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 2019 SSP site will be located in Imperial Beach. Living and working in the same community is very important to us. This will be our fifth year serving in San Diego County, but our second in Imperial Beach.

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. There are required forms and documents for all volunteers serving in San Diego, which can be found in the packet below:

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.

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 Partners

Learn About San Diego’s South Bay

Download the detailed SSP San Diego’s South Bay Study Guide to help your group learn about the community and get more out of your SSP experience. We suggest that you download the study guide, share with your group and discuss the materials during a planning meeting.

Community Engagement in San Diego’s South Bay

In South Bay, we will focus our service and learning around the intersection of immigration, wealth inequality, 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.

San Diego’s South Bay

Site Director


Site Phone Number


Mailing Address


Directions to Imperial Beach

To get to Imperial Beach, consult Google maps or a similar mapping service to find the best route for your group.

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.

2020 San Diego Dates

The fee for 6-night (Sunday – Saturday) sessions is $415 per volunteer. Most sessions are Sunday-Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

5-night (Sunday – Friday) sessions are $365 per volunteer.

High School Sessions

  • Week 2: June 28 – July 4
  • Week 3: July 5 – 11
  • Week 6: July 26 – August 1

Combined Middle and High School Sessions

  • Week 4: July 12 – 18
  • Week 7: August 2 – 8

Intergenerational Session

  • Week 5: July 19 – 24 (Sunday-Friday)

Please note the program schedule may be subject to change by volunteer interest.

2017 San Diego Photographs

Best of San Diego 2017 Album


Middle School:

High School:

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