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Why DTS at YWAM Mazatlan is a Total Game-Changer

Geertje Caliguire January 28, 2019
Sunset at Olas Altas


Every YWAM base is unique. They’re located in different countries, come in many different sizes, and often have totally different focuses. 

When deciding where to do your YWAM DTS, the sheer number of options can make it hard to choose. Which place is the right fit for you? Where will you get the most out of your DTS?

Our YWAM base happens to be located in beautiful Mexico. Let us give you a deeper look into what our location is like, and help you decide if Mazatlan is the right fit for you!

Ready to do DTS now? Apply here.


You get to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our city 

Mazatlan is a city that desperately needs Christ, and we firmly believe that “outreach” starts here at home. We’re always searching for new ways to impact our neighborhood and creatively spread the gospel to every corner of Mazatlan. 

This means that you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do ministry locally in Mazatlan before you embark on your DTS outreach!

Read more: 21 Things All Missionaries Should Know How to Do (Outreach Edition)

Each week our base splits up into smaller ministry groups and spreads out all over the city. Many of our staff and students have been part of creating—or “pioneering”—these local ministries that we run in the city. On your DTS you could find yourself ministering to children, teenagers, families, or the homeless, seeking to meet the needs of others and share the love of Jesus.

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find a ministry group to get excited about. Your group could be evangelizing on the streets, praying for hurting people in hospitals, or handing out Bibles. You could find yourself painting or playing soccer with kids in underdeveloped neighborhoods, skateboarding with teenagers, or ministering in a prison.


We're family-oriented

Our base values families and family-style living. We are intentional about creating a unified community where everyone lives together, supports one another, and seeks God as one body. 

For example: although meal-time would be more efficient if it were served cafeteria-style (long tables, long lines, etc), we prioritize togetherness. All of our tables are small and circular so that everyone can be seen and have a voice. 

Even though YWAM has a reputation for enlisting young people, there are entire families involved in missions. Here at YWAM Mazatlan, you'll encounter people of all ages, and everyone from the oldest member to the newest baby is an important part of who we are.

Read more: 17 Things You Probably Didn't Know About YWAM

No matter your age or where you’re from, we’re excited to welcome you into our ever-expanding family!

Beautiful view of the coastline and boardwalk area near YWAM Mazatlan

We're just steps from the ocean

Almost anytime you look out the window here on base, you’re going to catch a glimpse of the ocean.

Having the ocean be so accessible is an incredible blessing to our base, and one that we try not to take for granted. It adds an element of adventure and spontaneity to our community. You never know when you and your friends will go for an impromptu swim, or when someone will break out a guitar and start a worship session on the beach as the sun goes down.

The ocean shapes both our physical and spiritual lives. Imagine praying as you walk along the water, hiking up a mountain to a nearby lighthouse for devotionals, swimming at dawn, learning to surf, watching the incredible sunsets, or witnessing a friend get baptized in the waves.

And that's not to mention our base-wide “family” days, when all of us—students and staff alike—go to the beach together for a community-building time of swimming, volleyball, and pizza! 

Develop your leadership

YWAM wants to help you use what you’re passionate about to further the gospel. And if you're looking for ways to develop your leadership, you're sure to find plenty of opportunities here at YWAM Mazatlan!

There are many areas where your unique talents and personality could strengthen us. For example, you could teach kids how to surf, join our worship team, or start a Bible study with other DTS students.

We’re always looking for ways to encourage our students to develop their skills and try new things, whether that means teaching devotionals, creating content with our media department, writing blogs for our website, serving as a barista, or stepping up as a translator.

Your missionary journey doesn't have to stop at DTS, either. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a new passion or ministry where you can put your skills to work and end up answering God's call on your life to long-term missions!

Deep time of worship at a YWAM missionary base in Mazaltan

Everything we do is bilingual

From meal times, to class times, to worship, everything is done in both English and Spanish!

This means our home is an incredible place to learn a new language. Nothing teaches fluency faster than full-on immersion, and nothing will motivate you to learn a language more than wanting to make new friends.

By being bilingual, we have created a space for English-speakers to learn Spanish and vice versa. Your roommates will likely be from all over the world, so you’ll be pushed to try and communicate even if you don't have a lot of experience with speaking another language.

Don’t let that make you nervous! The language-barrier can be challenging at times, but it’s an incredible opportunity to grow. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you pick up new words and phrases, and how much you’ll know by the end of DTS.

Young YWAM missionary woman praying for a lady while on outreach in the Philippines

We live in a vibrant neighborhood

Our base lies right on the outskirts of a neighborhood called Centro.

Centro is the historic and cultural downtown of the city. Here you’ll find romantic architecture, late-night taco joints, quaint coffee shops, art galleries, breakfast nooks, markets, and colorful restaurants. There are often parades, dances, and live music happening right in the center plaza.

All of this excitement is within walking distance, so expect to go there on the weekends if you’re looking for something fun to do!

Beautiful colonial streets of the downtown area of Mazatlan, Mexico

You'll fall in love with Latin culture

Latin America is incredibly diverse, but no matter what part you’re in, you’re sure to find love, food, family, and music. From the affectionate greeting of a kiss on the cheek, to tamales and mariachi bands, there are so many reasons to fall in love with Mexican culture—not to mention the cultures of other Latin nations that might join you on your DTS! 

Learning Spanish, eating authentic tacos, trying out some salsa dancing—there’s no way you’re going to come away from Mazatlan unchanged.

When you look back on your time in Mexico, you’ll remember that even though adjusting to a new culture wasn’t always easy, the excitement and vibrance of Latin culture made it so, so worth it. 

Read more: 5 Reasons to Fall in Love With Mexican Culture

More adversity, more growth

Doing a DTS at YWAM Mazatlan means discovering a new language, culture, city, and friends. Sounds exciting and a bit unnerving at the same time, right?

But don’t let the nerves get to you. We believe that when you’re willing to have the courage to step outside of what’s comfortable and easy, you grow and experience more than you ever thought imaginable. 

When everything is new, God is the only familiar thing you have to hold onto. When everything is new, your trust in him is put to the test. But when you go into the unknown, he is there waiting to meet you. When you’re faced with last-minute nerves, culture shock, confusion, and doubt, God is there to see you through. 

Read more: 8 DTS Electives You Can Do at YWAM Mazatlan

So don’t be nervous about doing your YWAM DTS. And if you’re still not sure which base God is calling you to, we hope this list gave you a good introduction to YWAM Mazatlan and everything we’re about! Check out the video below to see a bit more of who we are and what Mazatlan is really like.

Meet you on the beach for some worship?


Do a DTS in Mazatlan

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