A Volunteer's Mexican Diary

One week building homes for the poor

My first night in Matamoros, Mexico, was a long one. Sleep wasn't an option, thanks to the incessant barking of three pit bulls guarding the taco stand across the street. Leaving the lights on to fend off the fearless cucarachas didn't help, either. I looked forward to morning when I could stop obsessing about the size and multitude of Mexican bugs and meet the people who had chosen to spend their vacations in one of Mexico's least scenic and least prosperous areas. I was there as a reporter for less than a week; a short time which had a surprisingly deep impact. Still, I wondered how many people had paid almost $700 plus airfare--not to mention the hours of sweat equity--for a week in a $13 roach-infested motel room.

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