Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Off The Border" by Kim Corona and Sharon Sextus

The 2015 Builders of Hope have safely arrived to Tijuana, Mexico on Sunday the 31st.  Everyone arrived  separately at the airport.  We quickly greeted each other and made our way to the border. We took a bus to the Santa Fe Trolley Station and caught the trolley to border.  In comparison to NY, San Diego is diverse.  As we got closer to the border there was a significant change in the surroundings.  The closer we got, the conditions were worse.

 Once we arrived at the border we went through Mexican Customs, which was an intriguing experience.  As we went through the gate, we were told to push a button.  If the light was green we could pass through with no inspection, if it was red we would be searched.  The light was green for each of us and we passed through without even having to show identification.

We are staying at The Posada, in La Gloria, just south of Tijuana.   The grounds and campus are beautiful with many forms of native plants growing as well as a flowing fountain in the center of the campus.

Monday was our first  day of work.  We arrived to a beautiful landscape with a view of the Pacific Ocean in the distance.  It provided a bit of a breeze, as there were no trees.  The current house of Paola (and her three children) is located at a higher elevation.  We are to build an addition to their small home giving them "dignified human housing."  Our first task was to take up the old floor which was approximately 10 x 12 ft.   We were able to finish by lunch time (sooner than the Esperanza staff expected).  This would allow us to begin to dig the foundation trenches after lunch.

Paola and her friends prepared a delicious lunch for us.  We had pasta salad, frijoles (beans), flavored rice milk and tamales. Muy deliciouso!

After lunch we began to dig the trenches  to create the foundation of the home.  This is back breaking work and was very tiring under the bright blue Mexican sky, with the hot sun beating down on us.  This is only day one, but seeing Paola's family's reactions to our hard work and dedication  motivates us to keep going for the rest of the week to come.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Safe Arrival

By 12 noon today all "Builders of Hope" arrived.  We left the airport around 1pm, took the 922 bus, and then the Trolley and by 1:50 we were at the border.  We walked across and found our way through customs.  No one was stopped!  Yay.  By 2:30 the Esperanza bus met us and we arrived at the Posada.  Dinner, Mass and relaxation.  Work begins at 8 am.  Most have headed to bed.   Watch for our postings!

photo by Sharon Sextus.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Builders of Hope 2015 Ready to Take Off

In just a few days another group from LIU Post Newman Community will be heading off to make a difference in a Tijuana neighborhood.  Fourteen members and friends will be lifting cement buckets, shoveling gravel, digging foundations and playing with the kids.   This is trip number 15!  Over these years we have worked on 32 homes, 1 school and 1 community center.  We've delighted the children at a local orphanage, given encouragement to a few elderly couples and hope to a family who had resigned themselves to living in a nailed together home of old doors and few boards.

Last Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, where we prayed "Come Holy Spirit, Renew the face of the earth."  How does it get renewed?  When people let the Spirit in and then do what they can.  We like to say Newman is renewing the face of the earth 250 square feet at a time.  We work with God to make the world a better place.

We hope to have a blog up every day beginning June 1.  Sometimes the internet is sketchy or our days are long.  Watch for us though.  Something will be up almost every day!

Also you can catch your pictures and videos at: https://www.facebook.com/2015buildersofhope

Watch us work, pray for us and pray for the people we are serving!  Newman for Good!

Want to email us words of encouragement?  Leave a note here or on the FB page and we'll read them at dinner each night!

Thanks for all the support!