Are your youth concerned about poverty, immigration, and the environment? Serve with SSP in San Diego’s South Bay to explore these issues which are very real in the communities adjacent to the US / Mexico border.
The 2018 SSP site will be located in the South Bay based in Imperial Beach, National City, and San Ysidro. Living and working in the same community is very important to us. This will be our fourth year serving in San Diego County, but our first in South Bay.
Youth will visit Friendship Park on both sides of the US / Mexico border, pictured above. Volunteers will have the opportunity to sign up for a day trip to Tijuana, or stay in the US for a day of learning and serving.
South Bay will host High School only groups during Weeks 1 – 4, and Combined groups Weeks 5 – 6.
San Diego’s South Bay Service Work
In San Diego half of our work is with homeowners, and half with community based organizations. The type of work includes painting, rebuilding fences, and other general home repairs. No construction experience is needed, and you’ll be amazed at all of the work that your youth teams complete! Most projects take longer to complete than your week at SSP so you may see the beginning, middle or end of a project.
Shaila Homan is the regional coordinator and site director for South Bay. This will be her fourth year on summer staff. Let her know if you have any site specific questions!
In 2017 youth completed 15 projects for homeowners and community organizations:
- 5 fences
- 5 painting projects including at Wesley United Methodist Church and the International Rescue Committee in El Cajon
- Garden boxes at Ocean Beach United Methodist Church
- Food storage shed at Imperial Beach United Methodist Church
- 295 volunteer days serving with San Diego Canyonlands
- Stenciling storm drains with I Love a Clean San Diego
Community Engagement in San Diego’s South Bay
In South Bay, we will focus our service and learning around the intersection of immigration, poverty, and the environment. We will work with city governments, community organizations, and churches to organize our work near the international border of the US and Mexico.
Almost half a million people reside in South Bay, which has a relatively large immigrant population. Both the Border Field State Park (home of Friendship Park) and the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which we use to walk across the border into Tijuana, are located in South Bay.
The Tijuana River estuary is the largest wetland in Southern California, with a watershed from both San Diego County and across the border in Tijuana. During the winter rainy season, sewage contamination from Tijuana impacts the beach from the international border north to Coronado.
Adventure Wednesday at the US Mexico Border
San Diego is the northern half of the largest trans-border or trans-national metropolitan area in the United States. On Wednesday, all volunteers will participate in a border experience on either the San Diego or Tijuana side of the international border. To take part in the Tijuana visit, volunteers must bring a valid passport or passport card, a photocopy of the passport or card, and signed permission from both parents or legal guardians.
Both groups will meet at Friendship Park on their respective sides of the border to have a shared experience of what it feels like to be separated from friends and loved ones across the border. They will hear from people living and working in the border areas including a Pastor from the Mexico Methodist Church who will lead the group in a binational prayer. After that, they will spend the day doing different service learning activities.
San Diego’s South Bay
Host Facility in Imperial Beach
Volunteers will be housed at a host facility in Imperial Beach located in South Bay. It is important for our youth to live and work in the same are, limiting driving times and increasing awareness about the surrounding community. Volunteers will eat, sleep, have fun, and explore their faith at this host facility. We are exploring the options now, and plan to have this arranged by the end of October. There will be off-site showers.
Directions to Imperial Beach
To get to San Diego’s South Bay, consult Google maps or a similar mapping service to find the best route for your group. We are working now with a new host facility in the South Bay and will announce the location soon!
South Bay Climate
Summer temperatures are often in the upper 70s and winter temperatures in the 60s. Imperial Beach is often 10 degrees cooler in the summer and 10 degrees warmer in the winter than inland areas of South Bay.
2018 San Diego Dates
High School Sessions
The fee for high school sessions in San Diego is $375 per youth and adult volunteer.
- Week 1: July 1 – 7
- Week 2: July 8 – July 14
- Week 3: July 15 – July 21
- Week 4: July 22 – July 28
Combined Middle and High School Sessions
The fee for combined sessions in San Diego is $375 per youth and adult volunteer.
- Week 5: July 29 – August 4
- Week 6: August 5 – August 11