In the summer before 9th grade, I went on a Mission trip to
By the end of the day, I was exhausted, sticky, and sunburned, and when we finally stepped into our air-conditioned rooms at the mission house, I thought something: As we slept on our mattresses in a cool room with A/C, the same families that we had met only a few hours ago slept cramped in their humid, dirty houses. The scorched aluminum roofs that soaked up the sun throughout the arid day would only add to the sultry temperature of the house’s interior. Mosquitoes would fly in through the gaps in the house, and the countless stray dogs would relieve themselves on the house at night. Yet the people were still cheery and praised God each and every day. The next afternoon, the elementary children, clad with old, grimy shirts and muddy faces would cling to my arms and chase me around, laughing and screaming with joy. The adults would hang around the village or attend the sessions that we held at Cacalchen. These adults had no jobs – the whole village was supported by federal money given to them by the Mexican government because they could not sustain themselves.
Despite these monetary obstacles, the people knew how to love life even without the luxuries of clean running water, sanitary toilets, new clothes, medical aid, and having enough to eat. Through this experience, I learned first-hand how poverty is prevalent outside of
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