Border Servant Corps
Affiliation:Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Goal of Program:Border Servant Corps hosts full-time volunteers that live in intentional community, learn about living simply, work for social justice, and explore spirituality.
Type of Placement:Volunteers work with issues such as poverty, immigration, domestic violence, education, and health care with opportunities to work in churches, shelters, legal centers, after-school programs, clinics, and other social service agencies within the unique context of the border region.
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 and health, and 49th in overall child well-being, education, and family and community (Kids Count, 2015). 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:Volunteers 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 we encourage older adults to experience a year of service. Volunteers must attend weekly Community Nights, monthly Community Days, and various other events throughout the year in addition to their daily service at their assigned 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. BSC offers mileage reimbursement for volunteers bringing their vehicles for BSC community programming.
Living Arrangements:Volunteers 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 volunteer opportunities for approximately 8-12 volunteers.
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. Volunteers 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 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.