Day One…by Andrea Lamont
Our group arrived here yesterday excited and ready for their Hero Holiday. After picking them up at the airport in San Diego and getting to know them on the way over the Tijuana border, I knew for sure that this is going to be a great trip. Our first adventure was to rent some stallions (horses that is) and take a ride along the beach. Surreal for most of us, sitting on top of the horse looking out at the city to our left, ocean to our right, and our destination in front of us. Then back to the van we went driving along the winding roads… after about 4 hours we arrived to our home sweet home. Of course the first meal that we ate had to be somewhat “Mexican” so the leadership students made up some quesadillas, nachos, salsa and guacamole. Today we started Hero Holiday orientation. Becky took us to meet the family we are building for and around to a few of the projects that the organization has already done and we talked about cultural differences. We discussed how well off we are as “North American’s”. She gave us a chance to look around at different places in the area, she took us to an old shipwreck, the beach, a graveyard and we checked out some workers camps from a distance. The most impacting part of today was when we were visiting the grave sight. See this graveyard isn’t like most in Canada, or even anywhere I’ve been before. This one is dedicated solely to children. The grave sight went on forever; I couldn’t even start to count. Some of the graves were not labeled and then some had crosses or monuments above them. We walked along side reading the dates and names on the memorials. Most of the children had only been about 4 or 5. If that wasn’t enough to break my heart, I looked ahead a couple of feet and saw fresh flowers. As I was walking over to it, it hit me… This young boy died two days ago, he was only three weeks old. He never even got a chance to live. I had to close my eyes to blink away the tears. At the back of my mind I got lost in my thoughts, the cruelty of living in poverty. Not having the right resources or knowledge to prevent diseases, not having the money or shelter to keep your kids alive.