Dec 15, 2014
Cultural Event Paper
This past summer I got the amazing opportunity to spend a week in New Mexico for a mission trip to better the tribe of the Navajo Indians. During our stay we had four projects that were to be completed by the end of the week. First we were to build a playground for the children in the tribe. Next we were to build Hogons, which were small houses for the people in the tribe that were homeless. We then built a greenhouse for a main farm on the reservation where people would get their vegetable. Lastly we made food deliveries to homes in the tribe that were in desperate need. After I describe these individual projects I will discuss the tribes reactions and my feelings toward our work that we completed.
Like many Reservations in the United States the Navajo tribe community in New Mexico is extremely impoverished with a big drug abuse problem as well as a high suicide rate. This is why ...view middle of the document...
Our next project was one of my favorites and it was to build Hogon structures for the homeless in the community. Hogons are small octagonal houses with dirt floors that are usually built by the members of the community but sadly often burn down because of the dry weather. We were able to put up five of these houses in a few days and it felt great.
Our next project was to build a small greenhouse on the main farm/pantry where the people would get their food and vegetables. This was one of the toughest jobs as we were working in the open desert and the heat was almost unbearable especially when inside the greenhouse but the final product was well worth it.
Lastly, we got to visit the homes of many families on the reservation and personally deliver food to them. This was a great experience for us and was one of the times we really got to interact with the people of the tribe and learn about their struggles as well as their culture and traditions.
This experience was one that I strongly believe changed my life and the way I look at the world today. I came on to the Reservation and saw the complete helplessness and despair in most of the Indians on the tribe and what they were going through. I have never been in a place where there was so much poverty and sadness. There is no city in America can compare to what I saw that week. Many of the houses in some of the neighborhoods were meth labs which a lot of them had blown up and burnt down. Seeing all of this however really motivated my teammates and I to complete our projects and make an impact. By the end of the week it was shocking to see the amount of smiles and change in spirit amongst the members in the community. I witnessed tears of joy from the children’s parents and an uncountable amount of thank yous. I knew we would make a difference but I had no idea how much our work had changed the outlook of the Navajo people and the hope they had gained as well as motivation to rebuild their own communities however they could. This trip made a huge difference in my life and I will continue to visit reservations in the future and conduct projects to better the lives of those in need.