I knew what Mexico looked like. It was beautiful, rich with culture, and flowing with a language that made the soul dance. I also knew that a fun time could be developed by everyday accessories. I knew this because Mexico use to be my home.
At Bourgade Catholic high school, annual trips to Mexico were made; they called it the “Mexico Mission Trip”. Amor Ministries made this trip possible by allowing 50 to 70 students to build a house for a family in the course of 5 days.
On March 26, I woke up excited to make the 4 hour drive to Puerto Penasco. I had been there before, but it was a tourist destination with a beautiful beach and fun entertainment. On the way over, my friends and I laughed and sang along with the music on the radio. When we arrived to our destination all I saw was dirt. I had never been to this side of town before. Never in my life had I heard of a solar shower; let me explain it to you. You leave this bag of water out in the morning, and in the afternoon you go the showers that are just a couple of walls set up with a nail slightly hanging out so you could hang your bag of water on it and maneuver the hose to wet your body. The bathrooms were a stall with seats that led to a hole; you could see and smell everything. Our tents were set up above the dirt/sand, and a fire pit was built in the middle of our temporary residence. I had never been more excited to have nothing in my life. That night we made a fire and talked about the families we were assigned to build a house for. They explained that 3 houses were being built, and of those 3 houses one was going to be the hardest because it was on a sand hill. I immediately hoped that wouldn’t be my house, but to my luck it was.
The next day I got up and awaited my adventure. We went on our way to the house, but as soon as we started driving uphill our car got stuck because of the sand. We began to sweat from the heat as we tried to push it, but it was useless. We had to carry our equipment to get the job done. I was the Spanish speaking girl so I had to translate and introduce ourselves. The way we made cement was by mixing cement, water, dirt, and fiber glass together. Of course it sounds easy, but when you only have a hoe and a large tub to mix, the labor work is the hardest. We had breaks where we would make sandwiches, literally. The family was ever so grateful. When I arrived to my tent that day all I wanted to do was sleep. The weather changed to at night to unbearably cold. My muscles ached and all night I couldn’t turn because I’d wake up from the pain. I never showered those days from the fear of freezing. 5 days repeated. Frustration, pain, and blood went into building that house. I realized everything I took for granted. On the day we finished the house I spoke for everyone when we handed over the keys. The tears escaped from everyone. Languages weren’t understood, but a hug was universal. I have traveled to many places, but traveling for the purpose to help someone you’ve never met has been the best trip I have made.
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