March 2011
Casa de Don Willie

News from Esperanza

Dear Volunteers and Supporters,  

InaugurationI'm delighted to share some of the highlights that Esperanza has enjoyed over the last few months.  This past week, we celebrated the inauguration of the first 23 homes in the coastal region of Oaxaca. With a great thanks to Chris Larson for his continuous support of our programs, we were able to continue this important work through the purchase of an additional brickmaker. This will produce twice the number of blocks that communities are normally able to before.

We welcome Rene Paralta and Monica Fragoso-Peralta, the two newest additions the FEM board. Additionally, we celebrate the occasion in which the staff and boards of both Esperanza International and Fundacion Esperanza de Mexico were able to gather in collaboration and planning, we look forward to a unified approach to growing our organizations and further developing our missions in community and volunteer development. 

We thank all volunteers and supporters for the tireless effort to support the work that is Esperanza. The work continues on this side of the border and we look forward to your next visit.

In thanks,

Josefina Pataky

Excecutive Director

Fundacion Esperanza de Mexico


Using the Esperanza Bus- By Father Ted, Board Member EI 
Father Ted "The wheels on the bus go round, round, round."
This year the Long Island University: C.W. Post Newman group rented the Esperanza bus rather than renting vans in San Diego and driving to the Posada.  All in all we found it a great experience.  Repeat volunteers said how much they enjoyed being together rather than being split up into two vans.
Both Eduardo and Victor were more than willing to drive us where we needed to go.
The only apprehension I had was how to get from the airport to the border.  After some investigation I discovered that the easiest and most economical way to get to the border was by public transportation.
It was easy enough and about half the price of any 'car' service I could find.
If you choose to use bus (check with Aimee about the price, it's very reasonable) here is how to get from the airport to the border.
Once you have collected your team and your belongings head to the ground transportation area outside of the airport and watch for the "992" bus.  Each person will need $2.25 exact change to get on. (Always check the web page to see if fares have changed (sdMTS Fare Schedule).  Realize you might get separated if you have a large group.   Take the bus to "America Plaza" for a change to the trolley.
At America Plaza (Ketner St)  go to the Trolley Station across the street from the bus stop and take the "Blue Line" to San Ysidro.  Here you can buy tickets at a kiosk using a credit card.  The trolley is $2.50 per person.  You can buy 9 tickets on each swipe of the credit card.  The whole cost per person $4.75. 
Once out of the trolley, look for the walk way to "Mexico" and follow the ramp.  The walk way was easy, but there is the possibility of being stopped by a customs official.  No one in our group was stopped.  There was something about 'pushing a button,' when asked.
Where the ramp splits to go left or right, go  right and enter into Tijuana.  Look to the left and you will see the "McDonalds."   We were greeted by Kimber Johnson, the long term volunteer and on our way to the Posada.
While we were there a second bus arrived and once some preparation work is done, there will be two buses, enough to move a group of  40 people.  I would highly recommend using the Esperanza bus.  It made the whole experience more enjoyable.
We celebrate Father Ted's 10th year in working with Esperanza.
In This Issue
A visit from the United States Consulate
Reflection from our first long term volunteer
Join Our Mailing List!

Thank you!!

There are many people who make the work of
Esperanza possible.
Firstly, to the entire staff and board of both Fundation Esperanza de Mexico and Esperanza International.
FEM and EI

....To the volunteer

development and administration team.

