Safety & Health

Getting the green light

A top concern on any mission trip is the safety of the participants. The decision where our group goes is made each year by missionaries in the Border Initiative Office in El Paso, by the leader of the North Mexico field office located in Guadalajara, by the missionaries and national leaders in the Mexico-Central America Region office located in Costa Rica and by the Work and Witness office personnel at the Nazarene Global Ministry Center in Lenexa, Kansas.

Some of those making the decision on where we go actually live in Mexico; others travel there often.  They can see the situation first hand.  They also consult often with the U.S. State Department regarding recommendations for volunteer mission groups.  If at any point, any of those involved in the decision-making feel that a given destination would not be safe for us, the trip will be canceled or diverted elsewhere.  Read more . . .

Groups of four and at least one male

Foreigners -- in any country, including the U.S. -- can be easy prey for thieves (and worse). So, don't go wandering off down the street by yourself!

When you are away from the hotel or the ministry site, you must be in groups of four with at least one person being a male. The others in the group can, of course, include Mexican believers from the churches where we are working.

Four in the group with one of them being a male: That's the rule. No exceptions.

Keep your eyes open. Be alert to what is going on around you. You are responsible for your own personal safety.

More suggestions

For 5 tips on having a safe trip, click here


  • Before you go, make sure you have had a tetanus booster shot within the last 10 years. No other immunizations are required.
  • In Mexico, drink plenty of fluids, but don't drink tap water. We will provide purified water at the hotel and at the ministry sites.
  • Don't eat food from sidewalk vendors.
  • Each evening our nurses will run a "minor ailments" clinic at the hotel. See them for upset stomachs, for cuts and bruises and any aches and pains. Don't let anything, however minor, go untreated.
  • Before eating anything, wash your hands with an antimicrobial, waterless, alcohol-based sanitizing lotion
    • Brands include Citrus II, Coleman, Dial, Mediderm, Purell and Safehands.
    • Using an antibacterial lotion to clean your hands before eating will reduce your risk of contracting an illness
    • Note: Sanitizing lotion is different from antribacterial soap which has to be used with water.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Resist the temptation to stay up much of the night talking with friends. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to illness.

Your cost for the trip does include special insurance coverage for illness and injury.

Mission trip health tips from Mary Hibbert, SNU nursing professor. One-page article in Microsoft Word format [ read article]

Need more information?

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Write us: Commission Unto Mexico, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th, Bethany, OK 73008