In early September, the Ryno team had the opportunity to serve in Rosarito, Mexico with Companies with a Mission (CWAM), an organization that “seeks to inspire a greater purpose and heart of service in the workplace.”
Approaching the trip, we were able to see our group unified in a common desire to help a family in need, and the excitement was contagious. We did not realize, however, how much the trip would bring us even closer together in the days to come.
As many service projects begin, people are distracted by the inconveniences of travel, what they may or may not have forgotten to bring, and when the next meal will be. None of us were truly prepared for the experience that awaited us. We set out the first morning of the build with plenty of excitement and energy, ready to meet the family we’d be building a home for.
As we drove through the town and into the neighborhood, many of us were stunned at the level of poverty and the living conditions. We had learned that the typical family that is elected to have a home built for them through CWAM had previously been living on a dirt floor, and struggled in nearly every aspect of their lives. The homes we drove past in the neighborhood were pieced together with various scraps of metal and wood, and most were no larger than the size of a shed. And these were considered the lucky ones.
When we arrived at the location, we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tiznado and his son. We learned that Mrs. Tiznado was giving birth to their second son, making the day even more special. You could see the joy on Mr. Tiznado’s face as we came together to build his famlily a home, and he would get to meet his little boy later that day.
Early on the second day of the build, we were able to meet Mrs. Tiznado and her little baby boy. Though she had just given birth the day prior, she was helping build their home. The homes in this neighborhood had no running water or electricity, many of the conveniences we take for granted. Mid-day, a part of our team was able to take Mr. and Mrs. Tiznado and the boys grocery shopping, and picked up some essentials for the home. The team that remained at the build-site put the final touches on the home and had everything prepared for the family’s arrival. The home that was built is 18’x20’ and a family of four would share a bunk bed. We made the beds, arranged the kitchen area and waited for the family to come home for the first time.
You could see the anticipation on their faces as they entered their home and the next phase in their lives. It takes the typical family in the area 10 years to be able to have a home like this one. Each person who helped build the home held the keys to the Tiznado’s new home and gave them a blessing. Most of us were overwhelmed by the fact that the family had so graciously allowed us into their homes, let us hold, hug, and interact with their children, and we were ultimately very thankful for the experience.
We cried with the family and embraced them. Our team worked together to build a home for a family in need, and our lives are forever changed by the experience.
“So blessed to be here building a home for a hardworking family in need. Thankful that little Octavio, born just two days ago, will not have to grow up on a dirt floor. His first night at home was in his very own bed in his brand new house.”
– Jerad Shepherd
“This family will forever be changed and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity.”
– Devin Goguen Boisvert
“It was an AMAZING experience to hand over the keys. Nothing better than serving while still having fun with a team of amazing people.”
– Anna Yano
“There is still good out there in the world everyone, and the amounts we can achieve are unspeakable if we all stick and work together. Stop complaining about not being able to get a WIFI connection in your hotel room (like me) and get up and go make a difference.”
– Michael Venidis