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Volunteers in Mexico build humanitarian spirit

December 15, 2010

By Laura Castañon




In recognition of International Volunteer Day, Habitat for Humanity Mexico hosted work teams in San Salvador El Verde, Puebla in partnership with Credit Suisse. On the same day, volunteers from the Bancaria Comercial School and the Scouts of Mexico Association got their hands dirty in San Juan Teotihuacan.

Among sand, mortar and concrete, more than 80 volunteers demonstrated their humanitarian spirit, helping strangers to access adequate housing solutions. They concluded the experience with new life lessons and new friends, gaining a personal understanding of the importance of International Volunteer Day.

Doña Socorro, a single mother, and parents Silvia and Amador were the partner families who received the help of 15 Credit Suisse volunteers. Among these was Rául Toscano, Human Resources director for Mexico and Latin America. For more than four hours, volunteers and community members labored to make adequate housing a reality for the two families, so that they could have a healthy and affordable place to continue working toward their dreams.

Rosa, a Habitat partner and beneficiary, sees volunteers as people who donate their time to help build the dreams of the many families who have fought to achieve something in their lives but need an extra helping hand. Nevertheless, volunteers receive something in return. “The simple act of helping others creates personal growth, opens my eyes to the reality of another person, helps me to learn where to focus my efforts and adds more value to my life,” says Alan, a volunteer in Teotihuacán.

After hours of construction, the volunteers and partner families shared a meal prepared by the community and participated in an activity that demonstrated how working as a team helps to achieve tasks with greater efficiency, lowering costs and timelines. The volunteers expressed thanks for the lessons they learned throughout the day and the opportunity to spend time with the community, which also expressed gratitude for the time and effort that the volunteers spent in construction. Both the volunteers and the community members regarded the day as a celebration honoring all of the volunteers that have contributed throughout 2010 to Habitat for Humanity Mexico.

Laura Castañon is the Communications Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Mexico.