Local residents hope to build homes for those ravaged by Hurricane Odile
A Medford family who spent a vacation in 2014 delivering clothing, baby formula and other necessities to residents of Mexico's hurricane-ravaged Los Cabos hope to venture back this April to help the region rebuild.
Shannon and John Wade are spearheading efforts with their church, Path Church of Central Point, to raise funds to build a house as part of restoration efforts.
The region was struck Sept. 14, 2014, by Hurricane Odile.
Wade visited the area, a favorite vacation spot for her and her family, in November and May and said she was disheartened to realize residents were still struggling to recover from the hurricane while corporation-owned resorts already had rebounded.
"We found that many of the residents of the area had lost everything and are still living in makeshift housing. We saw family after family living in houses made with pallet wood and tarps as roofs," Wade said.
"What really tugged at my heartstrings was watching these people wash their resort uniforms in big tubs of water on dirt floors outside of their homes. They were making sure that their uniforms were perfectly pressed to work at the large hotels catering to tourists. Those same hotels that we have stayed in not even giving a second look to the employees."
Wade and her family decided to rally church members and friends for a trip to the region April 23-30.
For $5,000, a modest three-room, concrete structure can be built.
Medford resident Bryan Ghiglieri, who will make the trip with Wade's family alongside his wife, Tiffani, said he is eager to do something productive to help the region. Like the Wades, Ghiglieri visited the region prior to the hurricane and said he was touched by the simplicity of life there and the friendliness of locals.
"Once the hurricane hit, it caused so much devastation and it really struck me to see how the resorts were basically fine after a little bit of time went by, but where people actually live it's still turmoil," he said.
"These are people that make maybe 10 to 20 bucks a week and they're living in ruins. I think it's super easy for us to kick back, especially in America, write a check and then forget about it. But I think it means a lot more to people for us to go there and help build a house or a church or whatever project needs worked on. To show that we care and we want to help make their lives better."
Ghiglieri said the group, now numbering about a dozen, hope to make an annual trip to help the people of the region.
"Giving of your time is the best thing you can do for anyone," he said.
Wade said members of the group are covering their own airfare and expenses for the trip and that all donations will be put toward cost of the house being built.
To donate to the group, visit online at gofund.me/Mission2Cabo.
Reach Medford freelance writer Buffy Pollock at firstname.lastname@example.org.