Reaching people here in America is powerful. Educating, touching lives, providing opportunities, it all makes an impact here at home, however, once you see the lives of the Deaf in Developing Nations, a passion can errupt within, a passion to change lives beyond our borders. God graciously led us to an intimate relationship with a residential school for the Deaf in Northeastern Mexico called Con Mis Manos. Over the last 9 years we have emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially supported this incredible outreach. We have seen children at the school grow-up, marry, have children and sadly even pass away. We have been a part of their lives and they have stolen our hearts.
Our dream is to change the world. We know that starts through our love and support and personal sacrifice. We strive to make a difference in the the education, lives, and laws of Deaf individuals across the globe.
Although Gate's primary focus in our foreign outreach has been to support CMM as the need has been so great, our outreach does extend beyond Mexico. Gate supports international Deaf outreaches through Wycliffe & DMI, two powerful and impactful organizations within the worldwide Deaf Community.
Our hope in coming years is to continue to send teams and do personal work in other parts of the world. Until then, there is much to be done in Mexico, and with that, we go.
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Does Gate take teams to Mexico?
YES! Our staff travels to Mexico annually. We take teams on average every other year. To find out if we will be traveling to Mexico with a team this year, contact our office.
How many people tavel on the teams?
3 - 8 on average.
What does it cost?
The costs change year to year but on average the trip costs around $1500.
How long is the trip?
The trips average 10 days.
How does the team prepare?
We have a few weeks of training prior to our departure.
Can people travel from anywhere in the U.S. to join the trip?
How does the team travel down to Mexico?
By land... we usually travel in an SUV caravan. You are welcome to fly at an additional fee.
Are there requirements to be on the team?
Yes. Everyone moves through an applicaton process before being accepted on the team.
Is knowledge of Sign Language required?
No. The kids use Mexican Sign Language so they can't be understood by most Americans whether or not the team knows ASL.
Can team members leave early?
Yes, alternative dates are an option.
What activities does the team participate in?
Activities vary every year. Our goal is to love on the kids, the families, the community, the staff, etc. That may mean we take the kids to a pool, or we fund outings of various kinds, it may mean we hold parties, festivals, or we do community outreach with them. The school directors guide us to what is ideal for the students annually.
Do teams spend a great deal of time with the kids?
YES! We are with the kids approximately 70% -85% of the time.
Is a passport required?
Yes. All Americans traveling into Mexico will need a passport.
Is there an age restriction to be on a team?
Yes. We generally do not accept individuals younger than 15.
Are there physical restrictions to be on a team?
Yes. We will be in extreme heat working extreme hours. Assume every day is a 12 - 15 hour day with temperatures in the 90's with 50 - 90% humidity and above. You will sweat. You will be exhausted. This trip is about changing lives not about comfort... however, seeing those smiling faces of Deaf kids makes everything worth it.
Is it dangerous?
There are dangers in Matamoros, but our teams have always been safe. The directors are vigilant about safety.
How do I get involved?
Contact us today!
FACTS ABOUT THE DEAF IN MATAMOROS
1) The Deaf have no legal status, and no legal rights.
Although in some parts of Mexico the Deaf are acknowledged and respected, in Matamoros, the Deaf have no legal status. If a Deaf man breaks the law, technically he cannot be held accountable
because he does not have legal status. If a
Deaf child is beaten or sexually assaulted, technically nothing has occurred because that child had no legal status.
2) The Deaf have no access to interpreters.
Accessibility is rare. The Deaf in Northeastern Mexico do not have access to interpreters. If a Deaf individual wants an interpreter to speak to a doctor or lawyer they have to find a Hearing child of a Deaf adult who can help.
3) The Deaf have no access to public education.
Deaf children are forced to sit in classes with Hearing children and lipread the teachers. Most have no lipreading abilities.