In 1997 I went on my first week-long trip to build houses in Mexico with Amor and have continued working with them in some capacity ever since. Bruce, (seen below in creepy clown wielding truck) along with a core group of adults, played a major part in changing my life some 17 years ago and are still leading trips to this day.
In 2001 I even went so far as to spend a summer across the border, working alongside groups, living in a tent with such 5 star amenities as cold bucket showers, outhouses, and cots (sans pillow-top comfort). Ironically, living in the dirt with 12 of my peers for 3 months was one of the best summers of my life.
Since then, I’ve worked with Amor as a volunteer, a staff member, and most recently, a photographer. The thing that gets me every time is the way I see families being empowered with the tools to thrive in their communities (most importantly, a hand up, not a handout). To me, a roof that doesn’t leak, a solid foundation, and doors and windows that seal properly are a right. Thousands of families just a few miles south of me don’t have that luxury. A family receiving a home for the first time might mean they don’t have to worry about constant house repairs and can put that money toward schooling or medical bills, other “amenities” I take for granted. Or it might mean they don’t get wet every time it rains, or freeze when winter comes. To see the full scope of how Amor serves the local communities Mexico, the U.S. and South Africa, you can read more here.