Sunday, November 23, 2014

There and Back Again

It's great to be back home, even if it does mean getting used to some colder weather. But we're Canadians, eh? We can handle it, thank you very much. Or is that "Pardon me?" - I'm not sure.

But we're glad to report that in spite of battling a few stomach bugs, we were able to accomplish our goals for the trip. In the last post, I showed some photos of the work area that was built to facilitate our automotive training in the months ahead. It turned out very well, and the next step will be to put up a few walls and a roof to keep the sun off.
Rich watering down the fresh concrete so that it dries properly.
Even though the concrete was too green to work on, that didn't stop us from doing a little automotive training. Here are some photos of the work that was done and the students we'll be working with.
Isaias, the maintenance manger, changing spark plugs on the minivan.
Explaining how electricity flows through a signal light circuit.
Poli (left) and Ivan (far right) are our first two guys to take advantage of this automotive teaching opportunity. 
Annel is a local high school student who helps with the translation work.
Ivan is checking the tire pressures...
...while Poli changes a fuel filter.
Only a couple of days training this time, but a good start for our upcoming return trip in March, 2015.
Both these young men have good reasons for attending our training sessions. After 8 years, Poli is tired of picking strawberries in the fields for minimum wage; he wants a better future.

Ivan is hoping to get into a mechanical training course in Tijuana next year, and believes that the training we give him will help with that transition.
The Mercy Tech foundations are now laid in the Baja; from here on the only direction is forward. A big thanks to the family and friends who helped to make this trip possible.

Also a shout out to the folks at One Life One Chance, who are letting us partner with them on their mission base at San Quintin so that young people like Poli and Ivan can have a chance at a better future.
Baja 2015? Maybe we'll see you here!

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Training Location Underway

It's been a busy week here in the California Baja of Mexico, where volunteer Rich Howard and I have been getting a start on Mercy Tech's latest training venture. In cooperation with One Life One Chance, we are preparing to start an automotive training program that will bring hope to local young men who would otherwise not have access to skills training of this nature.

Our main objectives to this point have been to pour a concrete slab where we can repair vehicles, and to also begin bringing in the tools and equipment needed for the training sessions. What follows are photos of the progress we've been making here. Thanks for following along, and I'll give a more complete update when we wrap things up here at the end of the week.
Okay, that's a taste of what we've been up to. I start training our first two students tomorrow, and as we look ahead, we'll be needing more tools and shop equipment, along with some automotive instructors to add to our roster.

One last photo...just to show that the Baja isn't all about concrete, dust, and work!
Adios, amigos.