We leave the Dennys on Pico ave and the 5 freeway in San Clemente at 6 am each day and return that eve at approx 7 pm. We stop along the way and pick up folks at the Mc Donalds at the Otay border crossing. We will build homes, bunkbeds and vegetable gardens for the extremely poor families living along the RR tracks just West of Tecate.
Cost for the day is $35 per person and includes transportation in private vehicles, drinks and a safe basic lunch. Bring a few dollars for tacos and beverages at the end of the day and prepare for a day in God's gym as our friend Hector likes to describe it.
Passport for adults, copy of birth certificate for kids are required but don't miss going if you don't have these.
Upcoming 2018 Dates:
Club Dust Day Tripper’s Pre Travel Notes to Consider
Our selection of families goes by an easy to measure undeniable priority list:
1. Family with handicapped child, mentally or physically, these get a home no matter what.
2. Single parent family with lots of little kids
3. Dual parent home with lots of little kids
Next, we focus on the worst physical conditions. Meaning we, ourselves may need to hike a bit and spend the day working and “being” in the worse conditions around but it’s who we choose to be and keeps us helping the families we call “ off the grid” of other organizations that don’t want to stray off the easy path of help only when it’s easy or convenient.
We will be building in an area of the El Nino valley where an unofficial dump as been operating for several years. This draws families with no other perceived option to live here and dig through the trash for recyclables often having kids drop out of school.
We will stay together at the worksite as a group which helps reduce our risk and creates a strong sense of community in the middle of chaos that can get overwhelming easily, especially if this is your first time on this Adventure in Giving.
We have never had any safety issues but it’s because we do take all reasonable precautions to keep everyone safe at a Club Dust event. We carry no insurance of any kind and are a non-profit with no assets or financial backing so please ensure you have sufficient insurance and understanding as you might when going on a hike or motorcycle ride or other activity with inherent risk.
Please realize there is hepatitis In the area so don’t share food or drinks with the locals. Rather give them yours if you would like but don’t share a drink or food back after sharing food or drink. Also do the old fashioned “squat” in the restroom and use hand sanitizer and Toilet Paper as needed which we have available in our green safety box in back of the white Club Dust van. We also provide safety gloves and glasses to use if you’d like. Remember it’s a construction site and take responsibility for yourself knowing safety is our very top concern and its NOT mutually exclusive to helping people in life!
Please know that many of the cats, kids and dogs have lice so don’t share your hat with kids or if you do let that child keep it and always a good idea not to handle or approach any of the animals around the worksite.
Things to consider include:
1) Nails and glass and rocks require closed toe shoes and care on where you are stepping
2) Falling hammers or roof shingles. Don’t stand or walk under the fall zone of the roofline once the house gets to that part of the process.
3) Smashed thumbs, our favorite, happens when we don’t pay attention. Watch when you are hammering, especially on the roof and if not comfortable with hammering leave that to others and stick to painting, loving the kids or laying bricks into a beautiful patio!
4) Saw cuts which should never happen as we have all the wood pre-cut ahead of time. Only the house-meister uses the single saw that we bring to cut the windows out of the house frame.
5) Locals with food they may have cooked at home in water that may or may not be clear of what makes our system sick. Tamales are their favorite to cook and sell to visitors and these definitely don’t require high boiling or clean water so best to say a polite no or better yet pay and give the food to one of a hundred kids around the worksite.
Once on the site you will have the opportunity to start the day there with one of two attitudes:
Engage with curiosity, wonder and love. Example is a decision to open your hearts and hands, hug a kid or fire up an art project or soccer game with the local kids, help build or practice your Spanish with a mom or dad.
Judgement, fear and separation. Example is sitting back and staying separate from what we see around us. This attitude will leave you wondering why you came and likely to not return and not take from the day what is possible through the connection with people in need. You will miss being part of resolution to real life crisis where 2 kids died recently of electrocution and pneumonia. Poverty is real as even Christ said “the poor will always be among you” but we can make resolution a regular, refreshing and exciting part of our lives if we choose.
Please know it’s a whole new world for all of us and each day trip to this active trash dump is truly an adventure in giving. The people living on the hillside above the burning trash are at the very bottom of the socio-economic structure of north America but we know they are still created exactly the same as us and loved just as much by the same Creator whom we seek to thank in these hours of service alongside our neighbors.
