Are you ready for an adventure that will grow your heart, tire your body and happify your mind? Welcome to Finding Sophia, a unique women's service retreat weekend where we build a house for a single mom in one day - yes one day & combine it with yoga, good food, and a lot of laughter.
No building abilities are required.
Just a willing body,
and an open heart.
Learn more about the Finding Sophia experience, our trip dates, and logistics.
Cost is $550/person which includes: transportation to and from Mexico from the San Diego Airport, all food, and lodging.
Start fundraising! Each participant must raise $1000.00 to cover the cost of the home we build for a single mother.(Learn more)
*Limited spaces per trip
In 2007, after years of going on building trips to Mexico with other groups, Trish Ward and Heidi Boynton wanted to take their passion for creating platforms for women to see themselves, their abilities, and their potential in a new and different light, together they created Finding Sophia (KEEP READING)
The purpose of Finding Sophia is to bring women together outside of their everyday lives and experience the power of giving and getting love.
Over the weekend, we will both give in big ways to others and give back to ourselves. This trip combines the hard work of building a home for a single mom with yoga, meditation, contemplation, and as we mentioned - lots of laughter.
It can be easy to get lost in the BUSYness of everyday life. It's not uncommon to feel like our ability to make an impact on the world seems overwhelming. Finding Sophia is designed to show how we can give back, and how one day in a person's life can make a huge impact both on the one receiving and the one giving.
Handing a family a simple bag of food may not get them out of their current situation, it can, however, make that night's dinner a little brighter. Seeing how we can give in ways that make a small and/or big change for someone can help us see our lives back home a little differently.
We hope that you will see glimpses of wisdom in giving your time, heart, and love to others.
What we give out to the world comes right back to us...we give love and we get love.
THURSDAY is the travel + taco day.
FRIDAY is spent building all day.
SATURDAY we combine a morning of optional meditation, and yoga with prep for the day spent in the local community. We will hand out food bags and donations to the families surrounding the home we build as well as other local neighborhoods.
SUNDAY, we finish off the weekend together with a closing optional meditation, yoga, and free time to soak up the experience before we head back over the border to the airport.
THE HOUSE WE BUILD
By building the house for a single mother, we give her a chance to change her future, for herself and for her children. We believe an important step up in life is feeling safe, having a clean, dry place to sleep at night, and having a locking front door. The families we build for typically live in a shanty-style home with dirt floors. The home we build is approximately 500 sq feet, with two bedrooms, a living area, and a loft. We fund and build a latrine (permanent outhouse) adjacent to the home. When building, we wire the house for electricity but the families are responsible for connecting to the power company. The homes do not have running water. The house is made of a cement foundation, wood framing, wood siding, shingle roof, and a sheetrock interior. We paint the exterior and do not paint the interior. The new locking door and secure windows are a welcome sight to a family, handing over the keys to their new home on Friday is an experience not easily forgotten.
We have an easy to use donation platform for you to raise the $1000.00 p/p needed for the house. You'll create your own profile and be able to track how close you are to your goal. This page is set up just for you, you'll work with us to build it and then use that tell your friends all about your trip.
WHY FINDING SOPHIA?
Sophia, in the Greek language, is the female representation of God's wisdom.
Each time we complete a Finding Sophia trip, we are rewarded. We arrive home with just a bit more wisdom and compassion than what we carried with us when we got there . . . hence, Finding Sophia.
This is our never-ending journey.
It can be intimidating to go somewhere new, and we hope you'll join us. Trust yourself and take time for yourself to give with your heart, your hands, your mind, and your time. The return on your investment will be more than you ever imagined.
Who can come?
Women over 18 years old, no limit after that. We've had 18-year-olds and 80-year-olds.
When do you go?
In 2023, we have one trip planned so far April 6-9, stay tuned for more dates!
What does it cost?
$550 which includes: Transportation to and from Mexico from the San Diego Airport, all food, and lodging.
Alcohol is not included, so plan to bring a few extra bucks, there is nothing like a cold beer after you've built a house. In addition, we ask each participant to raise $1000.00 to cover the cost of the home we build for a single mother (see more below on how to raise the funds).
How do I sign up?
Once the trip fills up with 13 women, it's full. Sign up early to allow plenty of planning and fundraising time.
