Glanford Middle School student Hannah Busch

MEXICO MISSION: new school house springs joy

45 high school students, young adults and chaperones traveled from Saanich to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico to build the two-room school

Tears welling, a Mexican principal accepted keys to his new school.

It’s a moment Saanich teen DJ Katz remembers best.

He’s among those who worked four days in mid-March to build the new high school as part of a contingent from Saanich Baptist church. The church believes in serving society and in line with its mission statement – act justly, love mercy and  walk humbly –  members make three trips to Mexico a year.

“In North America, you’re so used to really shiny stuff. Once you go to a (developing) world country it’s not there, there’s rarely shiny stuff,” said Katz, a Spectrum Community School Grade 12 student. “It’s humbling because it really puts you in your place. You get to see how much better off you have it.”

Katz was among 45 high school students, young adults and chaperones who traveled to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico to build the two-room school. Located in the Baja about three hours south of Ensenada, Vicente Guerrero hosts some of Mexico’s poor, many of them seasonal farm workers.

“When I come back I hear … people complain a lot and it’s about the littlest things,” Katz said. “These people are living in houses sometimes made out of paper. It’s crazy. It lets you appreciate what you have here.”

Steve Sundby, the lead pastor, says that one of the keys to breaking the poverty cycle is education. So, the church raised the $10,000 needed to build the school. Working with Tom and Sue Card, who live in Vicente, and with the Mexican government, the church made a commitment to help people out of poverty through house and school builds. Over the past few years the church has built one other school and 24 homes.

The church now makes three trips a year for these building projects.

The trips are life changing for many who go. To see and experience poverty where people are living in cardboard homes and working 10 to 12 hours a day is overwhelming. On this last trip, many of the youth were quite touched by the experience.

“This was my second trip down to Mexico. It’s an incredibly enlightening and humbling experience,” said Katz.

“You learn not only about what’s going on in different parts of the world, but also things about yourself and other people. Being able to help and serve is absolutely amazing.”

That moment handing over the keys is what makes him want to return for a third trip next year.

“I want to go back because my favourite part is seeing the kids’ faces when the school is done. They’re so happy,” he said. “The principal this year, he was on the verge of tears because we were giving him the keys.

“Everybody was so happy, it’s such an incredibly happy moment on the last day of the build.”

For more information about the Mexico mission call 250-744-2020.

 

Just Posted

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Needles far more prolific than public realizes, says local biohazard company

Leaving needles around ‘considered bad form among intravenous drug users’

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

New meeting structure saving Saanich staff time

The decision to separate regular council meetings from committee-of-the-whole meetings has shown… Continue reading

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: Proposal for Cordova Bay Plaza not approved yet

“Residents of Saanich need to know all the details with regards to this project as if approved, the ramifications will be wide spread”

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Most Read