You will see as we arrive at the build site, that the families living there welcome us and hope to work alongside of us as we pay some of them to help us build these homes, replacing the shacks and tents that they are living in. (This pay, paint, bunkbeds paint brushes and hammers is part of what your $35.00 goes to each day)
It’s important to see what their current homes look like when we first arrive in the morning. They are crazy poor and dangerous as the rain flows in during rainstorms and electricity is often stolen from across the highway a half mile away using unsafe wire, even uninsulated barbed wire at times which is how Fransisco died in front of a neighbors shack across the RailRoad tracks from where are building.
Once you have seen their living conditions and acknowledge the deep, desperate poverty they live in the rest of the day takes on deep meaning and its easy to understand why we build these simple little homes. This walk through is disturbing to everyone but it’s how we choose to react that makes the experience one that gives us a vision to create change.
Ignorance of need in this world doesn’t make the need go away, it only makes the ignorant one colder and harder of heart and closer to death by living a half-life while alive on this imperfect but wonderful planet called earth – Anonymous
You will enjoy being part of what we create and you will be thrilled when you see the contrast from what the family slept in the night before and understand how well they will sleep this very same night that we finish the little shelter they will call home for years to come.
Itinerary of a Typical Day Trip
We meet at 5:30 am and drive away at 6 am sharp from Denny’s at 529 Pico Avenida Pico in San Clemente. If you are leaving a car there make sure to park it on the side street as the restaurant will have it towed if left in their parking lot for the day.
We will stop at McDonalds for restroom stop on the way down but we need to have eaten breakfast before the trip to save the inevitable 45 min to an hour we lose if everyone lines up for food. If you meet us there at the Otay Mesa McDonalds at 2320 Roll Drive, San Diego and plan to drive over in one of our vans ( and have a confirmed seat with us) please have your personal car parked in the fenced in area and paid for at the gas station before 7:30 am.
The $35.00 cost for all day trips includes water, Gatorades, transportation in and out of Mexico, and tacos and guacamole at the end of the day. If you drive your own car over the border take out the cost of gas and insurance from the $35 per person in your car as we always need and encourage drivers with our increasing number of participants each month.
Once we arrive on the worksite the local women will cook a brunch for us and a hundred or so locals using good practice sanitary methods and feeding a low carb meal teaching the moms how to reduce carbs in this country where diabetes is exploding. This meal of baked white meat chicken, scrambled eggs, watermelon and water is for us and to share with the community. We do this knowing food is a universal way for people to connect and understand our “sameness” This also allows a great opportunity for us to sit with a local kid as you can grab an extra plates for a fav new kid friend to eat with you.
We will have plenty of water and Gatorades in the white cooler in the car so please stay sure to keep hydrated as it is often windy, sunny and warm.
It’s always a good idea to bring your own water bottle with fuel of your choice as we want to reduce waste by not bringing a lot of paper cups except for use by the locals at our meal. You can refill out of the orange water bottles or grab a Gatorade from the white cooler in the front seat of the white Club Dust van.
At the end of the day with the homes completed and families moved in with our thanks and blessing we will drive to a local chicken taco stand before heading to the border.
We are a charity that builds homes for people and not one that distributes clothes shoes etc on a regular basis. If you want to bring something useful and easy to transport legally over the border consider pots, pans and household kitchen utensils and women’s feminine supplies. These are most needed for health and are a luxury no other charity thinks to provide.
If you’d like to get some idea of what’s to come please look up clubdustMexico on Instagram, Club Dust on Facebook or search for videos from past trips by searching club dust tecate or club dust Mexico on YouTube
(there are several other club dust orgs in the world including motorcycle groups and a Goth underground nightclub in Sweden somewhere but you’ll know when you have found the real thing!)
After the trip we’d love to see your pics, videos and thoughts in writing on our sites or by emailing to us so we can share with people interested in experiencing what you will on this upcoming Adventure in Giving.
We look forward to a good day together, helping our nearby neighbors and feeling refreshed In the process! If you have any questions feel free to call Ray at 408-205-3045 or email at email@example.com.
And lastly we encourage you to consider your own journey in life, and how serving the needs of others around us everyday is an important decision, made each day as we climb out of bed, to engage and help those in needs or step back in fear and judgement and separation.
There are so many great organizations and churches or worship centers to be part of or start your own with a group of friends and family. Share with us how that goes and we’ll add it to the list of others who have been refreshed, inspired and empowered to seek a deeper level of living by making service and a curiosity of our Creator a regular part of their lives.
We want to encourage you to consider and try all new ways to love and connect with our brothers and sisters on this wild and wonderful and yes sometimes sad and crazy world that we live in!