On Saturday, May 19, approximately 40 members of the Mammoth Lakes Noon and Sunrise Rotary clubs plus their families and friends traveled to Sierra Azul, a small Mexican village south of Tecate, to build a house in one day. The clubs worked through Corazon, a Southern California non-profit organization that provides services to people in northern Baja. Services include job-training, scholarships, construction projects, and building houses in one day using volunteers from the United States.
It takes $7,800 for the materials and 30 to 50 volunteers to build a house. Corazon works with non-profit organizations, service clubs, churches and schools. The two Mammoth Lakes Rotary Clubs raised the funds and provided the volunteers who ranged in age from 14 to over 70. The group traveled to El Cajon, Calif. on Friday, May 18 and met at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. They then traveled across the border to the job site where they met the De la Rocha-Lora family who had donated hundreds of volunteer hours in their community to get on the list for a new home. The volunteers also found a 16 by 20 foot concrete slab and all the materials for the house.
Construction started at about 8 a.m. and was finished by 3:30 p.m. The family provided lunch for all the volunteers.The homes built by Corazon volunteers are humble by US standards. They have no plumbing or electricity, but they are a big step-up for the recipients and very much appreciated.
After a very short but moving ceremony where the keys to the new house were turned over to the family, the Rotary volunteers said farewell and returned to El Cajon where a celebratory dinner was held.
Linda Wright, President of the Noon Rotary Club said, “The motto of Rotary is ‘Service Above Self,’ and we came back tired, but filled with a true sense of community. Not only did we provide a new home to a family, we all captured the spirit of giving and returned with a stronger sense of fellowship among ourselves. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
More information about Corazon can be found at Corazon.org. –Press Release