Service Trip Volunteer Resources

There’s a lot to know before your service trip! Read through this page to stay informed.

Passports & Waivers

Before your trip, make sure to fill out your waiver and send us a picture of your passport! These things are important for your safety, the safety of the home you will visit, and are required by A Child’s Hope Foundation.

Trip Payments

Final trip payments are due in full at least 3 months before your trip. Make sure you get all your payments in on time! Anyone who isn’t paid in full by the deadline given for their trip will be moved to the waitlist.

Car Insurance & Rental Van Fees

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mexico, you will need to purchase Mexican car insurance. We recommend using Baja Bound! A portion of their profits are donated back to A Child’s Hope Foundation. If you are planning on riding in the rental van provided by ACHF, it costs an additional $125/person that can be paid alongside your final payments. If you have further questions about the rental van option, contact Maelle at [email protected].

Orientation

You’re almost there! About a month before each service trip, we host an orientation to help volunteers feel more prepared. The orientation will likely be in person where you will be able to meet your trip host and the other volunteers on your trip. When the meeting date and time is scheduled, you will receive further information about the location. During orientation, you will learn more about our organization, the logistics of your trip (such as travel, the itinerary, safety, etc.), and any special projects that your trip group may be helping the home with. Come prepared with questions! 

Keep an eye out for an email and Calendar invite for your trip’s orientation!

Orphanage Info Sheets, Trip Guidelines & Home Policies

One of the most important things to do before your trip is review A Child’s Hope Foundation’s policies and the policies of the children’s home that you will be visiting. These policies will be discussed briefly during orientation, and your trip host will go over them in more detail at the meeting spot before your trip starts. Click on the pdfs below to read all of the policies! 

If you would like to read through or download the information sheet specific to the home you will be visiting, click on the separate tabs in this drop down menu. The information sheet will contain the policies for your trip as part of your trip packet.

Construction Projects

You will be part of various types of projects on our service trips, but all of them are coordinated with the Orphanage Director to best suit each home’s current needs. Not all of them are building houses, digging trenches, etc. Some may be more simple like painting murals or organizing cabinets. No matter the size of the project, every project is important! You will learn what specific projects you will complete on your trip during your orientation. Further details will be communicated in your trip’s WhatsApp group chat.  You can view examples of previous projects by clicking the link below!

Itineraries

You might be wondering what a typical day will look like on your trip. The first day, you will arrive at the home around 2pm and enjoy your evening by settling in, eating dinner at the home, and meeting the kids. The next few days, your focus will be on the home. Each morning, a small group of volunteers will make breakfast for all of the volunteers at the home to eat with the children. After breakfast, you’ll start on the projects. Projects will begin during the coolest part of the day and continue into the afternoon. During the evenings, you will have time to play with the kids! On one of the days, your group might go out for a few hours to visit the nearby town for some tacos, souvenir shopping, or even spend time at the beach. Your trip host will communicate with the group (in the WhatsApp group chat) about these options. There may also be a dinner at one of the restaurants in town. View an example itinerary below:

Crossing the border into Mexico

Crossing into Mexico is typically a relatively quick and easy process. Once you arrive at the border, you will drive through slowly. The border patrol will take pictures of your vehicle as you pass. You do not need to show your passports/documentation, although you should have it accessible just in case. Occasionally, especially if you have a covered truck bed/trailer or a large van, they will direct you to pull over. You may be asked to open all the doors of your vehicle for a quick inspection. If the border patrol has any questions about where you are going, simply explain that you are on a service trip visiting orphanages. Each car will receive a folder with letters in both English and Spanish explaining our purpose before crossing the border. You can show this letter if needed. 

Wait times for crossing back into the United States range from 20 minutes to several hours. We recommend leaving early in the morning for shorter wait times. You will need to show identification (valid passports for those 18+) to the border patrol officer. You will be asked about where you were and what you were doing while in Mexico. Please see the attached document for detailed explanations about different lane types, crossing locations, how to see wait times, what to expect in line, driving directions, and tips for faster crossings!

Where You’ll Stay + Orphanage Experiences

Each home has volunteer dorms for your trip group to stay in. While all of the dorms are on the orphanage property, they are separate from the other buildings and are specifically for volunteers. You will likely be sharing a dorm room with another family, as there are typically 8-10 beds (bunk beds) in each room. For more information about the home you will be visiting, click below.