Jen Mullis,
Quickbooks and Accounting Extraordinaire!
Jen Mullis
 Hana Truscott, Grant-writer, Photographer, Video Producer,
group leader, blogger;
I mean, really, there's just not anything this woman can't do!
  Hana Truscott
Margaret "Peach" Jack
The newest member of our team who fearlessly made the trip to Oaxaca to develop our newest volunteer program!
Visit her blog for the details of the inauguration of homes and trip! the donors, especially Blaise Goudy who brought in the extra funding we needed for the new dormatories at the Posada.
  New Building
And to all the volunteers and group leaders!!
We thank you for your dedication and faith in our programs.
First Long term Volunteer Reflection- Julie Kline
Julie Kline
My first trip to Tijuana working for Esperanza was in 1992. I was 15 and it was the first time St. John Vianney partnered with Esperanza. We built Alma's house. Her husband was a baker and was very ill. Alma supported her family running the bakery and kept everyone together like a true matriarch. Alma's house was at the bottom of an extremely steep hill and the cement mixing equipment stayed at the top of the hill. Temperatures were extreme as well, especially for a crew from the Northwest. It was a very tough couple of weeks, but what we quickly realized was that the difficulties we were having were just a small taste of what Alma's family faced every day. A 12 year-old girl that lived across the dirt road from Alma befriended me. Her name was Patty and she came out and worked and (tried) speaking with us every day that we were there. We shared our work gloves and cold cokes. 
The next year we went back and worked in the same neighborhood, building another house and working on a community center. Patty came out and worked and horsed around with us as much as she could. The weather was cooler and the workload easier, but the families we were helping were just as amazing.
Patty and I remained friends over the years, writing letters and sending cards. When my friend's and I graduated high school we decided we still wanted to work with Esperanza so we started the St. John's college-aged mission trek. We actually stayed with Alma and Patty's families in "our" neighborhood- even though Esperanza was building in other areas of Tijuana that summer. The hospitality we were shown remains unrivaled to this day.
In total I have made around 15 trips to Tijuana to work with Esperanza and even spent a few months my Senior year in college working for Esperanza full time as a student intern. Every family I've worked with was as amazing as the last, striving to give their children a better life than they had with love and humor. I remember being told by a gal that worked for Esperanza years ago that she also considered herself "an American" as Mexico is after all a major part of the North American continent. We joked around about her statement, but when I paused I realized that it was not only technically true, but true in spirit as well. What we in the United States like to think of as "The American Dream" - to work as hard as you can, to make a better life for your family, to give them opportunities that you didn't have, and to encourage them to make the most of those opportunities- it doesn't stop at the U.S. border. Esperanza helps these hardworking families realize their dreams.
I've seen Esperanza evolve over the years, always remaining relevant and staying true to its core value: helping people to help themselves. I've seen incredible staff members come and go, I've learned everything from the intricacies of Mexican politics to where to find the best tacos de birra from these amazing people. Esperanza has played a major role in the formation of my views on global politics.
Patty went to culinary school, I went to law school. I fancy myself a hot-shot lawyer and I know for a fact she's a hot-shot chef. We write emails and make facebook posts now instead of sending letters and cards- a sign of the times. Esperanza continues to better the lives of both the families it helps and the people who volunteer to work with them. I could go on and on about my experiences with Esperanza and the things I've learned, but my advice is to go and see for yourself.


Join us for our conference on Planning cross-cultural Service Trips 

May 7th

At Seattle University


Perspectives on Global Citizenship:

Cultivating Transformational Change through Cross-Cultural Service


*Learn best practices from leaders in the field

*Understand how to cultivate your skills of empowerment

*Foster and develop leadership skills from your participants

*Build partners with host communities.

*Promote long term commitment to community, solidarity, public service and global engagement



This conference will bring together service immersion trip leaders to determine how to fully engage participants in  transformational experiences. Incorporating body (volunteer service), mind (knowledge and information) and spirit  (authentic relationships); as leaders in the field, you know the benefits. However, it is often easy to get lost in the logistics  and complications of leading volunteer experiences.  Allow this to be your time to reflect, learn, share and collaborate with  leaders who have devoted their lives to this effort.


Visit us online for workshop descriptions and to register:


Esperanza Dinner

Don't forget to join us this Saturday night for our annual dinner.

Keynote speakers, Rick Steves, Josefina Pataky and Graciela Lara

will be joining us for a night of community, celebration and fun

Tickets are still available.

Online Reservation Link

Stay tuned for ways to volunteer and/or study abroad this Summer or Fall in Oaxaca!!
To contribute articles or for more information, please contact:
Aimee Khuu
Program Director
(206) 228-2082