Friday, May 30, 2008

Casa de Baja, Mexico with Tammy Taylor

Casa de Baja, Mexico - May 22-26, 2008

Pictures of my trip to Mexico with my Niece Tammy, her friend Dorsa and 300 teenagers representing our Church, Mariners in Irvine, CA.

We built 14 houses over the Memorial Day weekend in Rojo Gomez, just 30 minutes from the US border; which is about 2 1/2 hours from Irvine, CA.

  • It was an amazing weekend. We all came back with a huge appreciation for everything we used to take for granted; like running water, to take showers, to wash dishes, to wash clothes & toilets that flush (there is no sewer system or running water in this area water is brought in by a water truck and they fill up plastic water jugs for their water).
  • Also, fresh vegetables and fruit is not able to be grown as there is no irrigation to grow food. This is a desert area and it gets over 110 F degrees (43 Celsius) in the summer, and the people have no air conditioning.

These are just a few of the things that we think are necessities and to the people in Rojo Gomez, these are luxuries.

I was a team leader for a group of 15 high school students; each group was responsible to build one house; each of our groups had a contractor to organize us and teach us how to build a house.

None of us had ever built a house before; however we had to learn how to frame a house, install drywall, spackle, lay a roof, put in windows, install a door, add a loft, use table saws, levels, chalk lines, T-bars, hammering nails, painting, hang trim and put in electrical wiring.

Our church partnered with the non-profit Baja Christian Ministries, and used their camp ground in Rojo Gomez. Baja Christian Ministries consists of contractors and construction workers who donate their time and money to building houses for the poor in Mexico. The families did not pay for their houses we built, everything was donated by our group.

When we arrived they had already laid the cement foundation for our house and put all of our wood and materials next to our home site. Our job was to build it.

Our church helps support the local Christian church in Rojo Gomez, who is in charge of deciding which families need a new house. The Pastor there is a wonderful man who knows everyone in the community and he knows who is in the most need.

Our family was a Mom (Alicia 20 years old), a Dad (Jesus 22 years old who works in a factory) and their 2 sons, a 4 year old boy Rodego and a 2 year old boy Diego.

When you look at the photographs, the Yellow house with white trim is the house we built. It has 3 rooms and a loft. Just behind the Yellow house is a little shack which is about 8 feet by 8 feet, this is where our family lived before we built their new house.

When we finished the house and gave the key to the family, it would be like us winning the lotto. Alicia was so overwhelmed, she could not say anything but the kids they said it all, they ran yelling into the house, laughing, playing and jumping. They could not contain themselves. It was one of the Happiest days of their whole lives and something they will never forget.

This could be the one thing that could change the path of their families future generations forever.
Maybe one of these children grows up and becomes President of Mexico and changes the living conditions for all of the Mexican people.

Maybe one of these amazing teenagers from California, who gave up their holiday weekend to help poor people in need, and in a different country, will grow up to be an Ambassador of the US that helps bring peace to our world.

We can change the world one child at a time. The children are our future, and the more love and compassion we can teach our young generations, the better the future will be for all of us.