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San Diego’s South Bay

Adventure Wednesday at the US / Mexico border. Youth experience the feeling of loved ones being separated by the border, with half of the SSP group in Tijuana and half in the US.

Are your youth concerned about poverty, immigration, and the environment? Serve with SSP in San Diego’s South Bay to explore these issues which are very real in the communities adjacent to the US / Mexico border.

Youth will visit Friendship Park on both sides of the US / Mexico border, pictured above. Volunteers will have the opportunity to sign up for a day trip to Tijuana, or stay in the US for a day of learning and serving. There are required forms and documents for all volunteers serving in San Diego, which can be found in the packet below:

2022 Summer Dates

  • Week 1: Combined Middle & High School starting July 3
  • Week 2: High School only starting July 10
  • Week 3: High School only starting July 17
  • Week 4: Combined Middle & High School starting July 24 (5-night session)
  • Week 5: Combined Middle & High School starting July 31
  • Week 6: Intergenerational starting August 7
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San Diego

San Diego’s South Bay Service Work

In San Diego half of our work is with homeowners, and half with community based organizations. The type of work includes painting, rebuilding fences, and other general home repairs. No construction experience is needed, and you’ll be amazed at all of the work that your youth teams complete! Most projects take longer to complete than your week at SSP so you may see the beginning, middle or end of a project.

In 2019, volunteers completed 16 projects for homeowners and community organizations:

  • 1 roof replacement
  • 1 drywall replacement
  • 1 flooring replacement
  • 2 awnings
  • 5 fences
  • 6 painting projects

Community Partners

Learn About San Diego’s South Bay

Download the detailed SSP San Diego’s South Bay Study Guide to help your group learn about the community and get more out of your SSP experience. We suggest that you download the study guide, share with your group and discuss the materials during a planning meeting.

Community Engagement in San Diego’s South Bay

In South Bay, we will focus our service and learning around the intersection of immigration, wealth inequality, and the environment. We will work with city governments, community organizations, and churches to organize our work near the international border of the US and Mexico.

Almost half a million people reside in South Bay, which has a relatively large immigrant population. Both the Border Field State Park (home of Friendship Park) and the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which we use to walk across the border into Tijuana, are located in South Bay.

The Tijuana River estuary is the largest wetland in Southern California, with a watershed from both San Diego County and across the border in Tijuana. During the winter rainy season, sewage contamination from Tijuana impacts the beach from the international border north to Coronado.

San Diego’s South Bay


In San Diego, volunteers will be tent camping at Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Campground, which just opened in 2021! The campground is managed by the County of San Diego, and has on-site bathrooms, showers, games, trail access, RV permission, and yurts available for upgrade. It is located just south of Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of our partners, and a short drive from Imperial Beach Neighborhood Center, where most mealtimes will take place. Stay tuned for more information about how to prepare for tent camping in San Diego!

Campground Address:

1942 Monument Road
San Diego, CA 92154

Mailing Address:

[Volunteer Name]
C/O Sierra Service Project
IB Neighborhood Center
455 Palm Avenue
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

*Staff Phone: 


*Note staff are only accessible at this number between Sunday, June 26 – Monday, August 15.

Directions to Imperial Beach

To get to the campground, consult Google maps or a similar mapping service to find the best route for your group.

South Bay Climate

Summer temperatures are often in the upper 70s and winter temperatures in the 60s. Imperial Beach is often 10 degrees cooler in the summer and 10 degrees warmer in the winter than inland areas of South Bay.

Tsaile | San Diego | Smith River