Short-Term Missions Rules and Policies

We want the very best experience for you and your team.
Guests to Esperanza Viva will be required to agree to these rules and policies.

General Rules:

  1. Drink bottled water only. Please let us know if you are running low in the guest house.
  2. No smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages is allowed at any time during your stay.
  3. We recommend that you do not pet or feed the animals you see on the street.
  4. When on tourism outings, stay with your group and follow the directions of the leader.
  5. Receiving piercings, tattoos, or making any major physical changes (dying or shaving of hair, etc.) is not allowed during your stay.
  6. No one may go anywhere alone. Please always stay in groups of two or more. If you need something please check with the group coordinator.

Within the Esperanza Viva Community:

  1. Leaders should keep dormitory keys with them at all times. Please lock all doors when not at your dormitory.
  2. Girls are not allowed to go into the boy’s dorms, boys are not allowed in the girl’s dorms.
  3. Kids, staff, supervisors, etc., are not allowed to be near or go into the visitors’ dorms.
  4. You are not allowed to take chairs, blankets, garbage cans, etc., out of the visitors’ dormitory–if it’s in the dorm, it needs to stay there.
  5. The group leaders/adults must know where all the group members are at all times. Please do not leave the area where the group is without notifying your group leader.
  6. The Living Hope Community uses an internal water treatment system. All toilet paper must be put in wastebaskets, not in the toilet. If you accidentally throw toilet paper in the toilet, there is a scooper in the cleaning closet with which you can remove it and throw it away before flushing.
  7. Do not sit on any of the tables. We want to be a good example for the children, so please be aware of your actions and the message they are sending. If you break anything, you will be required to replace it or cover the replacement cost.
  8. Curfew is 8pm, at which time the entire group must be inside their respective dorms unless there is a special activity you are doing that has been authorized to go beyond that time.
  9. All lights need to be turned out by 10pm. Please get plenty of rest, as it is difficult to maintain your spiritual focus when physically tired.
  10. Please do not roughhouse anywhere. It is not safe and injuries could occur.
  11. Playing non-Christian music is not allowed on Esperanza Viva property.
  12. Please do not watch movies during your stay at EV. We recommend that you use your free time to unplug, draw nearer to God and focus on the purpose of your trip.
  13. One towel and one set of sheets are provided for your entire stay, please remember that they will not be washed during your stay.
  14. We strongly recommend that all passports and valuables be stored in the safes in your dormitory for safekeeping. We are not responsible for the loss of anything not placed in the safe.

With the children and staff:

  1. Do not play rough with the children (some examples being: swinging the kids around by their arms or turning them upside down). This may cause fears from past abuse. We also ask that you do not give piggyback rides to the kids.
  2. You are welcome to hold the babies but give them back to their supervisor, and not to a child or teen.
  3. Do not be overly affectionate with kids of the opposite sex or with any older kids – no frontal hugging, tickling, wrestling, etc. Due to their diverse backgrounds, this could be a trigger for them.
  4. Overly affectionate public displays of affection between the sexes within your group and with kids/staff from the youth home are not allowed.
  5. Please do not give money directly to the kids. If you would like to buy something for them check with their supervisor first and if they say yes then you can pay for it. If you would like to give money to a child to spend on small items at the EV store, please arrange it with the group coordinator.
  6. Please do not give any money or personal gifts to staff members, interns, or Nations Institute (La Viña) students, since everyone works hard to make your visit enjoyable and not just the people you see up-front. If you would like to bless someone, please talk to the group coordinator.
  7. If you want to send photos to the kids, please send them in the mail to the office, not with friends who come to visit. We keep a list of all mail, gifts, photos, etc. that the kids receive.
  8. Do not give out your contact information (address, email, phone number, Facebook) to Nations Institute (La Viña) students or the children. We also ask that you be cautious about giving out your information to people at the church. The children are allowed to send and receive letters through our Sponsorship program, but all correspondence must go through the office.
  9. Some of the older kids do not like to have their pictures taken. Please respect their wishes. Photos often symbolize relationships but can be construed in the wrong light, for this reason, please do not take photos of a group member alone with a child of the opposite sex, especially older kids. Also, do not take photos of two kids of the opposite sex together. We suggest you take photos in groups of three or more.
  10. On Mondays, some family members visit the kids in the Community Center. Please do not go into the visitor area nor stay with the kids if they have a visitor in order to respect the special time with their family.
  11. So as not to distract you from interaction with others, please do not bring phones or other devices to the activity times unless it is part of your planned activities with the kids.
  12. Please be careful of what you say, as many of the Mexican volunteers and most kids understand English. Please also be aware of the testimony that your facial expressions give in response to what is being said or eaten.
  13. When eating meals with the children and the staff, we ask that you eat whatever you take on your plate, as the kids must finish all their food. While you’re in the food line, you are allowed to ask for less or none of a certain food.
  14. It is important that you clear the guest lounge tables when not in use so the delivery of meals and presentation setup can occur without the staff needing to shuffle or move your items.
  15. Please regularly empty the guest lounge trash into the large trash cans in the community center.
  16. We have a US telephone available, however, it is only available for emergency use or to let a family member know that you made it safely. If there is something else you may need it for, please talk to the group coordinator.
  17. Please be mindful of clutter in the dorm areas as occasional tours are given and we wish to have the space presentable at all times. Things like suitcases being nicely stacked or stored, beds made, etc…
  18. Only group leaders are allowed to enter the two general offices. No one is allowed to go into any other area (including but not limited to: the kitchen, the children’s dormitories, the clinic, carpentry shop, etc). If you have any questions or need anything, please ask the group coordinator and do not enter those areas.
  19. Given the histories of the children with whom you will be working, modesty is the key in how you dress.

The following dress code will be enforced:

  • Shoes must be worn at all times outside of the guest dorm.
  • Shorts and skirts may be worn, but they must be loose and to the knee.
  • No one may go shirtless
  • No clothing with offensive messages

Women may not wear:

  • Sleeveless shirts or tank tops that do not cover the shoulder
  • Short tops that show the stomach
  • Tight or sheer clothing
  • Leggings; unless they are worn with long flowy tops that cover the backside

We thank you for your cooperation in following these rules which are in place for the safety and well-being of the children, staff, and your group. We ask that all group leaders commit to following and enforcing these rules. The group coordinator may ask you to change your clothing if what you are wearing is inappropriate.