Annual Report for 2021

In contrast to the woes of 2020 Project Mercy was heartened to see a return to business in Mexico in 2021. Although business was still in stark contrast to prior to the pandemic, we are very pleased to say that in 2021 the corporation built 54 houses for the desperate families in the east Tijuana/Tecate neighborhoods where we work.

Many groups were eager to return to work in Mexico but quite a few were naturally still cautious. This resulted in a combined effort of building houses in Chula Vista, San Diego, and shipping them to Mexico, in groups sponsoring houses and in a few of our long time teams venturing down the second half of the year to build in person.

We are extremely grateful to the individuals, companies, foundations and trusts that sponsored homes and helped us provide more. Our Mexican crew, lead by construction manager John Zawis, built multiple extra homes in this way. In the second half of the year more groups have ventured to Mexico and we follow all recommended protocols as well as choosing sites that allow social distancing between neighbors.

Project Mercy held two Chula Vista builds in the first half of the year and welcomed Klemmer and Associates “Heart of the Samurai” back to San Diego in June and November. The annual Baja Challenge took place in Mexico in October and we were delighted to hold a first time District Rotary Build on December 4 in Trebol, Mexico, when 150 Rotarians from both sides of the border joined forces to build 7 homes.

We thank The Bravo Foundation, The Shapira Foundation, and the Jack Deloss Taylor Charitable Trust, for their generous grant donations. Their support means a lot to Project Mercy and is much appreciated.

We anticipate a productive 2022 and with help from our many supporters and friends we plan on providing many more families with safe and secure homes.

In gratitude,

Paula Claussen

President & CEO

Annual Report for 2020

In 2020 Project Mercy built 22 houses and latrines, this is a stark comparison with 2019 when we built 73 houses and latrines.

The term “2020” became a synonym for disaster in its full sense. COVID-19 has devastated the world. Project Mercy was well on our way at the beginning of 2020 to a successful year building on our capabilities to provide solid and secure homes for the highly impoverished families of the eastern Tijuana/Tecate area. There was a murmur of impending problems early March but we made the call to build a home for a poor family with five little boys on March 15 anyway. Little did we know that would be the last house we would build for nearly 6 months.

The virus spread, the border was closed, and valued groups had to cancel or postpone their trips. A major volunteer group and fundraiser who has been with us for over 15 years, cancelled both of their trips to San Diego and the 21st Annual Baja Challenge, scheduled for October, was cancelled also.

With funds donated prior to the pandemic and raised by campaigns online from a myriad of supporters, by late August we were able to start laying foundation slabs once more with our great Mexican crew. They also began to build a handful of houses in distanced areas and following agreed protocols – masks, hand santizer, and ever mindful of distancing.

On October 24, five US groups built housing components on a large 3 acre site in Chula Vista. These were shipped down by flatbed truck to Tijuana and all five were raised, once again by our Mexican crew, by December 26. We plan on holding more of these events in the Spring/early Summer of 2021, here in San Diego. It is wonderful to see groups still experiencing and enjoying building for families in need in Mexico, while following safety protocols and guidelines here in the US.

Food is in short supply south of the border also as costs have risen and work hours have been cut . Project Mercy continues to distribute much needed basic foods to families in far lying neighborhoods during this difficult time.

We hope that by the second half of 2021 we will see a return to crossing the border with eager teams to continue our mission and thank everyone in the meantime for their support.

We thank The Bravo Foundation, The Shapira Foundation, and the Jack Deloss Taylor Charitable Trust, for their generous grant donations. Their support means a lot to Project Mercy and is much appreciated.

Click to visit the Baja Challenge website.

A Message from the President

Thanks to everyone for continuing to support Project Mercy and the families of the colonias during this difficult year. Together we can continue to change their lives.

Paula Claussen
President & CEO