Thursday, January 7, 2010

Providing Homes and Hope for Those in Need

Pictures depicting this event can be viewed at: Providing Homes and Hope for Those in Need and other pictures are available on our Photos page.

During Christmas break, two groups of people traveled down from Utah to provide their assistance to build and repair homes for some very needy and worthy people in Agua Prieta, Sonora. The Starfish Difference charity helped select the families and worked with the correct people to allow these groups to cross into Mexico with the items they needed to build with.
The first group actually made their first trip to Agua Prieta last year and built a house for a family of five. They enjoyed their experience with Agua Prieta that they decided to come again this winter break. Jon Larson family and friends traveled into Agua Prieta on the 26th of December. They stayed a week and took on such a big house that it did not end up finished but will be when they returned. The family they built the house for was picked for many different reasons. They (Jesus and Angie) are a young couple with two young girls, with plans for more. He recently found work in construction to help support his family. He did get time off to help Jon and family build his house. The house is livable and because of what these people did, will be a home for Angie and Jesus to live forever. They worked tirelessly until dark each day they were here. The pictures do not do the house or the hard work that went into it justice. The difference this group made in this young couple’s lives is greater than just the house that was built. They provided hope for a couple that lives in one of the poorest barrios in Agua Prieta. These groups also helped a small store owner, paint and add to his store to be able to sell more items for his family. They brought school supplies and other items to take give out to the families in this particular barrio. The people all were impressed by the work ethic by not just the adults but the young kids that came down and provided a big help in building and making new friends. We look forward to Jon and friends return.

The second group came down on the 27th of December. Stuart Smith brought family, friends and college students to help build a smaller house and repair several roofs that was ready to fall down. Stuart is not a stranger to Agua Prieta or Starfish, as he has been here to build before. It has been two years but the people are better off for his return. Before this time, he and his volunteers helped build many houses in a certain barrio that would have never gotten done because of lack of money and workers. He and his volunteers were welcomed back with open arms (and food) to the barrio that they had helped not so long ago.
Both of these groups bought most of their supplies in Agua Prieta. They self-funded the costs of the construction. The city put both of these groups up in the women’s shelter where they slept on bunk beds. The ladies that work at the shelter take very good care of visitors. They enjoy the group’s visits just as much as the people benefitting from houses did.
The lessons learned by the adults, students and all others were much more valuable than just the self satisfaction of building. New friends were made and bonds that will last a lifetime were formed. Both groups have promised to return, perhaps even more than just once a year.
If you are interested in bringing a group of students or just family members to help make a difference in people’s lives forever please see contact information on this website. If you cannot make a difference physically donations of course are always welcome.