Day Five: Feet of an Elephant by Vince Alcon

March 24, 2016
The wonderful thing about ASB for me is the relationships created while on this trip. Just imagine 13 people from all walks of life, having different backgrounds, different life experiences and different ages. Sounds crazy, right? In most situations, having this many people may be hectic and chaotic, but this is not the case for this group. For some reason we got along very well. This day, the focus, at least for me, was on the relationships created on this trip, and the people that we met throughout the week.

We had a chance today to “just be” with the people in Bahia De Kino. Most of us went to the markets and saw what they had to offer, but what made this part of the trip so powerful for me was witnessing the group come together … each of us looked like we had known each other for years. For each of us, the well-being of one another was really important.  If someone needed help, there was always a hand, or five, available and willing to help and go out of their way. After the adventures through Bahia de Kino, we all collectively decided to hang out by the beach and just enjoyed each other’s company.  It was AMAZING! I loved it.

What also touched me about this day is in the afternoon when we went to Holy Thursday mass, the Washing of the Feet. I was excited to experience this mass in a different culture and to see the differences and similarities. What is so awesome about the Catholic Church is that if you have been to a mass a couple times, you somewhat know what is happening even if in a language you do not know! At this mass, I had the honor of being part of it. As we arrived at the church, we were approached by a gentleman talking in Spanish and I did not know what he wanted.  When someone translated, he was looking for another person to be part of the Washing of the Feet. Immediately I said yes, because this truly an honor.

I was under the impression that I was only going up when it was time, but I and 11 others sat facing the whole congregation the entire mass. That was nerve-racking having everyone stare at you, but looking up I saw some familiar faces like Marisa from Familias Unidas, and the ladies we had served earlier in the week. This had me reflecting on the relationships we created on this trip, from remembering Maria and her love in Naco, to Ramon and his dedication to service in Guaymas, to all the people at Casa Fransicana.  All these people had taught me me to humble myself, and to do everything with love and passion.

After sitting in front of the congregation for some time,  it was finally time to participate in Washing of the Feet. The priest made his way down the line washing our feet and conversing with each of us. In my mind, I was preparing to introduce myself in Spanish.  When he came to me, he looked at my feet and, laughing, said “Tienes los pies de un elefante.” With my broken Spanish I pieced it together that he said I had feet like an elephant! That was so funny that it took me aback. Then he asked, “Como te llamas?” For you non-Spanish speakers, that means “What is your name?”  I was still processing the comment he had made earlier, so I then answered with full confidence, “Tengo viente y uno anos” which translates to, “I am twenty-one years old.”  The priest then looked at me confused and said ” Si, pero , como te llamas?” He said it slower stretching every syllable out . Then it hit me.  So I then responded, “Mi nombre es Vince,” and he smiled and moved on.

This little interaction with the priest really taught me not take life to seriously at times.  Because he had this lighthearted spirit to him, it made everyone laugh and I really felt welcome at the church. That goes to show making relationship is the way to feel welcomed and be part of a community.

After mass was dinner, but a couple of us needed to use the bathroom STAT.  There was not a bathroom to be found. When we walked by the Red Cross station,  I said lets go in and use the bathroom there.  To our luck, they were fixing the bathroom. We stepped out desperate at this point but by the grace of God there was Marisa  headed back from church.   We yelled her name and got her attention. She then graciously let us into her home to use the bathroom.

See, making these connections and relationships is really important.  Without Marisa,  I would still have a full bladder and without the priest I would not have this wonderful story to tell my grandchildren.

I hold and cherish all the relationships I have created on this trip in my heart and at core of this is the universal language of love.


