REDMOND, OR -- A group of high school students from Redmond Proficiency Academy will spend their spring break in Mexico - but not on vacation. Spanish teacher Troy Longstroth and 14 of his students will spend five days building a house for a needy family. "We are working in conjunction with, basically, the social services department in Mexico. So, they’ve set us up with a family who needs a house, has applied and has gone through their process. We kind of have a Habitat For Humanity style program, where we have partnered with some locals in San Luis Del Rio Colorado, which is in northern Mexico, near Yuma, Arizona."
Longstroth tells KBND News, "When we arrive, the guys that we’re partnering with down
there will already have the concrete floor and the first-floor walls built out of bricks. So, we will install doors and windows on the first floor, and a staircase, and then add a whole second floor, we’ll frame that and put a roof on – a metal roof – and finish up the inside with electrical. So, we’ll have them a house built in five days."
They’re driving down to save money. Longstroth says it’s the first time he’s been able to organize a trip like this. "I’ve been the Spanish teacher here for a while, and taught in the Redmond School district before as a Spanish teacher, and I’ve wanted to take kids overseas but money seems to always be a big obstacle. So, one of the reasons for this trip is that it gives kids a cross-cultural experience with a low dollar amount. So, the $500 is quite a bit for a 9-day trip. But, on the other hand, most programs are $2,000 or $3,000 to go for a week." Longstroth says they still need to raise about $17,000 to cover travel expenses and building materials.
to give to the "Raise the Roof" fundraising campaign.
Above left: The family to be helped by RPA students.
Above right: RPA students will build a house similar to this previous one built by another student group.