Travel Tips

For those not familiar with South Texas, the weather can change quickly. Please check the temperatures prior to packing for your trip. 10-day weather forecast information for Harlingen can be found at

Travel Costs

At this time, there is no registration fee for the elective itself. Residents and students will need to cover their own travel from their home institution to Harlingen/Brownsville and back home. Residents and students will need to cover their food costs, recreation and local transportation costs. Typically, participants share a rental car or have their own cars. Visiting students and visiting residents pay $695 housing fee, plus a $25 cleaning fee.

A Word About Safety 

There is no travel across the border into Mexico because of the drug cartel violence. Instead, participants have the opportunity to do intensive advocacy work on the border, tailored to community needs, as well as personal and professional interests. For example, students have worked with local community partners and the families they serve to identify and address health needs in the colonias. Colonias are impoverished, unincorporated rural settlements on the border which lack one or more basic infrastructure elements, such as water or electricity. The participants have found their advocacy experiences deeply rewarding and enlightening.

We will continue to monitor the situation in Mexico and hope to resume work with our esteemed faculty partners there in the future.

As always, we strive to provide a safe and productive experience in this international location, the Texas/Mexico border.


United and Southwest Airlines fly into Harlingen. United and American  fly into Brownsville (approximately 30 minutes away). United and American Airlines also fly into McAllen, Texas (approximately 30 minutes away). There are major car rental companiesat all of these airports.

Things to Bring

Recommendations from previous alumni of Community for Children:

  • Sheets and blanket for double bed; towels; shower curtain
  • Camera
  • Backpack
  • USB flash drive or "thumb" drive
  • Spanish-English dictionary
  • Laptop computer
  • Hat/visor
  • Flashlight
  • Sheets and blanket for double bed
  • Towels
  • Shower curtain


Professional dress/business casual and closed-toe shoes.


There are many excellent recreation areas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. If planning on spending time on South Padre Island (also highly recommended!), bring beach gear, sunglasses, sunscreen.

Local Attractions

Some helpful website: