Vyllagers Build Home for Homeless Family
Felipe Alvarez, a Realtor with Vylla, shared an inspiring story of a group of Vyllagers and customers who joined together in an international effort to build a home in Ensenada, Mexico.
The group joining me included Sasha Delcastillo, a property manager; Lorena Rodriguez, a loan processor; previous customers Daniel Strand and Charlie Coons; and 25 other individuals. The project was to build a simple house in a low-income neighborhood of Ensenada, Mexico; and for one homeless family of five it might as well be a castle. Everyone reserved a four-day weekend in August 2019 to build the house, from the ground up, in a single day. Our group raised all the funds for materials themselves and provided the volunteer labor.
The project was a success, and the house went up in one day. We also raised enough money from friends and customers to buy the family a stove, a small refrigerator, dining room set and beds for the kids and the mom and dad.
The family will make all of the finishing touches, because we then moved on to do some volunteer work for farm worker kids who earn dollars a day for working from sunrise to sunset in the agricultural fields of Ensenada. We partnered with a village school that is trying to get the kids to school. Because the school is a nonprofit, they also work to raise funds to provide free uniforms, food and education to farmworker kids who they’re able to take from the working fields with their parents’ permission. We entertained the kids with a day of puppets, plays, extreme biking presentations and cooked food – providing all the hot dogs they could eat and plenty of cold drinks. Some kids came back in line three times, and we were happy to serve them, because there’s no way to how often they get regular meals.
The program we work with is Baja Christian Ministries (BCM). Since 1991, BCM has been serving the spiritual and physical needs of the poor by coordinating short-term mission teams to serve in Baja California, Mexico. BCM is run very professionally, with many U. S. states sending teams, and it arranges for the necessary insurance, transportation, housing and food during the stay. BCM builds more than 100 homes a year in the Baja area.
Everybody on the team had a great time on this build; and they all have signed up for the next build. For each build, we have to raise funds to buy materials. The minimum cost for materials is $8,500, and that’s just for the materials to build the house. Any excess funds can be used to buy furnishings or be donated to a nonprofit. If other Vyllagers or Carrington Associates want to help, let me know. I can help arrange another three-day or four-day weekend build.
Below are some photos from the build.