This past Saturday five families in two neighborhoods were the lucky recipients of new houses
All Hallows Church
Renate and her husband Gerry have been organizing builds with their fellow church members from All Hallows Catholic Church of La Jolla for many, many years. We have long enjoyed their company, and appreciated their support for our program and the desperately poor families they have helped with the gift of a new home. This past Saturday they built an additional THREE homes. It was an incredibly successful day.
The Contreras extended families lived in three poorly constructed shacks on top of a dusty hill in one of the outlying colonias of eastern Tijuana. It is a newly carved out area and they are the first people who have settled there.
Single father Hugo Contreras Ortega says: “Economically we were doing well before the pandemic, but then there was no work and we are still struggling”. The eldest children have menial jobs and they want to save for their education but they are trying help with household and everyday living expenses. They lived in a small room and ” – suffered from the heat, dust and insects. Sometimes it becomes unbearable” Hugo says.
The other two families did not fare any better, Guadalupe Reyes Contreras and husband Trinidad, have a sweet 6 year old daughter and Guadalupe is seven months pregnant. She also worried about holes in the walls and feared a variety of insects and vermin that invaded their living and sleeping quarters.
The story on the conditions of their house is the same for Veronica and Gustavo Camacho Chacon and their two young children. When learning that they were on the Project Mercy house list Veronica said:” My husband is speechless that someone is willing to help us in such a big way. We are very grateful to the sponsors for the great help.”
Incarnation Lutheran Church and St. Bartholomews Church of Poway
Jake Johnson has been organizing building trips with Incarnation Lutheran Church of Poway for a long time. Mike Meziere, one of our highly sought after team leaders, has been leading many of those builds. Jake has just introduced St. Bartholomews Church of Poway to our program and they both came down to Mexico with Mike this past Saturday, October 22. They built two houses and told us what a great day they had and how they were really touched by the families whose lives they have changed so dramatically.
Both the Lucio Tranquilino and their neighbors the Lucio Valerio families live a little further east than the Contreras families who received homes from All Hallows Church. It is also a relatively new neighborhood and where Project Mercy has been working for about two years. Their dwellings were made of odd pieces of wood and the location is far from stores and school as well as public transportation. Gerardo Lucio says he works for very low wages at a taco stand and even when his wife helps him a the weekends they never make enough for their living expenses. Both families say they are very blessed to have a decent house where they no longer have to worry about their children living in poor conditions.
It was a superb ending to a day of hard work to be able to give these five families a solid home and hope for their future.
A thousand thanks to Renate ad Gerry, Jake, Johnney and Mike, and all the wonderful volunteers from all three churches for making this happen.