Reflections of Time Spent in Mexico
It wasn’t the first time I had been to Mexico with Hero Holiday. I had gone the year before but along with people from my school. This year I came alone and as an intern. Of course there were some familiar faces but I knew this year would be different than the last.I got on the plane in Bellingham, Washington, for the first time by myself, and headed to San Diego. I was greeted by people I knew and people I didn’t. It was a relief to finally have the trip start and be on my way.Right away I felt the warmth and love that all of us Hero Holiday-ers seem to radiate. I got to know the people I hadn’t known from the previous year and then had a chance to catch up with old friends. By the end of the first night I would’ve gladly introduced everyone as a friend of mine.The first group of participants came the next and all of interns got to play the “airport game” and figure out who are participants were. It was nice to hear where everyone was from, how they heard about Hero Holiday and why they wanted to come. We all anxiously waited for the next day when we would arrive in Zapata.It took some time to remember how we go about building a house but I soon got the swing of things again. I tried each aspect of building instead of finding one part that I was good at and sticking to it. By the end of the build our family plus one other, both had strong standing houses to fill with their love.It was sad to see the first group go but we said our goodbyes and had little rest and relaxation at the beach in San Diego. We were having fun until two of our team members got stung by sting rays. Luckily they weren’t hurt too bad and we all found humor in the situation and got back in the van to head home to Zapata.We started our intern build strong and finished with all of our walls being built on the first day. Unfortunately three of us didn’t get to see the rest of that build because one of our interns needed a trip down to San Diego due to medical issues. Thank goodness for Rose and her ability to stay calm or appear it at least. The three of us ended up spending the weekend in San Diego to wait for a follow-up appointment and on Monday returned to Zapata just in time for the second group of participants.Our second builds went just as well as our first ones and we were able give two more houses to two more deserving families. Our debriefing sessions were raw and emotional, it was beautiful to see people feeling safe enough to open their hearts up to people they’d know for only a few days. Once again we created a close knit bond with more people.I am sad to have seen my month end as fast as it did but I know that I will be back. I thank LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) and Hero Holiday for the time, effort, and love that they put into what they do. I have learned we can’t change the world but we can for sure make it better. And now when I look back on the people I meant and got to know, I would not introduce them as my friends any longer, I would introduce them as my family. ~ Hailee, a Mexico Summer Intern now returned to Canada
My month in Zapata alongside Hero Holiday staff and participants was one I’ll never forget. There is LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute)ly nothing on this earth that can compare to the feeling of changing someone’s life, and I was lucky enough to experience that high multiple times this summer. I left my house in Vancouver on my own to join the rest of the summer interns in San Diego. At the airport I was reintroduced to Andrew, Dawn and their son Anthony who I had met briefly during my school trip in March. We walked into dinner, where the rest of the group was patiently awaiting my arrival (thank you delayed flight) and I met the rest of the team. First off Kent (woah what an accent), Kelsey, Shelby, Hailee, Jenna, Colton, Jo Ho, and last but certainly not least, Rose. Thinking back to those first days seems like a million years ago, we were strangers then and now I consider these beautiful people my family.
After the group arrived we learned names and soon headed down the Baja to our new home. The first build of the summer was defiantly a crash course to construction; I realized that there was more then just painting to be done. By the end of the month I had dappled in each aspect of the build, from roofing, window trim and to foaming the external walls. Although we momentarily lost three strong women from our intern build it was a week where lasting bonds were made. Post sting ray incident I acquired many nicknames, out of pure love I’m sure…and soon we were cleaning up and awaiting the next groups arrival.
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with an organization that whole-heartedly reflects my morals, and is making a difference. LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) isn’t in it for the fame or fortune, they care deeply for people. From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank Andrew, Dawn, Rose, Kent, Santi, Julia and all of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) for providing me with such a life changing experience.
~ Greer another wonderful Mexico Intern