Building Hope in Mexico

Cecilie Nag

The Catholic Campus Ministry, the Newman Catholic Community, leaves the U.S. to help build houses in Tijuana, Mexico, from May 27th through June 2nd. For a cost of $800, LIU students can share the experience in Mexico while helping those in need.

Since 2000, the Newman Community has participated in a house building program by Esperanza International. The tasks include various stages of building a brick house. “We dig ditches for the foundation, lay bricks and put in the foundation, pour the floor, put up walls and a roof,” said Father Ted Brown, He added, “We usually don´t do all of this, but often, we do two or three of these tasks, depending on what needs to be done.”

The group works together with those who receive the house when the building is done. “We build great bonds with them,” Father Ted said, explaining an experience from last year’s trip when a family that received a home 10 years earlier came to visit them while they were working. “The children were now in their teens, but they remembered me and that original team,” he said. But building houses is not the only experience our students get.

“This is life changing,” said Father Ted. “The situation in Tijuana has changed tremendously, and it is not unsafe now,” he added. With years of effort, Father Ted has had many different experiences, including building homes for the elderly, young couples, and a family with a blind and a deaf child. “Each trip is unique,” he said.

All LIU Post students are welcome to join the effort for the price of approximately $800.They will have to attend a meeting in the Interfaith Chapel on Sunday, April 29th. Sign-ups can be done at tinyurl.com/mexicoapp.  The trip often includes visits to an orphanage and an immigrant center, a trip to the Mexican border, some shopping, and a sporting event.

For more information about last year’s Tijuana-trips, visit the blog hopebuilding.

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