Intern Guide
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Intern Guide

 “Remember a leader doesn’t have to do everything themselves, but they have to make sure everything gets done.”

OBJECTIVE: For each week, your objective is to build a new home or work on buildings in the Mexico Ministry compound as efficiently as possible with 25-30 rookies. You must be able to teach skills, and then supervise to insure safety takes place. You also must make this project fun for the participants as they are paying us for their working vacation. If it is fun during the week, the rewards will even be greater after the trip is completed.


  • Teach Skills to participants
  • Keep all volunteers busy. Nothing turns a volunteer off quicker than by being bored due to idleness
  • Make sure each participant works on several parts of the house. Each person’s reward is higher when they have worked concrete blocks, walls, roof, and drywall.
  • Pray at the beginning of each workday. We are here doing God’s work, not just work.
  • Assume each gender can do each job.
  • Be sensitive to fatigue. If a person needs a break, let them take one on their own schedule. If you think someone is on break too long, determine if they are really tired, dehydrated or bored. If they are bored, they will get energized with responsibility.
  • LAUGH!
  • Listen to ideas of improvements, and write down good ones in your journal at the end of the day.



  • Insure that the materials (lumber, plywood, cement, concrete blocks, roofing material, the appropriate amount of windows and doors, etc) are ready to go to the site by Sunday night before the crew starts Monday morning. Visiting the sites and make sure everyone knows how to get to the site. Have every tool and material items that you will need for the week in your trailers.
  • Sunday evening, divide up the volunteers into two groups, one for each site. After the groups are set, explain the daily schedule, expectations, etc. Give them your background, number of years coming to Juarez, etc. Introduce yourselves and set the stage for the week. Don’t just talk about rules but share from your heart why you are here.
  • Per team, get Volunteers to handle getting lunches and water to the trailers each morning.
  • Re-inventory of the tools to be sure each site has the proper equipment. Place tools in the trailers.
  • Always have cold water and Gatorade ready for the trip coming in on Sunday afternoon.
  • Be sure on Sunday night that the bandanas are ready to hand out at the time of team choosing.
  • On Sunday, after the volunteers arrive, help them get settled in their area, show them around, and answer any questions they may have.
  • Lead the prayer on Sunday night before dinner.
  • Introduce Laura and Armando Barron and all the people at the Orphanage (if we are at La Vid).
  • Explain the rules about showers, bathroom, toilet paper, etc. If it is yellow let it mellow, brown flush it down. (make sure you have tongs for each of the stalls)
  • Explain rules about handling animals.


Key - PRAY often, PRAY long, PRAY hard at the beginning and end of each workday!

Monday Morning: Form a circle on the site. Go around the circle have everyone introduce himself or herself. Then go around the circle twice having everyone say each person’s name as a group. It really helps. This is a key to building a quick team, rather than just a group.

Each Day:

  • Set time schedule for days activities (Start, Stop, Lunch, etc.)
  • Assign building tasks for the house. Choose work groups for specific walls, roof, windows, trim etc.
  • Instruct and teach volunteers on proper ways to use tools, and supervise initially the use of the tools. (i.e. Power tools, cement mixers etc)
  • Assign a few volunteers the task of setting up and cleaning up lunch.
  • Insure that all volunteers are busy working on some part of the house project. The worst thing for a volunteer is to not be needed or useful.
  • Insure that water breaks and lotions are applied.
  • Ask for volunteers to pray before the start of work each morning and before the noon meal. Ask the person when they are by themselves. Some people who would not volunteer in a large group, will get the strength from God to pray for the large group. Approach them 60 minutes before to give them a chance to say yes and think about the prayer.
  • Mix volunteers in different tasks throughout the week. This helps everyone get to know each other and build a 27-28 member team. • Each morning, make sure that the kitchen is clean before leaving for the site.
  • Each day, be sure the lunch meal has been properly packed and loaded on the trailers. (Work with meal volunteers)
  • Each day, be sure that the water is loaded on the trailers.
  • At the beginning of the week, after teams are picked, layout the schedule of which team is the breakfast and dinner meals.
  • Each evening set up the area for devotions and worships.
  • Plan any announcements before the beginning of devotions.
  • On-site, help teach volunteers better ways to improve carpentry skills, like how to swing hammers, measure, and saw. Also answer questions, and be a help to the full-time interns. (As you learn the flow of the house, you can help assign tasks.)
  • Look out for volunteers who are looking for something to do. If you are working on a project, and see a volunteer looking for an activity, call them over, teach them what to do, and then either work the task with them, or let them do it.
  • Take pictures during the day of the workers at the worksite.
  • Be sure before each meal that the wash tubs (Clorox, rinse tub) are set up. For breakfast and lunch, the meal crew should do this. For dinner set up cooking crew.


