Orientation Information

We at Roca Blanca want to invite you to join our team as co-laborers in Mexico. We pray and believe that each person that comes down to join us is the person God has specially called and prepared for the task.

Please read the following orientation manual carefully. It has been written to help you prepare for your trip, increase your understanding of the area before you arrive, give in-depth information about the Base, local culture, how to prepare, prevent potential problems, and increase the effectiveness of your ministry while you are here in this tropical paradise. There will also be a full oral orientation shortly after you arrive.

The Roca Blanca (“White Rock”) Mission Base is located on the Pacific Coast of Southern Mexico in the small fishing village of El Cacalote, in the state of Oaxaca. We are 40 minutes from Puerto Escondido, 2 hours from Huatulco to the east, 7 hours south of Oaxaca City, and 6 hours from Acapulco to the west. The weather is generally hot year-round. There is a dry season from November to June and a rainy season from July to October. The primary language spoken is Spanish, however we do work with the Mixteco, Chatino, Zapoteco, and Amuzgo Indians who speak their own languages. Be sensitive to the fact that Mexican culture, as well as the cultures in indigenous villages, differ from one another and from those in the United States. Catholicism is the predominant religion in the area and is often mixed with witchcraft and idolatry. This area is very poor, with the majority of people’s income coming from working small plots of land.

We at the base recognize the importance of prayer. We begin praying for you and your time here before you arrive. Please spend time in prayer before you arrive. It is a most important part of your preparation. A good idea is to recruit a group of people who will pray for you and your team while you’re here. The difference in your experience and fruitfulness can be amazing!

“. . . The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16

To enter Mexico you will need a passport. This can take several weeks to obtain.

Note: If a minor is traveling with just one of his/her parents or without either parent a written and notarized consent form from the other parent (if the minor is traveling with one parent) or from both parents (if the minor is traveling without parents) is a requirement to cross the border. The form needs to include the name and age of the youth, with whom they are traveling, to what country and for what period of time. This form is rarely asked for at customs, but is a safeguard with the increasing focus on stopping sex trafficking.

Immigration Form – you will be handed the form on the flight into Mexico City.  The information required is simple to complete. For the Destination in Mexico, enter “Roca Blanca Mission, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca”.

Recommended Shots/Immunizations:

  • Up to date on your Tetanus & Typhoid Immunizations.
  • Hepatitis A and B Immunizations

Type of Immunization

Vaccine Description

When to get Vaccine Before Trip

Duration of Protection

Hepatitis A and B

The vaccine requires two doses, 30 days apart.

Can get a booster vaccination 6 to 12 months later

 

Best to have the first shot 6 months before your departure date so you can complete the full course before leaving. If this is not possible then you can have the first two shots before you leave

First two doses

one year

Booster

Hep A – Long term

Hep B – 10 years

Typhoid

Live typhoid vaccine (oral)

Four doses: one capsule every other day for a week (day 1, day 3, day 5, and day 7).

The last dose should be given at least 1 week before travel to allow the vaccine time to work.

A booster dose is needed every 5 years for people who remain at risk.

Tetanus

Shot

 

At least a week before departure to ensure no reaction and any soreness to go away.

10 years 

  

Note: You need to be reasonably physically fit since there can be significant walking involved in the U.S. and Mexico City airports. You will also be handling carry-on and checked baggage. Remember this when packing and wear comfortable clothes and shoes on the travel days.

When traveling to Roca Blanca the following route is recommended:
Fly from any major U.S. city into Mexico City for customs clearance. From Mexico City it is strongly advised to fly to Puerto Escondido (PXM) due to its proximity to Roca Blanca. It is about 40 minutes from the Mission Base. If it is not feasible to fly into Puerto Escondido, a second alternative route is to fly into Huatulco (HUX). This tourist town is a little more than two hours from the base.   

The primary consideration in arranging flights is to arrive in Mexico City early enough to go through Immigration, Customs, recheck your bags with a domestic airline below and go through Security to catch a flight to Puerto Escondido or Huatulco in the afternoon. We would advise a two hour layover as absolutely minimum if you arrive and depart from the same Terminal, and three hours if you have to change Terminals. The other consideration is that staying overnight in Mexico City is not advised. If you must stay over in Mexico City, we recommend the Camino Real connected to the airport at the second floor Door 6 area of Terminal 1.  If you have to stay over somewhere to make the connections work, we advise staying in the U.S. (Dallas for example).

Helpful Notes (things can change, but this should provide an idea of what to expect or things to confirm)

Mexico City Airport

It can be a long walk from your Arrival Gate to Immigration.

