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Spring break can be a time to change lives

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Ahh Spring break, the time when many get an opportunity to take a break, a brief vacation, or just an opportunity to unwind.
On Saturday, 45 youth and adults from the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Church, woke up bright and early to head to Mexico.
This inter-congregational gathering isn’t for a vacation, but for the chance to work their behinds off.
The team will build three homes in one week and change the lives of three families forever.
The start of the trip wasn’t easy as the van nicknamed El Sol, broke down multiple times on the way to Arizona.
After some very patient travelers arrived at the guest church, a team worked into the night to repair the alternator, before the border crossing the next day.
Sunday the team crossed the border and set up a camp they would call home for the week. Here culinary caretakers prepared each meal with love.
Monday was concrete day, as the team poured three home foundations of concrete all mixed by hand in a wheel barrow with a shovel and a lot of determination.
Today is framing day, when walls take shape and depending on the concrete, may even be put into place.
Wednesday the pieces go up, the roof goes on and then they will get have their first lunch in the shade, the shade of the home.
Thursday is wire, paper and stucco day. Those that arrived at the build site as novices now have a real sense of accomplishment and the end is in sight.
Friday the three teams, one working on each house throughout the day and each team working on all three homes are making the final preparations.
The heart warming moment takes place when a leader hands the keys off to their new owner by telling them the home is a gift from God and they owe the builders nothing.
Once you witness the exchange, even on video, the notion of the trip will never be the same.
The weary travelers cross over the border once again, spend the night on a church floor and then head home to Los Alamos, greeted by excited families and the best shower ever.
A community presentation will take place after a few weeks after their return, watch the Los Alamos Monitor for details and see how members of our community are making a difference for others.
Assets In Action is sponsored by the JJAB and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.