  • Be sure before each meal that the wash tubs (Clorox, rinse tub) are set up. For breakfast and lunch, the meal crew should do this. For dinner when Laura and crew cook, you should set it up.
  • Upon returning to camp, begin to set-up dinner with the families that night. Be sure food is ready to go, and get volunteer drivers organized to determine who (always 2) will go and what time they will leave to pick-up the families. Be sure the drivers have directions to the families homes. One part-time intern should go with each driver. • Set the time for taking the kids to the pool.
  • Be prepared to give the devotion leaders a guide for Thursday night, and how they should open it up to the workers to share their experiences of the week.
  • Thursday night after devotions, burn CD’s of the week’s activities for every member of the mission trip, one for each of the interns and one for People Building People. Be sure to label each one by Week and Year.


  • On Friday, after that week crews leave, first breathe, and then find the next week’s location and write down the directions for returning to the site Monday morning.
  • On Friday, Be sure the totes have the proper number of electrical boxes, wires, switches, nails, etc. and then load them into the tool trailers.
  • On Friday, make shopping list and refill the food supply for the next week’s trip of volunteers.
  • On Friday, return the empty water bottles to Ethicon, and pick-up the next weeks supply and take to the orphanage. If water is need during the middle of the week, make arrangements to obtain it during the day. Do NOT come close to running out of water. It is crucial to keep an ample water supply on site.


  • Require everyone to be at devotions.
  • Buy ant traps and fly strips at Wal-Mart
  • Play get to know each other games on the way down
  • Ranchero Laundry- only place in town to do laundry
  • K-LOVE: 89.5 Christian Radio (this will help you get through everything)
  • Do not bring suitcases, store everything into Rubbermaid containers, keeps everything clean and easy to access, they also make good laundry baskets.
  • Make sure you have a boom box with a CD player (we have it)
  • Buy a basketball and an air pump
  • If needing to bring materials into Mexico talk with Armando about the letter and have him write a letter in Spanish, letter needs to contain a list of all the material, what they are being used for and who is receiving them. You first need to turn the letter into the officer (we think Polo Sanchez) then return in a few days to see if it got approved, you must have an approved letter before you can bring the materials into the country.
  • Lowe’s is at exit #36 and the mall is at exit #32 (we think)
  • When you get back into Mexico get into the right lane with all of the semis, this will take you out of the check area, it will bend around into the right away from the main gate, then you will come up to another gate and right before that gate take a left park in the lot behind the building.
  • Directions to St. Theresa- from Armando’s a left at the circle (3/4 of the way around) then drive for a long time until you reach a large intersection in the middle of the desert, make a right this takes you all to the United States border.
  • Possible Ethicon water people: Hector Accosta or Tom Harwell, you can take a maximum of 25 water bottles a day, build up your inventory when you first arrive, get as much as possible.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, be sure lunch is a full 60 minutes, to allow for fellowship, bible study, what ever the group wants. Do not cut it short if at all possible. This is a key to a very happy team. (Monday, judge how to approach the lunch break depending on the progress of the cement developing towards completion.)
  • Respect team members and listen intensely to questions and concerns.
  • Be sure there is time for pictures.
  • Be sure everyone participates in the wall raising.
  • Be sure that all those who want to work on the roof are able to do so.
  • If possible, have your site leader mix groups of who works with whom. It makes it a much closer group if during each task different people work together.
  • Express favorite parts of house building. “Tuesday is my favorite day because we go from a one dimensional house to a 3 dimensional house.
  • Execute water breaks and Sun Tan Lotion Breaks.
  • In the morning, be sure your water station is set-up.