Aeromar – to connect with Aeromar, go thru Immigration and Customs and collect bags. If your flight landed in Terminal 1, you have to go to Terminal 2. Catch Air Train (can take bags onto train).

Interjet from Dallas arrives and departs out of Terminal 1 to Puerto Escondido – both ways (easiest).

Vivaaerobus is in Terminal 1 – Go thru Immigration, collect bags & go through Customs.  Coming out of Customs, take a left & go down hallway (you are close to Door 8) until you see a sign over the doors going outside (Door 6). Across from this sign is Vivaaerobus.  It has a window office, but go to the right of it & get in line at the ticket counter to check in. Just a little farther down the hallway (across from Door 5) is Security. Go through it and you will be across from Gate 17. Take a right and go down the hallway until you reach Gate 15. Across from it is an entrance into a large Lobby (Sala B) with stores, food establishments and airline counters. This is the holding area for domestic departures. Departure gates are not assigned until 30 minutes to one hour prior to departure. At the end of this Lobby is Burger King, McDonalds, Domino’s Pizza, Subway and other restaurants. Keep an eye on Departure Gate boards for your flight.

American Airlines to Mexico City arrives in Terminal 1.  AA and VivaAerobus land & connect in Terminal 1. No transfer to Terminal 2 either way.   

Puerto Escondido / Huatulco Airports (Return Flights to Mexico City)

While transiting Mexico City airport can be a trek, checking in at Puerto Escondido or Huatulco airport is a breeze. It is a very short distance from the entrance to the ticket counters to check in, through Security to a seat in the waiting area.

Interjet arrives Terminal 1 (in Mexico City) and departs to Dallas out of the same Terminal

Vivaaerobus arrives Terminal 1(in Mexico City). American Airlines departs from Terminal 1, so no transfer to Terminal 2.

Aeromar – Some of their planes don’t allow Carry-on bags because the Overhead bins are too small. Be sure to check on this for your flight and pack accordingly.  When you arrive Mexico City, collect bags in Terminal 2 and catch Air Train to Terminal 1 if the next flight departs from that Terminal. When you get off in Terminal 1, use a Porter to carry bags to American ticket / check-in counter. It is a very long way and worth the 100 – 125 pesos.  For connections that transfer between terminals, not having to go through Immigration or Customs saves time, but changing Terminals takes a lot of time & work. Two hours is cutting it close if anything goes wrong.   Aeromar & United are partners and on return, can check bags from PXM / HUX to first US city and bypass Mexico City luggage hassle.

Below are schedules of the flights leaving Mexico City to Puerto Escondido and Huatulco along with return flight days/times. Please be aware that flights change constantly, both in times of departure and the days. We also suggest that you check and book directly with the airlines below as sites such as Kayak, Expedia, etc. are not always accurate concerning these flights.

INCOMING to ROCA BLANCA (Mexico City to Puerto Escondido and Return)

INCOMING to ROCA BLANCA (Mexico City to Huatulco and Return)

Money Exchange

The Roca Blanca Guest House conveniently exchanges dollars to pesos at the current exchange rate.

Ground Transportation

All ground transportation is arranged for you by Roca Blanca. We know the reputable companies and can also ensure the best value is obtained. For these third-party vendors, prices below are approximate and in Mexican pesos. We will have to obtain quotes for your visit timeframe.  Quotes are not locked into until paid (deposit or in full depending on vendor.) Gasoline price has a significant influence on prices and you will have to use the current US$ to MXN$ exchange rate to calculate the US$ amount. 

Roca Blanca provides its quotes in US$. We guarantee our rates once the deposit for your group is paid. 

A. Airport transfers to and from Roca Blanca

      1. Puerto Escondido Airport (40 minutes away):

          Arrival and Departure:

          This expense is covered by your daily fee to Roca Blanca for your trip.

      2. Huatulco (2 – 2 ½ hours away) Vendor: Pastrana’s Tierra y Mar

           a. A Trailways type bus (50+ person capacity)  Cost is approximately MXN$ 10,000 for the bus for the roundtrip.  Depending on size of the group, this is typically the most economical and by far the most comfortable option

               Photo for illustration purposes only        

          b. Minivans (8 person capacity – depending on amount of luggage) Cost is approximately   MXN$ 2,900 per minivan for the roundtrip.  Working with you, we have to determine how many minivans will be needed and divide by total number in group to get cost/person.

B. Excursions / Field Trips Transportation

The cost of these trips will be included in your daily fee to Roca Blanca.  If field trips exceed 5 hours in travel time, extra cost could be considered. 

