As springtime turns the corner in Piedmont, the tradition of students building homes in Mexico during spring break comes to life again. With the trip occurring in April, the Piedmont Community Church and students have begun to prepare for the trip.
“Pastor to Students” at the Piedmont Community Church, Scott Kail said that this years theme is “World Changers.”
“Over the last twenty-something years, we have built upwards of 340 houses,” Kail said. “We really are trying to change the world, one family at a time; we are building seventeen houses this year.”
The preparation for Mexico started last fall around Thanksgiving. Mandatory and non-essential Rock meetings have been scheduled week-by-week for months preparing students. Rock meetings focus on getting more in touch with each other and prayer.
“Once teams were put together in early December, we started having Rock meetings on Sunday nights,” Kail said. “There are four larger preparation meetings, not only students come but adults too.”
Each house building team is lead by one female student and parent leader and one male student and parent leader. Each team is assigned a color, ranging from brown to pink. Students are often each paired with a friend but mainly with acquaintances. The rest are students they become friends with over months of team bonding.
“The experience when we’re in Mexico is easier when everyone knows everyone,” Kail said.
Most students find the experience great enough to return.
Senior Drew Collins is returning this year for the fourth time, leading the Green team with Katie St. Claire.
“It’s really amazing and humbling: first of all you have these impoverished places, with no green, it looks like a dump, and the people there are happy,” Collins said.
Sophomore Shannon Murphy is excited to return for her second year, she said she enjoyed spending time in Mexico with her assigned family.
“Since we live in such a privileged community it’s nice to give back to people who don’t have as much as we do,” Murphy said.
The trip becomes less about people’s religious beliefs and more about the sensation of doing the right thing.
“It made me realize how grateful I am for my community and my family,” Murphy said. “I went into our [Mexican] family’s grandma’s home, and she wanted us to come visit her and stay with her. She was willing to give so much, even though she had so little.”