Spring Break 2005 for 24 Arcadia students involved pouring concrete, shoveling gravel and sand, digging, and struggling through Spanish during a service trip to Tijuana, Mexico. The trip was organized through Esperanza International, an organization that attempts to rebuild Mexico by building communities. Their philosophy is that the only way to help Mexicans is to shows Mexicans how to help themselves. Residents are required to ask for assistance as a community and are asked to pay what they can afford for the building materials for their home. Esperanza employs financial advisors and career specialists that further assist people to get on their feet.
During the week in Mexico, Arcadia students spent time at 3 different locations in Esperanza's network. The first work site was at a woman named Monica, who's house was in disarray and was having a new home built for her family. The group worked hard all day; moving concrete blocks, finishing assembly of the walls, mixing concrete, and pouring concrete to solidify them. The second day was spent digging the foundation at Olympia's home. Olympia and her family earned a living by running a small convenience store near their home. The day was spent removing water from the rain and digging the trenches for an even foundation. Unfortunately, the concrete blocks were not ready to be placed in the ground, but our work brought us one step closer to completing the home. The final site was building a new building for a local drug rehabilitation center. For two days, the group mixed and poured concrete as well as digging and evening out foundation trenches. At the end of the second day, foundation blocks were starting to be laid down.
Arcadia students were also taken to meet residents around the different neighborhoods of Tijuana, doctors at Esperanza's medical clinic, and children at a local orphanage and school.
|Day 1 - Monica's||Day 2 - Olympia's|
|Day 3 - Rosarito||Day 4 & 5 - Rehabilitation Center|