From the homeland to a land seen more on the news for drug cartels and rampant poverty.
“It softens your heart and you just feel so sorry for everyone,” says Abbey Harmon, a Del Oro High School sophomore.
Bayside Church mission teams have crossed the border into Mexico for their yearly Spring Break trip.
“We’re here to serve the hopeless. Give people hope. Serve the poor,” says Bayside Pastor Jason Krogh.
But, before they do that, they have to get 1,000 people from one country to another – a job that is focused on for the better part of the year.
“Getting those thousand people down to Mexico can be a daunting task, but we have a group of 5 to 10 people, and that’s all they do is assigning vehicles, getting our vehicles setup to transport our students,” says John Westin, Bayside’s Mexico logistics director.
The trip requires nearly 200 vehicles all assigned to a 3-car caravan, a system of binders, and plenty of snacks.
So where do those 1,000 campers stay for a week once they get to Mexico?
It starts as a lonely alfalfa field in the middle of Mexico, but quickly becomes something else: basecamp.
“We feel like we’re setting up a mini city here, with a thousand people coming down,” says Kendall Lewis, a Oak Ridge High School senior.
It’s grueling work, and it’s done by teenagers.
“For a lot of our students, it’s the first time they’ve built something like this with their hands. So that whole process is fun in itself, and then it’s a great way to give back,” says Bayside Youth Pastor William Weisman.
And for Weisman, it’s more than just swinging a sledgehammer or tying rope.
“This is actually my 12th time down to this area in Mexicali, and I’m only 23. So it’s been a big part of my life.”