Several years ago I travelled to Mexico to join a YUGO mission to build houses. I went with BFML and his sister Donna & her family. Donna organized the mission through her church; at the time it was her second mission working with YUGO. There were approximately 40 people who joined in, and we built 3 houses and 3 outhouses (although there were other missionaries there and a grand total of 6 houses and a church were built that week).
The main group is separated into teams for each house/outhouse, and assigned a family. The family's obligation is to purchase the land the house will be built on, and they must establish that they can and will pay the mortgage on the property. There are very many visits between the family and YUGO before they are accepted into the program and become eligible for a house. Now.. Churches and organizations worldwide take part in these missions, and their responsibilities include paying for the building materials, (normally) furnishing the houses, and taking the family on a shopping trip to supply some wish-list items (such as groceries, bedding, etc). The teams are also responsible for paying for air travel, van rental, several days of meals (between legs of the journey), 2 nights hotel, and dorm/food fees at YUGO.
I was hoping that I could attend the upcoming mission, but was unsure if I could due to changing jobs. Thankfully, Mona was able to get Rose to cover for me that week (which is during spring break), Dida agreed to take care of Mug, and besides the dogs, the only issue I have left is funding.
So, I'm going to believe that it's possible, and I've committed to attend. Here's where you come in.
Beginning soon, I'm going to post dyed fiber and a small amount of dyed sock yarn for sale. All proceeds will go towards the mission. Also (or, instead), if you chose, you could mail a donation directly to me or to Unity Baptist Church. There are a lot of options regarding donations; all of which will get you a charitable tax receipt. You could donate in my name, and those dollars will go towards paying for my trip/expenses (noted above). You could donate towards the mission as a whole, or towards building materials for the second house (the first one has been paid already), towards furnishings, or any combination of things. So that donations are correctly applied, please note that funds are for the 2009 Mexico mission. If you would like to contribute to my trip, please note my name as well (I'm the only Annie going!).
If I collect funds above what I need for my expenses, I plan to donate the balance to my Mexican family towards their mortgage. Jim and I did this last time on a very small scale, and it was a very beautiful thing for all of us, family and otherwise. Also, we purchased a swing-set for the little daughter of the house (there are no playgrounds or playground equipment in these small mountain villages).
Our last Mexican family were wonderful, loving people who were living in a cardboard box. They had been doing fairly well until the mother became ill, and all of their money went towards paying medical bills; after a year of illness they became debt ridden. It is extremely difficult to make a living in this area. In order to have a job, you need to get off the mountain and out of the village. To do that, you need a car. In a place where the average daily earnings top out at approximately $7.00, paying for a car and gas at US rates.. well, it just isn't that easy. Kids there can't go to school unless they have a uniform and school supplies. They actually erase all of their work so that they can re-use paper.
Here's a link to a video that Jim made of the 2006 Mexico mission.
I'm going to believe that I'll raise money for this trip, so in that spirit, I'm thanking you in advance. If you would like more information on this mission or the budget associated, please contact me, or email Unity Baptist Church, attention: Holly.