My name is Rebecca. When I was a junior in high school, I went on a trip to Mexicali, Mexico. Mexicali changed my life forever. My trip took place over my spring break and what made it different from any other normal spring break adventure was that my trip was a mission’s trip. My youth group was going down to Mexicali to partner with an organization called The Ensenada Project to help build homes and do outreach with the community. This was not my first mission’s trip but I was so excited to go down again because the experience of being in a foreign country and serving other people taught me something that a book could not. I would not trade the experience for anything.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
The first day we arrived in Mexicali was definitely the easiest. We spent most of it unpacking the vans and getting our room assignments. On this trip, we were staying in a Mexican hotel which was an ordeal all on its own. The sink in my bathroom leaked and I did not sleep under the sheets for sanitary reasons. This part of the trip added an interesting aspect which put me out of my comfort zone but in the end it taught me a lesson and was part of the Mexico experience. My pastor’s saying for all the teenagers on this trip was, “It's all Bueno.” This saying simply meant exactly what it said that everything is ok, whatever task we were going to be asked to do won’t kill us, wherever we are asked to sleep won’t kill us, we will all be ok. This set the attitude for our week in Mexicali. The next six days that followed all kept to the same pattern. We woke up early had a big breakfast and headed to our construction sites. On our sites, we worked hard and ate lunch. We left around dinner time, ate dinner, and then went to the local church to do outreach with local teens. When I was down in Mexicali, I found myself just going through the motions around day three and once I acknowledged it, I could work on fixing it and finding the purpose for why I was there. It was on the construction site where I found my purpose. I was a part of building a home for a family of four. This family had lost their house in the earthquake that took place almost a year before. They had been living with the wife’s mother in a small two bedroom house since the earthquake. Knowing how hard this family lives had been was incredibly sad but to see how kind and happy they were was surprising. I found myself amazed by not only this family but the ability of twelve high school students to come together and build a house. We did not let anything stop us. It was, “all bueno.” On the last day, the whole experience clicked in my mind. All twelve of us had selflessly given up our spring breaks to go on this trip and the impact we made was so much bigger than any of us. Because of this week myself, and my group, were able to set aside our needs and focus on others. By taking the focus off of ourselves we were able to build a house, but this house was more than just three rooms. This house was a home and a symbol of this family’s new beginning. I will never forget my time in Mexicali. I plan to return to Mexico again this spring.
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