International Relief Teams (IRT) is a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering both internationally and domestically. Project Mercy Baja is more than pleased that they have chosen to work with us and support our house building program for the past several years. Since 2016 they have built 38 houses with our organization for families in desperate need in Mexico.

On their website ( IRT notes that:

“Many residents of San Diego’s sister city, Tijuana, live in poverty, without access to adequate food, shelter, medical care, or educational opportunities. We are committed to helping our neighbors across the border. Since April 2016, we have partnered with Project Mercy, by sending volunteer teams to change the lives of poor families by building homes and bringing stability and safety. IRT sends teams of 25 volunteers to the community to build a 16 x 20 single-story home in just one day.”

Over the years they have sent hundreds of volunteers to build homes in the colonias on the eastern outskirts of Tijuana. These settlements are populated mostly by migrants, most from central Mexico, searching for better opportunities. The cost of living and low wages often leaves these families with insufficient funds to build homes. As a result, the communities have become a sea of rudimentary shelters built from scrap materials. These structures leave families exposed to the elements and vulnerable to disease.

On February 17, 2024, IRT sent a team to build their first house of the year for the Morelos Chan family.

Lina and Rudolfo Morelos Chan bought a plot of land in May of last year but have not been able to afford to build more than a single room out of scrap wood. Their son Isaac lost a year at school because of the pandemic and has not been able to find placement in a new school as yet. Rudolfo is a tractor driver and can earn as much as $200 per week, when he can find work.

Typically in these outlying neighborhoods, they have no running water, no sewer system and they borrow electricity from a neighbor, but it is intermittent. Mom Lina says: “Our house is so small we sleep in the kitchen.’

Now thanks to IRT their dreams of a decent house to call home have come true. Project Mercy Baja sends our profound thanks to International Relief Teams for their dedication to helping to solve problems of those in need. We look forward to welcoming them down again.