Day Four: Guaymas Casa Franciscana By Darling Najar

March 23,2016,

Today we traveled from Bahia de Kino to Guaymas, it was a 3 hour drive. Upon arrival,  we met Ramon and his wife at Casa Franciscana. We started off by getting a tour of Casa Franciscana, then we broke up into groups and some of us were washing dishes, packing food, or helping serve. Casa Franciscana has many different programs that they have to offer for people who are in need. They offer free dental work, access to a pharmacy, and a medical clinic.  The clinic and the dental area help with health care needs of those who need it.  Many are migrants riding the train that comes up from the south.  The train is known as “la bestia” or “the beast” because of what happens to the migrants who ride it.  Casa Franciscana has a jewelry program just started one year ago.  It is a program that was started for single and widowed mothers who need to find a way to provide income to their family, but at the same tiime take care of their children. This program is a three-year program where the women learn how to make jewelry with sea shells, how to work as a team with other women, leadership skills, and how to manage a business. They are usually making jewelry while their children are in school, but if they have children who aren’t in school, Casa Franciscana has an area for children to do activities while their mothers work. All the jewelry is sold there at Casa Franciscana, but it is only by donations And doesn’t have a specific price on it. El Meson is another part of Casa Franciscana and is a separate building where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner for anyone who comes in to eat. They serve around 1000 people daily. Some of us helped serve vegetable soup, tortillas, fruit, and lemonade during lunch time. Others were helping wash tons and tons of dishes, pots, and pans. And the rest of us were helping prepare food packages so those in need would have food for the rest of the week because it was going to be closed during Holy Week celebrations. Afterwards, we went with Gerardo, a Franciscan, to visit a trade school donated and built for people who want to get a diploma in cosmetology, computer technology, sewing, engish, etc. This school will be open on April 4 this year, and it will take in up to 25 students from the neighborhood who are interested in learning a trade. They will only have to pay 300 pesos every three months, but if they can’t pay, they won’t be turned away. After, Gerardo took us to Club Jerry, which is an after school program started by Father Jerry, who is from Canada. Club Jerry is a safe area for children to go after school and play basketball, rollerskate, skate board, or do their homework together.   Visiting Guaymas was an amazing experience, we gained so much knowledge on all the services Casa Franciscana has to offer to those in need.   It was a joy and honor to serve at Casa Franciscana and to meet such amazing people. It was great to be a part of the lives of everyone we met on this day, even if it was only for a few hours.


Day Three: Familias Unidas by Brett Forster

March 21, 2016 We had the great opportunity to meet with Familias Unidas and get to know Marisa, head of the program. She explained how Familias Unidas got started by building concrete houses for those families who had casas de cartón (cardboard). To me, it’s incredible how a program like this came to be just starting with a few houses and now Familias Unidas has around 25 years running. We had the chance to paint at two houses and meet with the nicest people. Even though we were trying to serve them by painting their house, they were serving us! It really opened my eyes to see how happy people can be even without having certain technology or not having a big house, but by having family and friends that’s all a person needs. Towards the end of the night the kids invited us to play soccer with them, and just seeing the joy they had in playing a simple game even though they had a lot of financial problems was an amazing experience. The most inspiring part of the day was when a lady named Krystal explained her situation to us. Her Husband, even though he was living in the United States almost until he graduated, got deported. She told us of how she had to drive 3 hours to go to work, and how he was working to take care of his family and working to get his papers. They had no family nearby to help them, but they are working so hard every day to make it work. They don’t take anything for granted. Iit hit me so hard that I worry about so many little things that in the long run don’t matter. Her story touched me to want to work as hard as I can and not take opportunities for granted.


Day Two: First Foot in México. By Chelsie Smith

Sunday, March 20 – Naco, Mexico
Today was the first day I set foot in Mexico. It was like stepping back in time. The food was amazing and everything was freshly made. I tried this donut that had egg in it and it was amazing. The buildings made it feel as if we were back in time. They were painted bright colors like green and blue, purple and pink. The music was like we were in an older movie. The weather was great; however I can’t imagine how hot it gets in the summer. We went to mass today. It was the first time I have experienced it in Spanish. It was beautiful and I still can’t get over how beautiful the church was. Later, we got to play a game of pickup soccer (fútbol) with local kids. It was a great day with great people and great food.. I I realized how my language barrier is difficult in some situations, but doesn’t really matter in others in other terms.


Day One: Learning and Experiencing Together, by Student Leader AdrianReyes.

For the past three months, a group of students leaders, a campus minister and a community partner from La Punte homeless shelter have been working together to make this trip a lifetime experience! This morning as we are getting everything ready, I am full of happiness for each one of the participants. We all bring something magnificent to this experience, I truly believe there is a reason why we are here. We have different stories, we have different backgrounds, and we all are different in our way, and that’s  what makes this experience unique.    My heart is full with different emotions, from excitement to sadness. These brave participants have dedicated their only break this semester to experience and serve in a small community in Bahia de Kino, Sonora, Mexico. I know this will not change the world, but we are accomplishing a small fraction of what the Kingdom of God has for us.

