Mexico Day 7: TLC

The final day events unfolded with Love Without Boarders. For this all of us hoped in the cars and travelled to go give children at a school close to our work sites backpacks filled with goodies including shoes, bubbles, toys, a water bottle, colored pencils, pencil bags, plus whatever else you wanted to give your child. Shout out to two of our own Charlie and Allen for getting together all of the money, buying the goodies, and assigning child to team member, we are all so proud of you for putting this all together. This program was incredible because through all the hate in the world you are able to connect youth to youth across the world forming bonds that are unbreakable. Seeing the smiles on those kids faces were everything and meant more than anything. The ability to connect with others opens the heart and softens the eyes of everyone and allows the world to be…. well you know, without boarders.

We also had the closing ceremony today and there was so much love around and in everyone. As a community all of the families, bus drivers, security officers, and teams gathered together to hand out plaques to the family for their new house and thank them for allowing us to see beyond ourselves. As everyone hugged each other, took pictures, ate cake, and recognized everyone’s hard work during this trip, the realization that this life altering experience was over hit everyone like a truck. We all decided to celebrate in the great times we had all had during the week instead of mourning the end of it. I dont know if I can speak for everyone on this trip but for who I have talked to, this trip inspired so many others to change the world and change their lives. It is astounding how 7 days can change a person so much.

Leaving you with another quote from Mr. Neer to further inspire all who read this, “try not to get weary doing good”. Until Next Year, Buenos Noches from the Mexico FAMILY.

Last Team Picture
love WITHOUT boarders
The kids preforming a dance for us.
Two peas in a pod

Mexico Day 6: Heartfelt Surroundings

See you laters are never easy, especially the kind that bring tears to your eyes. Today was our last day at the work sites and it was bittersweet. It was so amazing getting to see the beginning of the project and near to the end of it. Yet so hard saying adios to our beloved families who supported us while we were helping them. They always jumped in to help carry blocks wherever needed and bring us waters when it was very hot. Knowing that these families are finally getting a home where they can grow up in is so overwhelming. Our little town of Culver was able to alter the lives of people all the way in Puerto Escondido forever.

In addition to Culver helping the families of this year, Culvers community was also able to continue helping the families from years before and others around the community. The Culver alum who talked to us yesterday night, Emilio, was able to install a safer stove top into one of the houses that the team last year helped build. To say the least it was so incredibly emotional, as tears welled up in her eyes she thanked us immensely for everything we had done for her and how what we did altered her life in so many ways, she was eternally grateful for the Culver Community. This helped all of us keep in mind why what we are doing is so important. Even though it might be hot and tiring building everyday, but being able to see someone reaping the benefits of what we had done makes it all worth it. We are changing lives one brick and one spring break at a time.

As Mr. Neer said, “You’re destined to do great things” so do not be afraid to do them, take the risk, change the world. Until tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico team.

Mexico Day 5: Stickin’ to it

90-degree heat, 4 hours, 14 coconuts, a whole watermelon, and 10 mini mamut later our team was exhausted yet proud of our final full day of work.  We all were able to push through by keeping in mind the families and how much this all means to them. I am so incredibly proud of everyone who gave up their time to give to fixing the problems of others for absolutely no reward. It is the truest form of selflessness out there: making someone else’s problem your own.

We also were fortunate enough to further our inspiration just when we were getting a little worn out from a Culver Alum, Emilio Rivero. He was able to share some of his advice from his life experiences in order to encourage us to change the world. He told us in the world of our problems to look around and beyond to try to find the biggest possible problem that reflects you and that you care about. Usually the bigger the problem the less it has to do with you and the more it has to do with others. You give your time to this problem and you start to realize how small your problems become and how much your heart grows. For example the problem he is fixing is that 62% of people in the world still cook with biofuels, open fire. 4.2 million are killed by indoor air pollutants caused by this, and they are mostly women and children. It is the second biggest cause of death around the world. The thing that stuck with me the most is when he said, “Sometimes the simple solution is the most elegant solution, and human problems seemed to disappear when I started focusing on the bigger than you problem.”

Our team I believe embodies this by using the simple solution of gathering people together to build homes to solve the problem of people growing up with no homes. We all saw past our own problems and gave our time and energy to this problem that is beyond ourselves. I hope that all of the amazing people on the trip and reading this will be able to still go out and change the world, seeing big problems they care about and making a change to better their world, community, family, and so forth. Our teams last stretch to the finish has approached faster than anyone expected and we are ready to see the final look yet not ready to leave all of the amazing people we have met in Puerto Escondido. Until Tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico team.

Together Everyone Achieves More
Beyond Us
The future of change
A piece of Puerto Escondido for everyone:)

Mexico Day 4: A lil R&R

After a hard 3 days work, our teams got a little relaxation time that turned into bonding time between teams. Sharing all of our stories about our adventures on our sites gave us all connections to all the families we are helping instead of just our teams. It is crazy how it takes miles and miles to make such close bonds with people who live 400 feet from each other, but these bonds are so extraordinary because of the trust and strength we build together in a foreign country on vacation all working for a common goal: helping those who need it.

So for our lil R&R time we went to a private beach, ate food, connected, laid out, and may or may not have gotten a little burnt haha. Our team heads back out tomorrow morning for another full day of work and we are all ecstatic to get back out there to get our hands dirty and our shirts sweaty. Until Tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico team.

Mexico: Day 3

More sunshine, sweat, concrete, dirt, and smiling faces filled today. With only 5 days left in beautiful Puerto Escondido, our teams headed out again to our work sites. Keep in mind we went 3 days of hard labor in the 85 degree heat in a row instead of having a day off because of a schedule change, but our team kept our heads high and worked incredibly hard to make sure we were all in the best position for our final days of work. Becoming more comfortable with the people at our worksites we engaged in conversation in only Spanish with the workers helping us and the kids at the sight. Today I learned a kid at my sight is 7 years old, loves the color blue, hates chocolate, almost has a girlfriend, is a fire dancer and singer, and all of the music we were playing is on his dads phone. This allows us to build bridges across oceans, making the world a place filled with more love. Interactions at the market today as well as the game Mr. Cowell taught us also built more bridges between people within the group and in Puerto Escondido. Until tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico team.

Team 3 working hard on their house
Parker the avid turtle lover day 2. Oh how it warms my heart:)

Mexico Day 2: Developing a Rhythm

Day 2 was full of lots of sunshine and hard work from all of our teams. After breakfast our teams headed out to our work sites to work another 4 hours in the 86 degree weather with smiling faces and encouraging attitudes. Being able to give back to these families allows us all to see that we are only a small part of this big world out there. In addition to exploring the big world, we all got to release baby sea turtles into the ocean to grow up and return later when they are older to lay their eggs on the same beach. In a way it relates to the work we are doing down here on the sights, we are helping these lovely families own a home, a place where they can always return. Day 3 of work is coming fast and our team cannot wait to get back out there. Until tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico team.

Our team
*insert turtle name here*
Shout out to Parker for being the loudest encourager on that beach today. Avid turtle lover.

Mexico Day 1: New Adventures

Today we met our families and started building houses! All of the families were extremely sweet and welcoming with tons of fruit, tacos, candy, and lots of water. The whole team worked so incredibly hard with our families the four hours of work seem to fly by. After working, the team grabbed a filling lunch and had free time to tan by the beach or pool, play beach volleyball, or go swimming in the ocean. We also didn’t forget about our Eagles back home and supported them from 2,495.5 miles away. Tomorrow we head out again to keep working on our houses, improving our Spanish, and building bonds that will last a life time. Until tomorrow, Buenos Noches from the Mexico family