I spent spring break in Mexico...not on a beach chair sipping drinks with a handsome cabana boy to bring them but in a dump. It truly was once a dump and I must say...if you look at it long enough...it still is a dump. The interesting thing about this place is that the people who live there call it home...
Many trips ago, my husband fell in love with the concept of giving a person that lives in a box, the back of a trailer, a broken down bus without wheels, or a rusty shipping container...a home. He felt "called" (as the "good christians" call it) to go there and build. He's been there about 3 times in the last year. To him, that's 5 houses.
This trip, planned at spring break was a group of folks from our church that wanted to go and work. I was not so sure that I really wanted to go. I had been to Juarez in 2001 and 2002, built a couple of houses and came home. In 2002, I came home to a newly built house that we just moved into a couple of months before. I was so conflicted about what the solution is to poverty. I decided I would never go back and for 10 years, I didn't.
We drove to the site to find a mound of dirt and materials to build a "double". In the US, my garage is bigger than a double there. Next door, living with the lady that was getting the house was a daughter and her husband, two small children, two teenagers, the grandma and one more person. 8 people in a house smaller than my garage.
Next door, to the left was the next home. It was a the box of the back of a truck where at least 5 folks slept at night. Interesting. The streets are sand mixed with trash and of course, you can't drink the water. Not my choice to live...but wait, they had no choice. They are living in the situation that they know as we do every day.
While we were there building for the grandma, a few of the folks that were with us got evacuation notices that a fire was racing through the forest in Conifer. At first, I didn't think too much about it until I realized that it was at a place called Reynold's Park. Our land borders that park. Panic struck my heart and I began to wonder what to do. What if our house burns, I wondered and we lose everything?
I called my neighbor and she posted pictures on facebook to show me where the fire was...that close...