Last Thursday I attended an event called the Project Mexico Auction. Project Mexico is a service program where twenty students travel to Tijuana and Tecate, Mexico for ten days and enroll in cultural and educational activities and work on construction projects. The auction is held to raise money for the trip as well as for the communities the students’ work with. This fundraiser auctions off a ton of cool stuff including signed sports jersey’s from Loyola captains, spa days, gift certificates and even BBQ grills! My favorite thing I saw auctioned off was fifty-yard line Raven’s tickets. It was hilarious to see students jumping up and down with their auction paddles fighting for what was being offered, while other students were cheering them on. I was surprised to see how much money people were willing to spend just to support this program and of course to receive their prize. It was a great way to fundraise a ton of money. Not only was the auction entertaining but they also provided food! My friend and I walked downstairs to the box office and paid five dollars and were given red wristbands for an all you can eat taco buffet. The food was delicious and I even got to try a churro, a tasty Mexican dessert.
My tie to Jesuit education in this case would be that this program reminded me of the service program I did with my church my junior year, Project Hope. Project Hope was a program where ten of us traveled to Mississippi to help rebuild houses for Hurricane Katrina relief. It was a mind-blowing experience. I remember being so nervous because I had no idea what to expect because I had never been that far south before. The people were so nice and so grateful for our help, which I am sure was the same case with the Project Mexico people. You get a feel for what life is like for these people when you visit their homes. It is quite a learning experience and by the end of the trip you have made so many new friends you just don’t want to leave. Helping out communities not only benefits them, but it also benefits you. I gained a ton of beneficial skills from my trip. I learned how to fix up houses using a variety of power tools, except a saw, I wasn’t allowed to touch that haha, and I learned a ton about people’s culture. During one day we were helping out at a soup kitchen and the people who came to eat started singing southern songs. One guy made up his own lyrics to a blues song. We had a blast singing along. Though the work was tough and the heat was unbearable at times I still had an amazing time in Mississippi. Looking back on it now I a really happy I decided to partake in that Jesuit service program because it opened my eyes to a new world and it made me more independent.