**If you are on the waitlist we will notify you asap if someone cancels and we will help you complete your registration .
Can I sign up a friend?
Yes, you can add another person to your online registration. Keep in mind, you'll need all her emergency information and she will need to sign a waiver once we are in San Diego.
What kind of identification do I need to go over the border and back again?
You need a valid passport or passport card. If you don't have one, now's the time to get it! You can find out how and where in your area to do so by following this link
What and where are the meeting times/departure times?
We will meet at the San Diego Airport Southwest terminal baggage claim (Terminal 1) at 5 pm on Thursday of the weekend. Book your flights or allow driving time to arrive at the San Diego Airport no later than 5 pm. We will depart for San Diego Airport on Sunday of the weekend and will arrive after 3 pm. Book your return flights after 5 pm on Sunday, we never know how long the returning borderline will be.
Where do we stay?
For the first time, we will be staying at a beautiful modern a hotel in Tecate.
What do we eat?
We provide lots of snacks, breakfast and lunch fixings and eat out at local restaurants at night. We do our best to provide fruits and options for everyone. However, if you have specific dietary needs, keep in mind we are not able to guarantee vegetarian or vegan options. It's best if you plan to bring supplemental foods/snacks to be sure you get what you need.
How does the house get paid for?
YOU!! Each participant is responsible for raising a minimum of $1000 for building costs.
Every dollar you raise will go to the house and latrine we build which costs approximately $11,837 (that's pretty cheap for a WHOLE house :)).
Any funds raised above that are used on the trip, we have had community parties, bought additional supplies for the homeowner and purchased rice, beans, carrots and oranges for the families in the neighborhood. Our ability to do these extra things is determined by how much is raised.
How do I raise funds?
We have an easy to use donation platform for you to raise the $1000.00 needed for the house. You'll create your own profile and be able to track how close you are to your goal. This page is set up just for you, you'll work with Marisol to build it and then use that tell your friends all about your trip.
As the date of the trip approaches, we will send you a profile of the family we are building for,
this will help you tell the story to your friends and family. If you need more ideas on fundraising,
feel free to reach out to us. All funds raised are tax-deductible, your donors will get a receipt for their donation.
What happens if I can't make the trip?
You may cancel your registration and receive a full refund minus a $50 registration fee 60 days or more before the start date of your trip. There are no refunds for cancellations made less than 45 days prior to the trip unless the spot can be filled then a refund minus $50 will be issued. We do understand that emergencies may arise, but as we are a small non-profit organization we are not able to make exceptions to this refund policy.
Finding Sophia reserves the right to cancel a trip for force majeure or any other circumstances beyond our control such as fire, floods, or safety concerns. We also reserve the right to cancel any trip if sign-up is inadequate to make the trip economically feasible for us to operate. If this happens, we give a full refund of registration fees. However, Finding Sophia is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by you in preparing for the trip (e.g., non-refundable air tickets, gear or medical expenses). Trips happen rain or shine.
Can I bring donations?
YES and...consider what you're bringing before you pack it. Gently well cared for used items are cool and we ask you to think carefully before you bring things that you yourself wouldn't wear because of the condition. You'll only be able to bring one suitcase and one backpack, pack tight. Things we know our friends love, hot wheels (easy to pack and the kiddos smiles will ignite your heart), clean intact dolls (these are a MAJOR hit with the kids young and old), small household items, kitchen towels, washcloths, etc. If you have other ideas or questions, shoot us an email or text, we'd be happy to talk it through with you.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
As with any service trip, there are certain risks, we do everything we can to stay safe. We monitor the safety of the border we cross (Tecate) and the areas we work in. We work closely with Hector who helps us with building and general logistics in Mexico and trust him to keep us updated on any safety concerns.
What about COVID?
While we do not require vaccination to attend, we highly encourage being vaccinated for your own safety.
Your donation will go to our general fund to help cover the costs of the home, food, and other support to single mothers in Mexico.
All donations are tax deductible.
Our CA 501(c)(3) tax id number is 26-2667700
THANK YOU for your donation!
If you're looking for a particular person to donate on behalf of, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you in the right direction!
Want to learn more? Send us an email below and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Finding Sophia Volunteer Staff:
Heidi Boynton contact information:
Trish Ward contact information:
Marisol Godinez contact information: