Tired. I was tired. It was 4:30 a.m., and I had already woken up in time to make coffee, make a couple sandwich’s, pack up my bright red cooler, and load it into my car in time to be at Nate’s house for the rendezvous. Have I mentioned this was on a Saturday?

Regardless of how tired I was when I started the day, or how extremely-beyond-exhausted I was when I finally got back home around 11pm, my trip to Tijuana (“TJ”) with Corazon was definitely worth it. Corazon was started 30 years ago, and their concept could not be more…well….obvious! What they offer is an “integrated program of community building, instruction, construction and repair projects, scholarships, and emergency and long-term assistance.” I went to TJ with the organization to help build a house, and found out the organization is actually involved in so much more than just building houses. It just makes so much sense, it’s actually pretty ridiculous. First of all, they don’t just give houses out, people have to earn them through a point system, wherein they earn points by performing community service projects, such as providing child care for neighborhood kids in the mornings (so their parents can go to work), helping in the afternoons and weekends with the tutoring center, or helping to lay concrete or roofing on a neighbors house. Second, their approach is wholistic. So it’s not just about building a house and letting them fend for themselves: it’s also about providing an education for their children so they have a better future, it’s about educating the parents to help them get ahead, it’s about educating the community. I absolutely love the idea of a whole community taking part in improving not only their own home, but of all their neighbors. IT’S FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT!

Anyhow, below are some pictures from the build I went to this past Saturday, which was an addition to an existing house (8 people living in one room) rather than a whole house build. Please check out Corazon’s site and see how you can be a part of this amazing organization, either financially or by donating your time. Take a day in the next few months, and join us to help a worthy family. If you come on enough projects, you can earn your blue shirt, which I definitely plan on doing!

Walking to our work site:

The house as it stood originally, with the foundation already lead for the addition:

Painting the exterior and interior of the walls:

Putting up the walls:

Marlene, one of the members of the house, working on her painting skills:

And Marlon, her twin brother, working on his carpentry skills:

Working on the roof:

Photo opportunity of our finished product along with the sponsors and all the family members:

TJ at night:

Wanna join us next time? Check it out.