My name is Des Reigh.
It all started with me joining a Spanish language class, when it was soon suggested by a class mate, wouldn’t it be fun for us all to go on a winter holiday, to Mexico where we could practice our newly learned language. Well, it wasn’t long before we found “The Erma Fennell Foundation for Needy Children “ was accepting groups to come down to Vicente Guerrero, Baja California to build houses for farm workers who were living in rather poor conditions.
A team of thirty five people, class mates and friends, were the first group of seniors to go down and work on such a project. They were willing to work on garage sales, hot dog sales, car washes, etc, and generally solicit friends for cash so that we could buy the materials to build houses for two families.
By the end of the summer of 2006, we had enough money raised to build two homes, and buy furnishings, food for the table, and many other supplies, and assist in general travel expenses. We left Penticton, traveling with Charles Roberts in charge, in the big blue Global Youth bus.
We had lots of fun getting to know one another, with the excitement of a new adventure. We lodged at John Haaf’s Casa in Vicente Guerrero. The next morning we had time of prayer, and Charles gave us an update orientation about building two houses, in a small area called San Telmo. We were divided into two teams. One known as the Blue house team, and the other the Pink house team. I was on the pink team. Our team soon learned that the pink house was for a family; Condido and Rosa and their five children.
As we were working on this home, we were soon the spectacle of the neighborhood, with children and teenagers all wanting to help. As much as we enjoyed having them around, they did get in the way now and then. When we asked why they weren’t in School, many of them told us they had never been to school, and had to stay home to look after the smaller children while their Mums and Dads worked in the vegetable fields, all day. We also found out that if they were home birthed, and were not registered with the government, they therefore were not eligible for government sponsored education. Soon the house was built, painted Pink, supplies in, nice beds made, curtains on the windows, a dedication and blessing on the house and family. The door key turned over to Condido, with many hugs, tears, and mucho gracias’s. When we left the neighborhood of San Telmo, we were struck with silence and tears of love for this little family who were so grateful for us Canadians coming all this way to build them a home.
Shortly on our bus ride home after leaving San Telmo, a group in the back of the bus discussed a question “ how can we change this scene for some good ? “ It was soon decided that if we could raise money again, buy two lots side by side, put a security fence around them, raise enough money to have a block building built, a little larger than a double car garage. A design for the building was drawn up by a dear friend. We would then have it as a daycare, so that the little children of San Telmo could go during the day and perhaps the older children could then go to a school,
As of January 2011 the daycare is finished. The teacher is hired, and the children will be in soon.
A very special thanks for all the help that the many people who went down to San Telmo and worked on “ Daisy Mai, Guarderia “, as it is to be called. Also a special thank you for the financial help, and the many people who helped me personally give DVD talks to church groups, and setting up information displays.
God bless you.