Each night, volunteers will enjoy regional food, traditionally prepared by Los Ninos de Baja nutrition experts. As part of your immersion experience we’ve invited a local Promotora from Tecate to join the group assisting with meal preparation, education, and cultural exchange. Enjoy traditional Mexican dishes prepared with a vegetarian nutritional model including fresh veggies, rice, legumes, soy, and other regional fare. Not to worry carnivores, we’ll still have chicken pozole and various tamales. Replenish with homemade agua frescas like, horchata, hibiscus, and tamarindo. For student teams, preparing food, eating together, cleaning up, and recycling are all part of the learning and immersion experience. We’ll aslo make sure to stop over and enjoy Tecate’s famous pan dulce sweet bread.
Rancho Cienega Redonda Hostel is a charming and picturesque site offering visitors tranquil accommodation uniquely located within the Rural Ejidos of Tecate. Facilities include: bunk beds, central showers, covered-outdoor kitchen and dining area, lagoon, trees, gardens, basketball court, walking trails, horse trails, and 24-hour on-site staff and security. This retreat-like setting is the perfect home base for your work in the community.
Over its 100 year history, due to its surroundings, Tecate has remained largely untouched by the bustling cities of San Diego and Tijuana that lay only 40 miles west. Kuuchamaa Mountain, known as Tecate Peak in the United States, as well as many of the surrounding hills and mountains, have created a natural boundary, keeping many of the modern day influences out of Tecate. Many of these mountains have been considered sacred ground for the indigenous Kumiai people dating back to their first arrival in the region hundreds of years ago. As a result, many of the surrounding areas remain to be large populations of the indigenous people and the native Kumiai language can still be heard in many of the surrounding villages.
Since its formal founding in 1892, many ranchers have moved into the area because of its rich natural resources, particularly the river that boasts the name of the city, and fertile lands that have yielded grain, grapes, and olives among other harvests. This migration of people, along with time and other historical events, has developed some of the most unique cultures and customs in all of Mexico. Tecate has developed a mixture of indigenous cultures with a modern city vibrancy that makes life here a unique blend of modern day history.
Los Niños de Baja California is a Mexican based NGO that has been working in the border region of Tecate since 1975. Los Niños’ programs address the basic needs of communities by building the capacities of the residents to become agents of positive change. The community members in turn create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.