¡Hola! ¿Como estas? I'm finally back from Mexico. We had a great week even though it was constantly raining. From reports, it was the worst rain Tijuana had recieved in about 15 years. Of course, on the day we left, it was sunny and beautiful.
Anyway, we got the house put up in 4 days. The houses are provided by Homes Without Boundries, which is the organization that was set up as a way to help some of the residents get out of poverty. We were on the outskirts of town, where poverty rates are high, and incomes are about $600-$900 American. My site was located just down a steep muddy hill, and in about 6 inches of mud. Even with all the forces of nature against us, we still pulled strong and finished in the allotted time. We were staying at the orphanage that is the main sponsor of the program. The way the program works is that people volunteer at the orphanage to do 100 hours of service. Once their name is up on that list, and they do the service, they are put onto another list, and when their name comes up on there, they get a house built by groups like mine that go down there.
We did everything from leveling the groud, to mixing the cement pad, build the frames, put up siding, paint, build the roof, lay the shingles, and all that. The size of the house is 12x24 feet. They're really small, about the size of an American tool shed, but have two rooms, three windows, a locking door, and are wired for electricity.
The locals in my area were awesome. Helping to gather about a quarter mile of hose so we could have water on our site the day we mixed the cement. In other areas, though, they weren't so lucky. One group had a bunch of stuff stolen. One of the guys was able to go around and talk to the locals for a few hours and track down their ID's, which he had to buy and trade for to get back. For one of the girls, this is the third camera she's had stolen in a Spanish speaking country. We weren't able to get the rest of their stuff back. It really sucks.
There were no showers where we were, so we were probably pretty ripe smelling. I got to shower today, though. It felt so good. It's so great to be back in America! Maybe I'll post more about the trip later.