installing bathrooms, mini-splits and finishing the concrete. We also purchase materials from local businesses that sell the materials needed for the build when possible to help support the local economy in each of the locations that we serve.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Each home is a week-long project, typically with three to four days of building. See the trip guide for each location for more details.

WHEN ARE TRIPS AVAILABLE?

Group trips can be scheduled any time throughout the year provided we have space on our calendar with a few exceptions. We do not allow trips to any location during our annual staff retreat the week after the second Friday in September. For trips to México during the month of March, we will not allow teams to be in México on Saturdays or Sundays.

Individuals can sign up for pre-scheduled Team Casas trips.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING?

Travel to each location is the responsibility of the team or individual.
For our México locations, teams are responsible for transportation in-country.
For our non-México locations, we provide transportation in-country.
Lodging in-country is arranged by Casas por Cristo.
Please see the trip guides for each location for more information.

WILL A MEMBER OF YOUR STAFF STAY WITH US?

Yes. A Casas por Cristo missionary will be with you while traveling through the city, on the work site, and while eating meals. In our non-México locations, our staff will be a phone call away while you’re sleeping. In México locations, our staff will sleep at the facility with you, too.

DO WE NEED A PASSPORT?

Yes, a passport or passport card is needed for all travel outside of the US.
For more information and for exemptions for children under age 19, please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website or view the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Fact Sheet.

WHAT AM I NOT ALLOWED TO BRING BACK TO THE UNITED STATES?

Fireworks, narcotics, other illicit drugs, merchandise made from endangered species, Cuban cigars, live birds, switchblade knives, fruit, vegetables, meat, and any other item that would tarnish the reputation of Casas por Cristo, your group, or Jesus Christ.

WHAT DO WE NEED TO BRING?

We ask that everyone bring a hammer, carpenter’s pencil, 25 ft. tape measure, and utility knife. See our trip guides for a complete packing list.

HOW SOON DO I NEED TO SCHEDULE A TRIP?

As soon as possible. Keep in mind that full payment is due 30 days prior to the desired build date. Most teams schedule 3-6 months in advance. We cannot guarantee your trip until your $1,000/project non-refundable deposit is received.

HOW DOES THE DEPOSIT WORK?

When you register for a group trip, you are required to provide a $1,000 non-refundable deposit per project. The deposit is applied toward your final trip fees. If you cancel a project, you will forfeit the $1,000. A forfeited deposit may be transferred to a new project within 12 months of the original trip date as long as you notify us prior to the 30 days prior deadline. Make sure you are confident in your trip dates before registering and paying a deposit. If you cancel or postpone your trip after hitting the 30 days prior deadline, then Casas por Cristo will retain your $1,000 deposit and an additional $1,000 to cover our incurred costs.

When you register for a Team Casas trip for individuals, you are required to provide a $100/person non-refundable and non-transferable deposit. The deposit is applied toward your final trip fees.  If Casas cancels due to lack of interest, all fees will be returned. Make sure you are confident in your trip before registering. If you cancel more than 30 days prior to the trip, the deposit will be forfeited and cannot be transferred to another trip, but all other fees will be refunded. If you cancel within 30 days of the trip, you will forfeit your deposit and all other trip fees except for the cost of your meals and lodging. If you cancel within 7 days of the trip, you will forfeit all of your trip fees.

WHEN ARE THE TRIP FEES DUE?

All final trip fees are due 30 days prior to your trip date (including fees for the house, meals, transportation, and lodging). Please note that any late payments will result in a $100 late fee. Any additional unpaid projects will incur an additional $100 late fee. Your group size cannot be adjusted lower on your invoice after hitting the 30 days prior deadline. Mail payments to Casas por Cristo, P.O. Box 971070, El Paso, Texas 79997, pay on your invoice with a credit card, or call us at 915.778.0046 to process an e-check over the phone.

IS IT SAFE?

Since 1993, we have not had one incident related to physical violence or threat of kidnapping. We have encountered incidences of theft. However, in almost all of these cases, it has been in a situation of neglect (not keeping an eye on belongings, leaving them inside a vehicle overnight, etc.). We believe that the Lord has placed a hedge of protection around our ministry and the work that we do. We have a healthy grasp on the reality that comes with working in a foreign country. We believe in being aware, careful, and mindful of our surroundings at all times while we are serving. We are blessed to operate in communities where our work is well-respected and well-recognized. The people we come in contact with are appreciative and protective of the work that we do.

Please know that if we ever feel the climate is too volatile or unsafe, we will respond accordingly and temporarily halt operations.

See our Risk Plans for more information.

CAN I VIEW YOUR FINANCIAL RECORDS?

Yes. We always strive to be good stewards of the resources God has given us and to be transparent with our donors and supporters. Please click here to view our latest audited financial statement. You can also view our most recently filed Form 990 here, and it is also accessible from our Guidestar profile page.