This year, I went to Mexico for the first time. It was also my first time being so far from home. Being in Mexico was hard at first, because I don’t speak Spanish. After a while, I sort of understood it.
Going into Mexico, I can really see a difference in the way they live compared to the way we live. There is very little green, and dust is everywhere. The majority (where I served) lived in small houses with more than one family living there. I find it really cool that even though they have very little, they still make a life out of it.
This trip was life changing because (I learned that) just a small thing — like giving them clean water, food, or clothes — makes a big difference.
When I first arrived in Mexico, I was in awe, because it was another country and because of the look of the first few towns and buildings. They were so pretty! Then, as you go deeper into Mexico, there was just more dust and the buildings are a lot smaller and not as put-together. There were dogs everywhere, but I couldn’t touch them. I was upset at first, but as I got closer, I could see the ticks and fleas all over them. I felt bad for them.
The place our group stayed at was very decent. We had amazing breakfast and dinner. Our showers were only three minutes long, and we had to throw away our toilet paper in the wastebasket next to the toilet. Ever hear, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down”? Well, that applied everywhere we went.
I spent my time mostly at the halfway house women’s shelter. Even though I didn’t speak Spanish, the women there helped me learn a little bit. Just enough to communicate with them. At this place, the women got a new start with their children.
Most women there were abused as young teens and abandoned. Most of these women had their childhood stolen from them. At this place, nothing bad is going to happen to them. (We learned) none of these women had ever played catch before we showed up. I felt bad for them but I also felt happy for them.
I’m glad I went to Mexico, and I would gladly go again.
Katelyn Cribb, 15, is a student at Lodi High School.