Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Reflecting on the Week

Hello to all of our readers! This is Rachel Addington, I am a staff member at The College of Wooster, and wife of Nate Addington, who is one of the leaders on this trip.
We are now sitting in the airport, waiting to return home to our families.  As I think back on my last week, I am amazed by the experiences I, and our students, had on our trip to Tijuana.  My back may be aching, but my heart is full.  We were fortunate to meet many wonderful families during our time in Tijuana.  These families welcomed us with open arms into their current homes, so we could be a small part of making their dreams of a home a reality.  This week was some of hardest work I have ever done, but our students, staff, and the families rose to the challenges- and worked together to lay the foundation for their future homes.
My final thought for this reflection, after thinking back on my week, is that at the end of the day, everyone I met was simply wanting to have stability for themselves and their family- to have a safe place to eat… sleep... and thrive. This trip was a humbling experience, and I am honored to be a part of the story of how these houses came to be.

Pictures - Tuesday through the end of the week

Link to more pictures:

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Last Day

Dear blog readers,

Today was sadly our last day in Tijuana. We had a fiesta with the family, complete with cake and an emotional speech by our one and only Nate Addington. It was really moving to hear the family talk about how we had impacted their lives and how grateful they were, but we are also equally grateful for them. In just one week, we have bonded not only as a group, but with the community in Tijuana, and the families, as well as Esperanza as a whole. I know I am not alone in feeling as though I am a part of something here, even though we were just here for a week. We are now part of this Esperanza family. I look forward to coming back and seeing the completed house, although I was awfully proud of our 6 foot deep trenches, and seeing what color they ended up painting it and feeling proud that we contributed to it. I look forward to coming back to Esperanza every year for the rest of college, as well as hopefully one day coming back as a long term volunteer. This was the first week of something I want to be a part of for a long time.


Allie Deyhle

College of Wooster '21
Hi all,

My name is Kay Schwab and this is my first time on the Esperanza trip! As the trip draws to a close today I'm extremely sad to be leaving this beautiful city. I've felt more at home here in this one week than I have anywhere else I've visited. The reason I feel so comfortable here is due to the hospitality and gratefulness of the people I have met. I've seen several communities this week and gotten to meet many families and community members that Esperanza is helping. All of the family members have been extremely grateful for the work we've done for them and have told us to come visit anytime. It's hard to put into words how much I love this place and why. Unfortunately, it's one of those feelings you have to experience for yourself to fully understand. I really hope that everyone one day gets a chance to experience the beautiful, vibrant culture that I have experienced this week. Despite many of the people here having very little, they are happy and grateful. This outlook on life is something that I hope to bring back with me to my every day life.

Friday morning thoughts

Good morning from Tijuana!!!

Today, Friday is our last workday.  It has been another great week working with Esperanza.

Last night during a euchre game with Steve, John, William (from OSU) and I - William asked me why we have come back so many times?  It isn't a very difficult question to answer....

I come back for a number of reasons:

- The families are always warm, welcoming and fun.  They always have a smile on their faces and seem to be happy.

- It is always good to re-connect with the Esperanza workers.  Eduardo is as crazy as ever - for those of you who have been down here and know him.  He is the heart and soul of Esperanza.

- It is great to bring new people down here.  Only two of our college students this year are returning students.  It is always one of my highlights listening to the new people's thoughts and impressions.

- The weather - normally it is about 10-20 degrees warmer - but this year is still warmer than Wooster.

- The food is also very good - both the lunches cooked by the families and when we go out.

that is it for now - we are headed for more digging today and the other van is heading for a cement pour with USC.  We will have our fiesta at lunch today and go to the soccer game tonight.

Phil Starr

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday night Jenn's post

Hello all,
My name is Jennifer Sanchez and this is my first time on the Esperanza trip. I have visited other parts of Mexico a few times, however, never to Tijuana. We have visited the migrant center and the soup kitchen as well as interacted with the family's from the work site. A common theme I have noticed is that the people here are extremely thankful for all they receive no matter how much. After, talking to some of the community members I have realized that the people are hard working and extremely hospitable. They will try their hardest to make sure you are comfortable and well fed. They also prioritize family and their well being. I have experienced such gratitude with the people that it has influenced my perspective on how I live back home. It is very possible to live happily with little as done by the people here. This trip has helped me see a different perspective to how people live in poverty in Mexico and the ways that they go about their lives. These people know how to make the best of any situation and that is an important lesson for us all to know.