This was the second trip that Faithworks was embarking on in the 2019 calendar year. The directors Jeremy VanBeelen and Duane Visscher at Pan De Vida had asked for another team to come to help with various projects at the orphanage.
Our team consisted of 7 members, there were 4 females and 3 males. We left Toronto on the 5th of November and flew to Houston and then on to Queretaro Mexico. Once we arrived at the airport Jeremy Van Beelen the director picked us up and drove us to the orphanage.
Upon our arrival we unloaded our suitcases and brought them to the “holiday inn” to our respective rooms. Once we were settled in, we were given a tour of the property. We started at the school where we were shown the classrooms and met some of the children in their classrooms. We were then shown the boys dorm rooms where the boys live and have their breakfast together. The boy’s dorm is undergoing an extensive addition in the form of a second story. This second story will house some of the boy’s sleeping quarters, washrooms as well as rooms where the dorm parents will live.
We then moved on to the farm where the team were shown the various animals that are kept. The chickens are kept for their eggs and meat, rabbits, turkeys, pigs are all kept for their meat as well. At various times they are slaughtered to be used for feeding the hungry children of the orphanage.
We then moved on to the fish tanks that house tilapia. These tanks are in the ground and in a green house, the tanks were built by a previous faithworks team 3 years earlier. So far, the fish tanks are doing well, they have a hydroponics system in place that circulates the water from the tanks through the hydroponic system that in turn allows various vegetables to grow also providing food for the orphanage.
We then moved on to the newly installed and still in mid construction, pool that will be a huge asset to the children once it’s up and running. The final plumbing and electrical hookup will be done by the January 2020 Faithworks team DV.
Across from the pool is the girl’s dorms. We were shown through these and were also shown the two apartments that were on the team’s list to be painted in the days that we would spend there.
Our final stop was the auditorium where church and other functions are held.
Our days on site were spent painting the apartments, cutting and welding steel together for railings that will be used around the pool as well as the railings for the second story of the newly constructed boys’ dorms as well as painting them. Some of the plumbing on the roof of the main building and girls’ dorms was replaced as it was leaking. This is due to the sun breaking down the plastic piping. We were able to plumb the washrooms in the new addition as well as do a concrete overpour in the washrooms. The team also took turns on the two Wednesdays we were there to go to the fruit and vegetable market to get donations of food for the orphanage. Concrete forming was taken apart, chickens and a turkey were slaughtered, the team was asked to help out in the English classes, and we spent time with the children at recess times.
The team was taken on a day off to Pene de Brenel, a monolith that we climbed. We were also treated out to dinner in the city, a way to experience the Mexican culture. We also visited another orphanage, Casa otomi, meaning house of indigenous people, where we could tour their facilities.
On November 15th we headed back for home filled with our experiences and new friends we made whether it was our team members or those who we met at the orphanage.