Service Trip FAQs & Volunteer Guidebook

If you have any further questions, check out the Service Trip FAQs page. If you’d like a more comprehensive, in-depth walkthrough of all this information, you can read through our Volunteer Guidebook, contact our Volunteer Experience Coordinator, Maelle, at [email protected], or give us a call at 801-434-9200 .

Passports & Waivers

Before your trip, make sure to fill out your waiver and send us a picture of your passport! These things are important for your safety, the safety of the home you will visit, and are required by A Child’s Hope Foundation.

Final trip payments are due in full at least 3 months before your trip. Make sure you submit all your payments on time! Anyone who hasn’t paid in full by the deadline given for their trip will be moved to the waitlist.

If you are driving your own vehicle into Mexico, you will need to purchase Mexican car insurance. We recommend using Baja Bound! A portion of their profits are donated back to A Child’s Hope Foundation. If you are planning on riding in the rental van provided by ACHF, it costs an additional $125/person that can be paid alongside your final payments. If you have further questions about the rental van option, contact Maelle at [email protected].

You’re almost there! About a month before each service trip, we host an orientation to help volunteers feel more prepared. The orientation will likely be in person where you will be able to meet your trip host and the other volunteers on your trip. When the meeting date and time is scheduled, you will receive further information about the location. During orientation, you will learn more about our organization, the logistics of your trip (such as travel, the itinerary, safety, etc.), and any special projects that your trip group may be helping the home with. Come prepared with questions! 

Keep an eye out for an email and Calendar invite for your trip’s orientation!

One of the most important things to do before your trip is review A Child’s Hope Foundation’s policies and the policies of the children’s home that you will be visiting. These policies will be discussed briefly during orientation, and your trip host will go over them in more detail at the meeting spot before your trip starts. Click on the pdfs below to read all of the policies! 

If you would like to read through or download the information sheet specific to the home you will be visiting, click on the separate tabs in this drop down menu. The information sheet will contain the policies for your trip as part of your trip packet.

You will be part of various types of projects on our service trips, but all of them are coordinated with the Orphanage Director to best suit each home’s current needs. Not all of them are building houses, digging trenches, etc. Some may be more simple like painting murals or organizing cabinets. No matter the size of the project, every project is important! You will learn what specific projects you will complete on your trip during your orientation. Further details will be communicated in your trip’s WhatsApp group chat.  You can view examples of previous projects by clicking the link below!

You might be wondering what a typical day will look like on your trip. The first day, you will arrive at the home around 2pm and enjoy your evening by settling in, eating dinner at the home, and meeting the kids. The next few days, your focus will be on the home. Each morning, a small group of volunteers will make breakfast for all of the volunteers at the home to eat with the children. After breakfast, you’ll start on the projects. Projects will begin during the coolest part of the day and continue into the afternoon. During the evenings, you will have time to play with the kids! On one of the days, your group might go out for a few hours to visit the nearby town for some tacos, souvenir shopping, or even spend time at the beach. Your trip host will communicate with the group (in the WhatsApp group chat) about these options. There may also be a dinner at one of the restaurants in town. View an example itinerary below:

Crossing into Mexico is typically a relatively quick and easy process. Once you arrive at the border, you will drive through slowly. The border patrol will take pictures of your vehicle as you pass. You do not need to show your passports/documentation, although you should have it accessible just in case. Occasionally, especially if you have a covered truck bed/trailer or a large van, they will direct you to pull over. You may be asked to open all the doors of your vehicle for a quick inspection. If the border patrol has any questions about where you are going, simply explain that you are on a service trip visiting orphanages. Each car will receive a folder with letters in both English and Spanish explaining our purpose before crossing the border. You can show this letter if needed. 

Wait times for crossing back into the United States range from 20 minutes to several hours. We recommend leaving early in the morning for shorter wait times. You will need to show identification (valid passports for those 18+) to the border patrol officer. You will be asked about where you were and what you were doing while in Mexico. Please see the attached document for detailed explanations about different lane types, crossing locations, how to see wait times, what to expect in line, driving directions, and tips for faster crossings!

Each home has volunteer dorms for your trip group to stay in. While all of the dorms are on the orphanage property, they are separate from the other buildings and are specifically for volunteers. You will likely be sharing a dorm room with another family, as there are typically 8-10 beds (bunk beds) in each room. For more information about the home you will be visiting, click below.

If you have any further questions, check out the Service Trip FAQs page. If you’d like a more comprehensive, in-depth walkthrough of all this information, you can read through our Volunteer Guidebook, contact our Volunteer Experience Coordinator, Maelle, at [email protected], or give us a call at ____ .