I enjoy spending a portion of my vacation time giving back. For a second time within the past three years, I returned to Baja, Mexico for a week of construction projects, assisting in the development and support for several organizations, South of the border. It is part of a Missions opportunity through a Los Angeles church that provides shelter and coordinates building projects for teams of young teens & families to cultivate compassionate hearts and build a better world.
On the previous trip, my son and I installed windows, lugged construction materials, designed a commercial kitchen at a drug rehabilitation facility and grilled over 700 hot dogs at a four-day soccer camp. This vacation was different as the entire family was able to join the trip. We discovered why we wanted to return to assist advocacy organizations to help children who have literally been left for dead, due to parent drug addictions or other cruel circumstances. This trip gave us the opportunity to; paint a large kitchen-dining area for two days in Tijuana (home for 40 kids, ages 2 to 18), prep & serve dinner to over 100 (kids) residents-staff on a one-day trip to Ensenada and designing, creating construction drawings over the course of four days for a 4,000 square foot addition to a disabled children’s orphanage in Rosarito that includes medical, and rehab facilities.
Each location has a different set of needs; some are in very bad physical condition, some have had wonderful outside assistance and maintenance but have difficulty supporting taxed staff and volunteers. I have seen the trials they face, but the real on-going battles are in making sure the children know they have not been completely left behind and that they are loved. I consider family vacations a time to recharge batteries and we were able to do so by sharing our time/resources with many great kids, including many who we want to adopt. I would highly recommend getting involved, as the work never feels like heavy lifting and it is a real blessing knowing we provided a little hope and love to a few precious girls and boys of Baja