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AMexico, a great vacation destination. Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, is right below the second biggest state of our beloved country. When many people think of Mexico, they think of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and most of all, cartels and corrupt government officials. However, Mexico has a lot more to offer than what is depicted of it through our media. Mexico is often overlooked, because there is not much opportunity there, due mostly to that the country is not as rich or prosperous as we may think.

The journey to Mexico began around five a.m. with a tightly packed van and with many curious minds. On the first day, we traveled roughly nine hundred miles , a sixteen hour drive, to Del Rio, Texas. Of course we stopped for gas and food, but the variety of places to stop and eat were limited, as I do not eat fast food. We all thought that the trip down to Mexico was the worst part, but we were all wrong.

Before we could cross over the border, we had to buy our groceries for the week while in Mexico. After we bought groceries, we crossed over into Mexico around three o’clock the next afternoon. When we arrived, we met our group leaders, who work for Casas Por Cristo (Houses for Christ), and we then loaded their truck with the tools we were going to use during the construction of the house. We stayed at a Baptist Church within walking distance of the work site.

The first day on the site we met the family we were building the house for. The family was so blessed to know that we were building them their first home. This was the day I realized that sacrifice comes before success. As the foundation was measured and leveled, we were able to interact with the children, who had gathered around to watch. The day ended with the foundation being poured and the construction of the walls for the house. Turns out that the temperature that day was one hundred and seven degrees!

Tuesday was really easy compared to Monday, but there were a lot more of jobs to do. We first raised the walls to the house, which took what seemed like a lifetime, but really only lasted no more than two hours. After the raising of the walls, we then had to lift the roof a top of the house. This was difficult because the roof weighed a couple hundred pounds. When all was said and done, the day ended with the outside structure of the house completed.

On the third day, everyone was exhausted from waking up at five o’clock every morning and returning from the work cite around five o’clock every day. The worst part of the trip was not the traveling, but definitely the chicken wire and stucco. We applied the chicken wire to the house, which was hard because we had to stretch the chicken wire tightly so there would be no bumps and big gaping holes when we applied the stucco. Chicken wire and stucco took a combined four and a half hours to complete.

Finally, on Thursday, the electrical along with the doors, windows, and insulation, were applied and the only thing left to do was dedicate the house to the family. The dedication was really hard to understand, because our group leaders and our youth group were not fluent in spanish. Somehow we managed to understand what we could, and then the family provided us with a meal consisting of beans, rice, tamales, and pop. The meal was rather pleasing and the fruit flavored pop was exceptional.

I will never forget that experience, it has changed my viewpoint on how I see life today. While in Mexico, I was able to see that people were able to live without what we Americans call basic necessities of life: fancy cars, luxurious clothes, and above all, advanced technology. This mission trip taught me that with patience and dedication, we can accomplish the task of changing ones life so in return that they may change the lives of others.

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