Thursday, July 16, 2009

Over all impressions

By Veronica Mirenda

This was my first experience to Mexico and I didn’t know what to expect other than hard work. I didn’t know any of my peers that were able to go after the date change, but I made long lasting bonds with my new friends. The Esperanza experience often leaves me speechless, even when not put on the spot. I have so many thoughts and reflections in order before my mouth opens and then I go blank. I appreciate having the privilege and opportunity to be able to go and be one with the community in Mexico considering all the prerequisites and protocol they may have to go through to come to the Unites States.

While in Mexico we were able to see the embarrassing extent as to which our government has gone to with the building of 2-3 walls bordering the 2 countries. To see the innumerable amount of memorials for those who died trying to cross the border makes one feel sad, uneasy, over privileged discontent and ambitious towards change. We were taken to a facility that helped to provide accommodations to those migrants who have been deported from the U.S. Some have been in here for so long that they no longer remember how to speak Spanish. They were taken from their families and have nowhere to go. This place offers them a room, meals, phone calls to their families and help to get back on their feet.

We went to a girl’s orphanage that was so uplifting that you lost yourself in the fun and excitement of these little chicas. Racing through them all, giggling constantly and having fun was great but so hard to say goodbye. Its sad to know what great little girls they are and knowing that they already had troubling life issues. It is exciting on the other hand because the sisters are providing a much better life for these girls and they have a great hope for a bright future.

During the days in Tijuana we worked on creating a foundation for Inez’ home. We took down a home that was built by another organization because the wood used for this initial structure was half rotted and cockroaches were infesting some of the pieces. After the house was taken down we went through all the beams and saved suitable pieces and tossed the bad ones. We had to remove the nails from each piece, as not to waste materials, also ones that were bent had to be straightened out for future use. Materials are so scarce and expensive that it really broadened my mind as to what is really going on I some parts of the world and how much we take for granted. We had to move about a 100 or so tires that were supporting the initial foundation for the wooden house and we dug and eleven foot trench and built a wall made of cinderblocks and cement to create a stronger and better foundation for the new house. After each accomplishment (even those as small as getting a nail out of a board) everyone moved on with great force and asked how they can help someone else or just helped if they were mid project.

There were people from all over town who came to help build this house and help build up this community. The community and the love are so great that you have such a strong sense of purpose and belonging. Inez’ son Caesar dropped everything to come and help build this house for his mother. They are a part of our family as we are now a part of theirs. Everyone is so appreciative and welcoming, it’s nice to work side by side and be one with them and their community. I have learned a great amount through this experience. I plan to share it with others and to learn more Spanish to be able to communicate more efficiently. This has opened my mind and body to all possibilities and Esperanza. (hope)

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