Border Servant Corps
Affiliation:Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Goal of Program:Border Servant Corps promotes and demonstrates justice, kindness, and humility through the intentional exploration of community, simplicity, social justice, and spirituality in the U.S./México border region.
Type of Placement:Yearlong participants commit to personal growth and professional development through educational curriculum and full-time service to the community in the following areas: Addiction/Recovery; Advocacy/Public Policy; Children & Youth Engagement; Community Development; Domestic Violence; Education; Employment; Environment; Food/Hunger; Gender Equality; Health Care; Housing; Immigration; Law/Legal Assistance; LGBTQ Equality; Refugee Services; Senior Services; Supporting People with Disabilities; Workers' Rights.
Service Area:The U.S. / México border is a unique space where cultures meet, collide, and mesh in an atmosphere of constant change. El Paso, Texas borders Cuidad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and is the largest bi-national metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere. Las Cruces, NM, 45 miles north from the Mexico border, is located in a state that ranks 48th in a state-to-state comparison of economic well-being, 49th in overall child well-being, and family and community, and 50th in education (Kids Count, 2017). There are many places of natural beauty nearby, including mountains for hiking and camping.
Service Length:One or two years. Service year runs approximately from the third week of August through the last week of July. Short-term opportunities programs for winter and summer may be available.
Requirements:Full-time participants must have a commitment to living in intentional community, living simply and exploring various areas of personal growth such as spirituality and connection to social justice issues. It is preferred that volunteers to be over 21 years of age and older adults are encouraged to participate. All participants must attend weekly Community Nights, monthly Community Days, and various other events throughout the year in addition to daily service at designated service sites.
Financial Arrangement:BSC provides room and board, monthly food and personal stipends, medical insurance and a portion of co-pay expenses, and transportation in the form of bicycles for getting to and from service sites.
Living Arrangements:Full-time participants live in community houses of approximately 4-6 persons each. Community decisions are made by consensus. Attendance is required at regularly scheduled community events.
Program Size:BSC offers yearlong opportunities for 8-12 people and short-term opportunities for 1-4 people.
Training:One week of orientation to program and area and one week of orientation to service sites. Further development events throughout the year. On-site training provided by service sites. All participants are supported throughout the year by staff, board members, and community members.
Application Deadline:Applications are accepted beginning in October for the upcoming service year beginning in August. The first deadline is in January and the second is in the spring. See the application timeline on the BSC website for current deadlines. Applications close after all placements have been filled (typically prior to May). While there are quality placements in every round, those who apply early will have a greater selection.