After the past three weeks of hard work, both sessions of OBT have ended and 10 new homes are built in Mexico! Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage hosted roughly 150 people for OBT's 1st session June 22-28, and 110 for the 2nd session July 6-12. Volunteers came from a variety of places including New York, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Canada and more! Each Orthodox Basic Training session gave participants a unique experience to build a home in an impoverished area of Mexico, and unite with other Orthodox Christians from across the country while doing so.
Something new began at OBT 1 as for the first time, Project Mexico assisted one of Mexico's indigenous tribes in a community named San Jose de la Zorra, outside of Ensenada in the mountains, which was approximately two hours from the orphanage. The Kumiai tribe lives in this community, with about 200 members total. We were blessed with the opportunity to build six homes for the community's most-needed residents, as voted on by the tribe theselves. The Kumiai are proficient in both their own language and Spanish, so OBT participants could communicate with them with some rusty spanish and lots of hand gesteures! It's amazing how little language is needed to effectively communicate. They warmed up to us throughout the week and were incredibly grateful, showing our large group some of their tribal dancing, and selling handmade jewelry and pottery to us! OBT groups enjoyed the view of the drive down the coastal line of the Pacific Ocean and into the mountains and valleys, passing multiple landmarks on the way. Photos from the work site are also beautiful with the mountains always in the background, and each site had particular qualities that made each OBT group unique. Whether our volunteers were playing with multiple children, dogs, horses, cows, and more, everyone was always entertained. Below are some photos from the week!
The next group of OBT participants returned to constructing homes around the Tijuana area, and we built for four families. There were always plenty of children around each site, whether they were members of the family receiving a home or neighbors who were excited to see their friends being helped out in such a strong way. Working so efficiently with one group even finishing their home in three days, each of the four groups went on multiple adventures as the week progressed and familiarized themselves with the Rosarito area. Gregory and Margaret Yova were able to make it down to the ranch on Sunday for the sports spectacular to be honored for all of their hard work in launching Project Mexico and it was great to welcome them back!
Thank you to not only our staff and site leaders, but specifically toward Madi Franck , our work trip coordinator for the past year who worked tirelessly and put this all together. We hope everyone enjoyed a week of mission work, home building and Orthodox fellowship. God bless all of you who came and and those of you who supported the participants in this worthy effort!
Dios les bendiga!