The Doorway to a Different Life
“Do not go around at night by yourself,” my Mom kept telling me before I boarded the plane. “There are always drug wars in Mexico, I don’t think it’s a good idea to go,” my friends would say. Hearing things here and there from Mexico had instilled fear in my mind. I have always associated Mexico with shootings and drug wars. I was really scared at the idea that in less than 24 hours, I would be in a developing country where families struggle everyday to survive and face another day in their challenging lives. Having never been to Mexico before, all the things I heard from my friends and family led me to believe that I had made a wrong choice in going to Mexico. This perspective had me shivering and thinking that Mexico was a country filled with crime.
As I boarded the plane to Mexico all I had in my mind were the haunting words I had been told. However it was too late; I couldn’t turn back and not go anymore. After all, going with an organization should be safe, right?
On my first day in Mexico, all the fear and doubt I’d come with dissipated from my mind. The people in Mexico are amazing! Despite the hardship they have to face every second of their lives, they still keep a smile; a smile bigger and brighter than I ever had!
On the second day in Mexico, the weather was pretty hot and the sun was unforgiving. We were building the family’s home, and even though we were exhausted already from the work and the heat, the family kept working hard. While we were taking breaks and trying to gain back our energy to start working again, the family still kept on hammering the nails in the wood and carrying the supplies around the worksite. Their hard work and dedication was something we all admired and were astonished by. Despite the amount of work there was to be done and the amount of effort it required, they were still laughing and smiling with each other – it was a sight that caused my heart to squeeze tight. Regardless of how unfortunate their circumstances were, the family had not given up hope and was still working very hard towards their goals.
What I thought would be my first impression of Mexico was the complete opposite of what I experienced first hand. The mere sight of them made me realize how much I’d taken everything I had for granted. The amazing people we are surrounded by here do not seem to believe in giving up. It is as if as long as they have each other, every obstacle they face will be conquered! Playing around with the kids in the community had also proven to me that we do not require money in order to be happy. I knew that this trip would be a learning trip – a trip where more than just one life would change, including mine.
Kevin – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Mexico 2012