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Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:30

Little House on the Baja 2016 trip needs more volunteers

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This was the 2014 team of Little House on the Baja which built a home in Mexico. This was the 2014 team of Little House on the Baja which built a home in Mexico. Contributed

Little House on the Baja needs some help — namely some manpower.


Joe Grove, one of the organizers of the trip to Mexico where volunteers pay their way down to one of the poorest parts of the country to build either a home for a needy family or else a school, needs some assistance.
Grove, a native of Duchess and the co-ordinator for the electrical side of the Division of Trades & Technology at the Medicine Hat College, is helping to lead a group July 9-16 but has to have flights booked to Mexico within the first full week of April. The philanthropic efforts needs some help — more people.
“We need more people to go before the April 3 deadline,” explains Grove who notes they are well short of their target of 20 people to make the trip plausible. The plan is to build a two-room school which has the design of a house, but would subsequently be divided into two. With  dimensions of 22x40 feet and no concerns of insulation and just a roof, it’s a much simpler building process.
This particular group trip takes place every two years. It was first started in 2007. The following year they went and organized a trip every two years following.
In 2014, they had 47 people take part. With more organizers to help, it has been easier for Grove and his wife Connie. It looked as though people felt it was a worthwhile project and he is hoping people are just deciding whether or not they can go.
“For Little House on the Baja, we had a lot of people ask us to (organize it),” explains Grove of the organizing of it. “In 2014, we had a lot of people involved.”
Amongst those who have gone in the past were staff members of the Medicine Hat College, as well as members of various city and regional church congregations.
Grove cannot definitively point to one particular reason for the lack of response this year, but he has some theories. The cost ($1,200) might be one issue although there’s a $600 option if you want to meet them in San Diego.
“There are two (related) reasons: the economic downturn and people more conscious of their economic situations and two, the trip is more expensive this year. In the past we have taken a bus and that isn’t an option this year. Now it’s $1,200 and with the additional cost, it’s scaring some people away.
“Plus there’s some perceived safety issues ... where we go it’s absolutely safe. It’s the border towns where there are issues.”
Grove notes they have a Facebook page and have put information up around the college and are hoping to get some responses soon. He pretty much has to know by April 3 in order to purchase the flight passes.
There is a scheduled “Training Meeting” for Sunday, April 3, at 3-5 p.m. at the Medicine Hat College in the Courtyard Room.
This has been an excursion close to Grove. In 2002, as part of his Duchess church delegation, Grove met Harold and Pearl Plato, then the main organizers of the Burstall trip to Mexico.
They inspired Grove so much, Grove went on Burstall’s annual trip to Mexico in 2006. The Platos returned the favour going on the inaugural Little House on the Baja. They also helped Grove with organization including how to build the house/school, all the contacts in Mexico and how to organize getting the building materials down to the construction site.
He has been a part of seven such trips to Mexico.
“It is a lot of work, you get thrown into the fire as far as organizing it, but when you see what a school does for the community, or how you change the lives of a people with a new house,” explains Grove, who says the trips are all mission-based. “But what’s especially great is seeing how you change the lives of the people who go, seeing Third World situations and the impact we have.
“I’ve never regretted going, but it definitely opens your eyes each time you and makes you think about how we live (in Canada). It’s a guilt thing you feel sometimes when you see what they have and what we have. Every time (you go) it’s more of a reminder.”
To fundraise, Grove says they have a fundraising dinner and they also have made pizzas for a fundraiser as well. Those go to directly purchase the building materials.
Join the Facebook group “Little House on the Baja 2016” for more information and an application form, or contact one of the trip co-ordinators: Joe and Connie Grove: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Angela Guest: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or Deanna Reis: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This trip has also been designated as the final event of the 50 Acts of College.

Read 9722 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:44
Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor