Laughter and Tears
For some of us, this trip was a new experience. For others, it was a return to a “home away from home”. Regardless, the impact has been substantial for us all. Upon arrival, we learned we would be building a home for a very deserving family of four. Fidel and Leticia are the proud parents of thirteen year old David, and two year old Jesus. Immediately, the entire team adored little Jesus. Like many families before them, they had very little and lived in a manner which many would see as unimaginable. Their previous “house” was composed of cardboard boxes and plastic bags.
When we arrived on day one, many mixed emotions were present. In one way, there was an intense emotion of excitement; however, at the same time there was an overhang of shock and sadness. The conditions which the family and the community were living in were outstandingly different compared to those we were used to in our home nation. However, the family took great pride in their possessions and this was clear to us through the immaculate condition of their double plot property. The fence which Fidel had built consisted of sticks and plastic. Although this may not seem to be much in words, the detail was astonishing. On top of this, they had planted gardens around their house and property.
Throughout the week, the family took part in the build. Hammering, sawing, cutting and tarring, they took ownership of their new home. Even little Jesus got some painting done, not only with a brush, but also his hands! Relationships with the family and the team blossomed beyond anyone’s expectations. Another highlight for the team throughout the week was playing with all the neighbor kids. They would come up to us saying “capuche, capuche” and calling us “monkey loco”. We had so much fun playing soccer with all of them.
When dedication day finally rolled around, many of us were filled with emotion. As we began to share our thoughts with the family, Jesus decided it was his turn to have the floor. Speaking and gesturing with his hands, he brought laughter to each of us through our tears. This experience has taught me to not only be thankful for all that I have but to also be thankful for all that I can give. The family was truly grateful. We as a team have definitely been challenged by LiveDifferent to actually LiveDifferent. A desire to help others does not have to stay here in Mexico, but rather should follow us home, and wherever else in the world we may be.
Aaron – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Mexico, 2013