In July of 1998 I noticed a young man doing more than his fair share of work in the construction of a simple home. He was eager and hard-working with an infectious smile. I noticed him working just as hard on other occasions and was impressed by his cheerful dedication. Ignacio, or “Nacho” as we know him, is now one of our most trusted and skilled workers on the Project Mercy Mexican construction team. We built him a home many years ago but his gratitude still shows today.

Nacho spent a few years in the US and his knowledge of English is an added bonus to the construction and leadership skills he has learned working with us over the years. Our construction manager John Zawis works closely with him and says, “Many volunteers have commented how much they enjoy working with him because he is friendly and spends time showing them how to do the various construction tasks.”

Nacho has a pretty good job in TJ driving a bus, but life has changed drastically since the outbreak of COVID-19 and its spread to Tijuana. Out of deep concern for his family, he only works when his boss insists, wears a mask and gloves and cleans his bus vigorously. There are not many riders nowadays as most people have lost their jobs and many are heeding the warnings and staying home, even when the home is but a shack.

Fortunately with our help and that of kind donors, we have been able to send money to him and to our other Mexican crew members in order to stock up on food so they don’t have to go out much.

We look forward to a return to normal when we can enjoy each other’s company and work together again.