Guest House                                                      

  • Bottom Floor: El Jardin (2 single beds), La Montana (1) King Bed, El Mar (1) Double Bed
  • Second Floor: La Fe (1) King Bed, La Paz (5 single beds), El Mirador (1) King Bed   
  • Third Floor: La Vista (1) King BedLa Esperanza (1) King Bed, La Paciencia (5 single beds)
  • Fourth Floor: Restaurant and meeting areas.

There are 3 types of rooms in our Guest House. All Guest Rooms are air conditioned and also have ceiling fans.  (All bathrooms have large walk-in showers.) El Mar room is typically reserved for Staff.

Bottom Floor– traditional rooms with beds. 

There are 2 rooms (El Mar and El Jardin) with 2 twin beds in one and one double bed in the other, each that have a separate bathroom between them they share. Having same gender occupants in both of those rooms is better.

There is a master suite on the other side of the lobby (La Montana) that has a King Size bed and a private full bathroom. It has a patio.

Second (La Fe, La Paz, El Mirador) and Third Floors (La Esperanza, La Paciencia, La Vista)  

The rooms in the middle on each floor (La Paz and La Paciencia) look like the photos below.  They are extra large rooms because the patio is enclosed to provide the extra room for 2 more beds. They can sleep up to 5 people on single beds. These rooms have a bathroom with one toilet and two shower stalls. They have ocean views.

There are two rooms (La Esperanza and La Fe) that have a King Size bed and a private full bathroom. They can fit 2 more people in beds or on mattresses if you need to, but better for children or youth and not recommended for adults. They have a beautiful large patio/balcony with ocean view. These rooms have a small kitchenette.

     

There are two rooms (El Mirador and La Vista) where the configuration is living area/kitchenette, then private bathroom that separates the rear master bedroom with king size bed. They each have a large patio/balcony with ocean views.  These rooms only accommodate 2 people, but an extra single bed or mattress can be added to the living area.

 

Dorms

There are 180 beds in the various dorms on the Base. These are bunk beds, share a common assigned large bathroom facility for each dorm (by gender) and are not air-conditioned. These are available only when the schools are not in session (mid July – end of August). These are great for Youth (or Mission trips veterans) because it reflects a more authentic experience, can handle large groups and is inexpensive.

Occupants in dorms will need to bring the following:

  • Two single bed size sheets for bunk bed mattress.
  • Small pillow
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Soap & shampoo

Roca Blanca Costs per Day

All inclusive package per person— $90 USD per day

Includes:

  • Lodging in the guest house
  • Meals in the guest house
  • Base transportation
  • Logistics  (transportation to the mission outreaches, prepared food during the missions, translators, and in some cases project costs)

Airport transportation to Huatulco not included.

Family package*— $175 USD per day for immediate family members (couple with 3 children)

Couple without children*— $150 USD per day

*With the family package or special couple´s price, it is possible that a field trip would involve an extra cost as well as transportation to and from the Huatulco airport.

Summer Youth Team Packages

Student Dorms  $15 per day

Student Dining hall for meals   $12 per day Adults

                                                        $ 7 per day Child 2 to 12 years of age

 Village trip costs and airport transportation to be arranged when planning your trip.

Meals Description

Guest House — delicious multi-course meals with a local flavor.  Guests consistently rate it very highly.

Student Dining Hall — cafeteria where staff and students eat.  Basic local cuisine.

Packing

A general rule for both men and women is to dress conservative, modest and for hot & humid weather. Fashion extremes are generally not accepted and are offensive to local churches, especially in villages.

Women

Base

  • Light weight skirts, split skirts, dresses (to the knees or below).
  • Shorts to the knees or below, Capri’s or Bermuda shorts
  • Comfortable, flat walking shoes or sandals are suggested.
  • Casual shirts / blouses / T-shirts (no spaghetti straps, tube tops or tank tops). The main objective is to hide undergarments and straps. Please ensure tops are not transparent when dry or wet (sweat)
  • Any make-up used or jewelry worn should be very moderate.

Church services or visit to a village:

  • Comfortable light-weight dress (knee or below, short sleeve or sleeveless).
  • No split skirts or shorts. Pants not recommended in certain Chatino villages.
  • No spaghetti straps.

Men

Base

  • Casual dress while at the base: T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, shorts, light weight pants and jeans.
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals / flip flops are suggested.

Church Service or visit to a village

  • Bluejeans, pants, collared short-sleeve shirt. Shorts not acceptable during any ministry activities.

