Mexico was a life changing experience. It taught me how to live. Seeing people strive for happiness with only the simple things made me appreciate my life. In Mexico, 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line (www.mexico-child-link.org). This statistic made me want to do something about the issues in Mexico and to fulfill my goal in making an impact into someone’s life.
The opportunity to travel to Mexico came in early April. The preparation for this trip was not only spiritual but mentally I needed to be prepared. June 20th, 2010 was the day that I left for Mexico. Arriving in San Diego with my mission team, we took a van across the US border with Mexico, leading us into the heart of Tijuana. We made it smoothly across, although we were safe and the city was temporarily calm there were reminders of the ongoing war. Our destination was approximately five hours away in a place called Camalu.
In Camalu people had shelters but running water was not available in most houses. Most people had to walk miles just for clean water. Shelters were made from cardboard boxes or mismatched wood planks.
The first day we arrived, we woke up at six in the morning, ate a meager breakfast and gathered materials to construct a house. The house by American standards was no more than a shack but to the village people, it was a home to a needy family.
The first family we met, the grandmother of the household welcomed us. She was a kind woman and was very eager to meet our group. The house would consist of two rooms for a family of five to live in.
We started right away, digging holes in the ground and removing the hard soil and rock. Within a few hours we began to erect the structure. By the end of the first day, the house was complete. Although, the house was a small room no bigger than my closet at home, she thanked us, and the feeling of her happiness over something I take so lightly opened my eyes.
Over the next few days, my purpose in coming was even greater. We built one more house a few minutes away from our compound and the community came out to help us. The house was complete in no time. The third day we were there was the day that we went out to other communities to spread the word of God. We also provided small gifts.
The community was unexplainable in my eyes. The conditions that these people lived in explained perfectly why the children’s appearance was less then pleasing. Most of the women I met had no husbands and were taking care of multiple children. Most were in their mid to late teens. It really made me realize how I take everything for granted. These women taught me how to be strong, they are happy and appreciate everything they do have.
I bonded with every single person I met that week and they have a piece of my heart forever. You never truly look at the whole picture until you are there and it’s staring right at you. Ignorance was something I truly never thought about until I went on this trip. Ignorance on my part for taking my life for granted. When I arrived, I learned so many things. It’s impossible to explain life and to appreciate everything you have but I do know this trip was life changing for me and I will never forget it.
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