The Shack Intro – “We’re All in This Together”
For 7 full days, I’ll be living in a shack that we, the six of us School of Leadership students, built out of cardboard, wood, and plastic scraps that we’ve salvaged from the streets of Zapata & Vicente Guerrero. Why you might ask? To experience some of the life challenges that a migrant worker in Baja Mexico might encounter.Each day, we’ll be working common labour jobs to make a daily combined wage of 300 pesos; the equivalent of three people working. This will be shared between the 6 of us to buy food, water, and supplies – including toilet paper, firewood & any other life bills that may come up like medical expenses. Just so you know, 300 Mexican Pesos = 26 American Dollars. Building our new home seemed like a near impossible task when we first began. Considering all we were given was a staple gun with staples, a few nails and a hammer. We had zero money and needed to build a stable, water-proof structure to keep us safe from whatever weather is coming our way. So we turned to the ditches of the highway; we scavenged for cardboard, wood, scraps, windshields, anything and everything to build our shack. Some generous businesses also donated some scraps of wood, twine and cardboard boxes. Once we filled our van with cardboard and such, we headed home. After we got everything out of the bus we started to strategize where we would build our new home. We tried to find the most level surface to build on, from here we decided where the shower, fire pit and water barrel would go. Idea’s were flying. We decided on a raised tent shape, basically a triangular shaped frame with about a 2ft base at both ends; similar to a basic house shape, only shorter. Once we had the frame of our shack built we started to lay and staple cardboard to the roof. We covered the roof with the plastic to make a water-proof roof for our lovely new home. For the plastic we used the rope that the lumber yard man gave us; it was quite handy. We did some problem solving and came up with different ways of holding down the plastic. Once the plastic was in place we made sure everything was secure.I think we may just survive in this thing, considering I’m looking out the window at the shack & it’s still intact despite a night that kept me awake with rainstorms & windgusts like you wouldn’t believe! (Or maybe I just stayed awake because I’m terrified for the next 7 days..and slightly eager to get started!) But all in all, it’s an experience I’m excited for. Here goes nothing – we’re all in this experiment together!
Written by Leah and Emily