It was my first year as a trip coordinator. 1988 there was a team from Houston that arrived 70 participants strong to build homes in the garbage dump of Reynosa, Mexico. In four days the team would complete 5 houses for the poorest of the poor in the city.

Everything was well done. I had partnered with the social services office of the city to select families. These families were chosen based on economic studies, and crowded living conditions. Five to ten people lived in shacks of cardboard and tin. The Mayor’s office was deeply concerned for the children of these families. We would help once, then move on. Each family was asked to help build their house, and to maintain it for 1 year. After that they would be free to sell it for a better place to live. We saw our home as a temporary solution. Emergency relief.

Instructions clearly stated to group leaders that they were to give nothing away in the community, yet on the last day the team got off their bus and pulled mattresses, bunk bed rails, toys, camp stoves, etc, from underneath the bus! It was like a Macy’s parade through the dump! I was heart broken and wondered what would be the i