Beach

Be sure to take sandals/flip flops, hat, sunglasses and suntan lotion

Women

  • Going to/from beacha long coverup over bathing suit or shorts and shirt.
  • On beach – a one-piece bathing suit or shorts and shirt.

Men

  • Regular length bathing suit (no speedos), Tshirt

Other useful items to bring:

Year Round

Personal care items (toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc.)1           Anti-diarrhea meds1 

Pepto Bismol tablets (2 tablets/day for short trips)1                  Sunscreen1         

Insect repellent1                             Flashlight                                  Bible and notebook 

Camera / mobile phone                Mesh laundry bag                    Ziploc bags (water & ants)

Plastic, re-usable water bottle     Particular snacks you want     Beach Towel             

Light-weight jacket or sweater for cool nights in the mountains

Medications (any that you are taking), analgesics (acetaminophen, ibuprofen), Dramamine.

Tennis shoes if going into mountain villages

If your team will be doing projects, bring some old clothes you don’t mind getting messed up.

Rainy Season (July – October)

Umbrella, rain jacket or lightweight poncho                                 Cheap pair of flip flops that dry quickly

1  These items can be purchased on the Base if you desire to reduce the weight and space they take in your luggage. With airline fees for extra and overweight bags, this is a convenient and economical option.

FIELD TRIP OPTIONS FROM THE BASE

We try to provide 3 types of mission experiences & it is really dependent on the group’s goals for the trip and physical capabilities. In all cases, we try to match practical needs with spiritual ones for both the group and people here. All members of a group do not have to participate in field trip option if it doesn’t fit their interests or physical condition. While some members may choose to go on Option C, it is fine for others to participate in other options.

 

  1. Base & nearby surrounding area (low to medium physical requirements).  High spiritual impact to group due to interaction with students and staff participating in Worship and observing / receiving prophetic words, physical / spiritual / emotional healing, etc. Depending on skills of the group, opportunities to work on projects that help the Base and local churches. Also provides option of arestful week of privacy, reflection and prayer to rest and restore your spirit and be in His Presence.
  2. Surrounding area and up to 2 hours into the mountains. Work with day trips to churches and villages on small projects and lead children’s ministry, evangelism and pastoral care. We match their needs with the group’s skills and desires. Medium physical capabilities are required. Due to altitude and winding roads (motion sickness), some people may not tolerate the trip well.
  3. Aggressive – typically for Youth groups (medium to high physical). Go into the mountains for several days helping a remote church, build a facility, etc. while evangelizing the area.  High altitudes and extremely winding roads (where they are some) can cause illness (altitude and/or motion sickness).  This is roughing it.  High impact physically and spiritually to group and people. 

ITEMS TO ASSIST THE MINISTRY

We invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with us to impact the lives of all the people of Oaxaca. There are items either not readily available here or are much more expensive. Please, sow a seed into the Kingdom of God.

If you would be willing to bring a few things in your luggage, please let us know. We will provide a list of the current items in need from which you can choose. The items should be removed from their packaging and all tags removed so that they don’t appear to be brand new. It is also good to allocate similar items between member’s luggage so that a concentrated number isn’t in one suitcase.  We will not request you bring anything that violates Mexico import laws. 

Conduct

No smoking, drinking or drugs. Short-term groups will be expected to submit to the authority of your group leader, the designated base leader, and the pastors of the churches where we minister. Please note that violation of the rules may mean being sent home early at your own expense. The Roca Blanca code of conduct will be reviewed when you arrive.

Food & Water

Purified drinking water will be available at the Roca Blanca Base. However, do not drink the water from the faucets or use it for brushing your teeth or rinsingPure drinking water can be obtained in any store and at ministry sites, and each person will be responsible to carry his or her own personal water bottle. While at the base and in the mountains, meals will be provided by the base.

Sanitation

Where toilets are available, toilet paper may not be flushed. Rather, you roll it up inside clean toilet paper and it is deposited in a basket beside the toilet.

Electrical

Voltage in Mexico is 110 as in the U.S. However, you may need an adapter plug to convert a 3-prong plug to a 2 prong outlet. The Guest House and Roca Blanca facilities have both outlet types.

Photos

When taking pictures in church services or during times of ministry, please be discrete and sensitive so as not to interrupt the flow of the Spirit, or disturb the speaker. When taking pictures of individuals, it is always polite to ask their permission first. There are some government areas where photos are prohibited.

