UC High Club Casas De Luz Builds Homes in Tijuana, Mexico


Casas de Luz

UC High students, members of the Casas de Luz club, pictured working on a house in Tijuana, Mexico.

Miranda Figueroa, Staff Writer

   Because of a common passion to help those in need, students in the UC High club Casas De Luz recently went to Tijuana to build a house on a weekend in April working with the organization Casas De Luz.

   According to the Casas De Luz website, “Since 2005, CDL [Casas De Luz] has worked to give communities in Tijuana a starting point from which they can achieve their true potential. Casas de Luz started small, building one home a year and spending the majority of the time fundraising and delivering donations. Since then, CDL has grown exponentially; we have built over 90 homes and in 2017 we built 20 homes and delivered over 100 truck loads of donations” (casadeluz.org).

   “Our club works with an organization called Casas De Luz and we got a chance to work with them, once again, the weekend of April 23 and 24,” said Senior Officer of Casas De Luz AJ Best.

   “On April 23, 2022, we met at UC High around 7:00 in the morning. We then drove across the border to our build site,” said Best.

   “Our build site was in La Mesa, Tijuana. We built just up the street from the Community Center we were staying at. The house was a one story, three room, olive green home that took us around a day and a half,” said Sophomore Mateo Torres Chapa.

   “It was absolutely amazing. We built a home for a single mom with a daughter and son, ages 14 and 19. Since her son Jason was 19, he was very close in age with the rest of us and we were able to connect with him,” said Senior President of Casas De Luz Club Mackenzie Connor.

    “Those in the club who speak Spanish were able to communicate with him, creating a closer bond. We spent the whole day on Saturday building the house; it was the most productive build we have ever had. Our team was super strong and we all had such a good time together,” said Connor.

    “It usually consists of a group of ten to twenty students that go together to these builds,” said Casas De Luz Advisor Leslie Wymer.

   “This past build, we spent the night in a Community Center that we actually built a few years back. It was a great experience because all the people who now live in the Community Center cooked dinner and breakfast for us,” said Connor.

   “Every time I have been on a build, it has been a great experience. We get to build a new home for a very grateful family while hanging out with friends,” said Best.

   “It is very eye opening going to Tijuana, as many areas are very underdeveloped. However, I am grateful that there are organizations such as Casas De Luz ensuring families have safe homes,” said Best.

   “It’s always a beautiful experience being able to spend time with people from UC High that you often didn’t know before, but after the builds we all grow closer and have the luxury of sharing great memories. These events allow you to meet both interesting and kind people that you end up sharing things in common with,” said Torres Chapa.

   “Casas De Luz works to fundraise enough money to purchase lumber as well as materials to build houses for families in need in Tijuana. Each build costs about 6,500 dollars, so we work hard to fundraise enough money to build two to three houses a year,” said Connor.

   “We usually partner up with Snap!Raise in order to fundraise money for these builds,” said Best.

   “We have already built two houses this year, and we are looking to build another one in July. Once we have raised enough money to build a house, our club drives down to Tijuana for the weekend to build a house for a family in need. We start with nothing more than a bunch of wood, tools, and a cement foundation laid out for us,” said Connor.