It all started....

In the Spring of 1986, Jack and Carol Smith of Fredericksburg, TX invited Dr. Ottis Layne and Sara Allerkamp, RN to hold medical clinics in the villages of Boquillas, just across the Rio Grande, and Las Norias, approximately ten miles from the border. The rugged beauty of the desert and the warm reception of the Mexican people drew Dr. Layne back. He added a third village, Jaboncillos, on the second year.

The Mexican villages across from Big Bend National Park are located in the Chihuahuan Desert in the states of Coahuila and Chihuahua. Many of the people in these three villages make their living harvesting the candelilla plant, extracting wax by boiling and then selling this to the government to make candles and soaps. The Candelilla plant was the inspiration for the name of the mission. 

Due to the long distance to the nearest clinic, Dr. Layne saw the need for providing medical care twice a year. In 1995 Curtis Allerkamp took on more responsibilities to become the chief coordinator of the trips.

In January 2006, Curtis and Sara Allerkamp joined full time and formally established Misión de Candelilla as a non-profit. Shortly after this the mission began expanding to surrounding ejidos further to the west, adding six more. 

Now, 30 plus years later, this ministry is still going strong! We hope to glorify Christ through service motivated by love.