Children

Young children will need to have constant supervision. We consider this to be the parent’s responsibility or the person whom they have appointed. While the Base doesn’t have a policy on the minimum age for children, you should be aware that we don’t have facilities for entertaining small children. The teachers also request you not bring them into the classrooms as they can distract the students. Please take into consideration any special food needs that your children may have because they may not be available here.

Pets

Many come to Roca Blanca for a place of rest and restoration, a quiet place to commune with the Lord. Therefore, we do not allow pets in the Guest House or on the Base.

Telephone and Internet

Your present cell phone provider may offer an inexpensive Mexico plan. Check with them to see if your phone will function here. Our cell phone signal comes from three sources: Telcel, Movistar, and Unefon. Your provider may have an agreement with one of these for coverage in our area.

We have a secure Internet Wifi on the mission base. Ask for the password when you arrive. The Internet won’t be near as fast as you’re accustomed to, but it generally works well. Remember that you are coming to focus on serving and communing with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Don’t spend hours on the internet and miss this opportunity to talk with and listen to Him. Everything at home will still be there when you return.

WhatsApp is great to use for your visit. When connected to the internet (Wifi at the Guest House), you can contact anyone anywhere for free who is also on WhatsApp and connected to a Wifi – talk, text or video call. Just make sure to download the app and set it up on your phone (be sure to activate Alerts and Microphone) and tell your friends and family to do the same.

Cultural Tips

You are expected to greet everyone when you enter a room. Men should shake hands with a normal (not strong American) grip. Women can shake hands or hug or kiss on cheek depending on degree you know them. Men are not to hug women.

Women are not to be alone with a single or married man. Thus, you need two women to ride with a man or a woman will ride with a husband and wife. The same applies to entering a room. Therefore, the cleaning staff may not enter your room if these conditions are not present and they will leave the door open as long as they are in the room.

Dangers

There are some natural dangers at the base that you need to be aware of such as scorpions, snakes, coconuts falling from the trees, and ocean riptides. There are also occasional dangers in the surrounding towns from thieves. If you are aware of them and act wisely, you should have no problems.

The Roca Blanca Missions Base is located in one of the safest and most secure areas of Mexico, virtually free from the drug and other violence issues that are plaguing the border towns and Mexico’s large cities. You can trust our record of many years of safety for visitors and students. With the same common sense precautions that you would take traveling anywhere, our coastal area is still the safe place to visit that it has been for many decades, safer than visiting many U.S. cities. Specific guidelines and instructions will be given when you arrive.

Project / Field Trip Costs

Dependent on what the group would like to do or support while they are here. We will provide costs for the scope of projects you desire to consider and decide.

Contact Information

Contact us if you have any concerns or questions not covered here! Our desire is that your time with us be of great blessing, to you and through you!

Roca Blanca Telephone:  918-688-0117  or  +52-1-954-119-8801 Susan Kershner

                               E-mail:  srkershner@gmail.com

Clinic Telephone: 011-52-1-954-150-2153  Whats App

        Clinic e-mail: laurapratt11@gmail.com

           Messenger: David Laura Nelson

Roca Blanca e-mail:  guesthouseinfo1@gmail.com

                            Cell: 011-52-1-954-132-7804  Whats App

Physical Address: Roca Blanca Missions Base

Frente a la Playa Roca Blanca S/N

El Cacalote, Villa de Tututepec de Melchor Ocampo

Juquila, Oaxaca

Mexico. C.P.  71838

PROCESS FOR ARRANGING A TRIP

1)   For teams in general, contact the guest house at guesthouseinfo1@gmail.com.

      For medical teams, contact Laura Pratt Nelson at laurapratt11@gmail.com. 

      Provide your desired dates.  If space is available, we will tentatively reserve the dates for your team.

2)  At 3 months prior to your scheduled trip, to assure your reservation, application forms and flight schedules must be sent to the Roca Blanca Guest House at guesthouseinfo1@gmail.com.

3)  Once we have received your applications and your flight schedules, we will develop a tentative schedule for your consideration.  Once you have approved the schedule, we will continue to develop the trip details.

4)  At 6 weeks prior to your scheduled date, we require 50% of your team cost to be deposited in our stateside office. Checks should be made payable to “Roca Blanca Missions” and mailed to:

Roca Blanca Missions
8242 S Harvard Ave Ste D
Tulsa, OK. 74137

5) At three weeks prior to your arrival date, the balance of your payment is required. This will enable us to purchase food and have all preparations in order.

 

We will be interceding for your mission trip.  Be assured it is always in the will of God to “go ye” into all the world sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom and helping to make disciples of all nations.

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