Christmas 2012: It’s almost time to go!

17 Dec

Christmas 2012…..It’s almost time to go!

We have just returned from Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Everything is just about ready. These are you last minute instructions.

We have 3 goals for this year.

Goal #1: Raise the money for, and build three homes, while having a great time!
Locals are currently pouring the foundations for three homes in two different areas of Town. Two houses will be next to each other on the west side of Town near the cardboard mall and one house on the east side near the cemetery.

By the time we arrive, in less than two weeks, the foundations will have been completed and one row of block will have been laid. During the 4 days that we will be working, we will block up the walls, frame the roofs and the interior walls, and apply the rolled roofing.  After we leave, local workers will be hired to install windows, doors, insulation and drywall, tile and cabinets. They will be paid from the money we have all donated. If everyone either sends in what they have committed to donate, or sends in a donation if they haven’t committed, we should have just enough to complete three houses. (We are anticipating receiving approximately another $20,000 in donations.)
To make sure we are having a great time, we will work long hours, in perfect weather and meet a lot of new friends.
Wednesday morning Dec 26th before we start the work, we will all meet for a quick orientation meeting at the local LDS Church at 8:00 am.  The Church building is easy to find.  It is across the street from the TELMEX office where the large and highly visible telephone transmission tower is located Downtown.
Thursday Dec 27th meet at the job sites at 8 am and start work. At noon we will all get together for a taco lunch at the construction site of the two houses near the cardboard mall. During lunch we will present a house to a wonderful little family. You will not want to miss this. (please read further)
Thursday night is our Fiesta Night. This is optional. We will gather at the Mare Blu restaurant 7:30pm and enjoy the evening.  The cost is $15 per person including  the live Mariachi band and great food. Please let us know at the Wednesday meeting if you will attend. Every year this is a lot of fun!
Friday and Saturday the 28th and 29th met at the jobsites at 8 a.m. and we will work until we reach our building goal.

Goal #2- Giving occupancy of last year’s homes to two wonderful families.
This is a bonus. We have never done this during a Christmas week building project, but we are very excited about it. Here we go!
Fuentes Family –

Edith Fuentes has 6 children ages 19 – 6. Although her 3 young boys have helped with multiple houses ( I think “helped” is the right word) this family has no idea they will be receiving a house this year. They live in such deplorable conditions that they have nothing to bring with them to the house. In our last e-mail we shared a link so that volunteers could sign up to bring household items for this  family if they so desired. To our excitement and amazement, volunteers have signed up to bring or purchase almost every item on the list. “IF” you want to help, here is the link.

During the workday of Wednesday and up until noon on Thursday, anyone that wants to, can help set up the Fuentes house with the household donations. On Dec 27th at our taco lunch, we will surprise this family and present them with the house. We are not sure how this will work but we hope it will be amazing.

The Lopez Family has been in our program for years and Sr. Lopez has worked on many of the houses with us to acquire his volunteer hours necessary to qualify for a home. The family is currently living next to the railroad tracks in a little shack. They will also be moving into their new home during the week we are there. Like the Fuentes family, they have very little that they can bring with them to their new house. We did not create a list of needed items for this family because we did not want to overwhelm any of you.  But, as an optional activity, anyone that wants to, can help by purchasing and donating or having a group of volunteers go shopping to help this family. We will organize this at our Wednesday morning meeting.

Goal #3- Christmas day lunch for people living next to the Railroad Tracks.  This is Optional!

For anyone that will be in Puerto Penasco on Christmas Day, and would care to help, we are planning to provide a dinner for some of the people living in shacks along the railroad tracks. This will start at 3 pm on Christmas Day. The group from Cedar City, Utah under the direction of Robert Cox is bringing six turkeys to highlight the menu. Julio Valenzuela and Don Julio’s Restaurant will provide gravy and potatoes. We will also buy and cook hot dogs, buns and anything else we can think of to serve these wonderful people on Christmas Day and to make it memorable.

This is the first time we have tried to do this activity as well, but we are very excited to share this. There will be a short Christmas message and prayer before we serve lunch. We hope that Sr. Lopez will lead the way on this but if not, Ralph will deliver the meaning of Christmas thought to the neighbors. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to help or participate with this event.


Don’t forget we will be in Mexico- nothing will go exactly as expected or planned. Keep calm and carry on.

Don’t forget to be nice. We are all volunteering and we want everyone to have a fabulously, great experience. We are also serving each other.

Be very careful. If you don’t know how to do something, please ask. I know you know this, but, Mexico does not have the same medical care as the U.S. please be very careful.

Don’t forget to wear safety glasses and bring gloves to work. The inexpensive fabric gloves with plastic dots on them, from Home Depot, are the best. Bring multiple pairs for each worker. There is NOT a Home Depot there.

Do not forget to wear good work shoes.

Don’t forget your passports.

Do not bring guns, they are against the law in Mexico. (Unless you are in the Mexican Military)

You will get dirty.

You will get thirsty.

You will need sun screen.

You will need a hat.

It will be cool in the mornings and the evenings.

You will work hard but…..

You will have a great time.