Thank you for reading this and for making us part of your story.


Making a difference by Calvin Coombs

This a chance for me to be able to do some good in the world and possibly make a difference in some people’s lives. Having already served a mission in Mexico for my church, I thought that this would be a great chance to serve again, and to use my Spanish. I really hope to make this a great opportunity to create  new friends and to see the world through someone else’s eyes.  No matter what happens, I know I will enjoy this experience and I will be able to help people that I don’t know, but will get to know through this opportunity to serve them.


Flooded with Feelings By Serena Canegan

I am flooded with feelings when I think about how soon we will venture off on this new experience going on this alternative spring break trip to Bahia see Kino, Sonora, Mexico . However, I know there are some things I cannot put into words—and that is what the experience is going to be like. I can only think about the immense love and gratitude I will feel going down there (feelings on both ends). I could not be more thankful to meet the, kids at the meson  and learn all about their lives. They inspire me to work hard and appreciate life—another lesson already blossoming inside me in anticipation of the trip.

It is truly an honor and a privilege to be adventuring to Mexico. I hope to continue the spiritual and personal growth before, during, and long after this trip. I hope that the lessons I learn on this journey can be translated into my passions back home, for the rest of my life and to inspire those around me.

I look forward to the life changing experiences and long lasting friendships to come. Thank you for your help, love, prayers, and support. Thank you for making this experience possible.


Serving Others by Angelica Thabit

I am ecstatic to be able to participate in the Adams State Campus Ministry’s trip to Mexico this spring break. I look forward to not only the beautiful beaches, warm weather and authentic food, but also to serving the people. While Mexico borders right up under the United States, I sadly do not know very much about the people there. I am excited to learn about their culture, traditions and way of life. With the Campus Ministry we will be painting a home in the community of Bahia de Kino and serving meals in Guaymas, as well as attending cultural events such as Holy Week.
Thank you to the family members who are supporting me with prayer and love. A special thank you to those who were able to give financially so that I can go and serve others. I appreciate this chance to positively impact others and to learn from those whom I may have never met. Keep my group and I in your prayers!

On a Quest to Find My Purpose by Beneranda Chacon

I’m going to Mexico, as this is repeated in my mind, my thoughts of excitement and anticipation of what’s to come make me smile.  I am on a quest to find my purpose, so I ask myself;

How will I react to?

Sight ….Touch …Taste … Sound…Thirst…Hunger…Pain….Balance …

What will I see — Will I see sadness? Will I see happiness?  Will I see contentment?  I ask myself will I see these things in the people and places or will I see them in myself.

What will I touch —  Will I be physically or spiritually touched?

What will I taste —  Will I taste the food or the love that was put into the food as it was being prepared?

What will I hear – Will hear happy sounds, sad sounds.  Will I hear the Ocean?  Will I hear the sounds of a people wanting something better or will I hear the sounds of a people content with things as they are.

What will I thirst – Again will this be physical or spiritual?

What will I Hunger for – Will it be food, the hunger to want to help others or the hunger to help myself

Will there be pain – Will it be painful to see the ways of others or will it pain them to see my ways?

As I embark on this adventure I hope to experience all of the above in both the physical and spiritual.  I hope that what I have to offer people will also be what they can offer me.  The smiles, hugs, tears and good-byes will be part of what I look for – Balance.

When I get back I will be able to reflect on my list and see what the results are.   Stay tuned.




Experience Comes from Living by Darling Najar

Hi everyone! I would like to start by introducing myself, I’m Darling Najar, and I am a student here at Adams State University majoring in Nursing, with a minor in Health Care Administration. I LOVE living new experiences, and becoming more culturally aware every time I go on to new adventures. But mainly, I greatly enjoy putting a smile on others’ face through service when they’re in need.  I am looking forward to this ASB trip to Sonora, Mexico. Last year,  I was lucky enough to participate in the ASB trip to Mexicali, Mexico. It was an amazing experience to immerse myself in a completely different Mexican culture than the culture I am used to seeing when I go visit family members in Jalisco. Every country’s cultures vary from place to place. Therefore, I know on this trip I will gain more knowledge about a different area of Mexico, which will be the state of Sonora. I am looking forward to participate in Holy Week activities, serving around the community, making new friends, creating great unforgettable memories, but overall embracing this new experience and living it to the fullest.

Darling Najar