The Han-Schneider International Children’s Foundation continued its mission trip program in 2017 with a trip down to Ensenada, Mexico. Our mission trip program first began in 2013 with a trip to Tanzania, Africa to allow our friends, family and supporters a chance to meet and interact with the children whose lives they are impacting through their generosity. This is the second time that HSICF has traveled to Mexico, but it was first time we participated in a summer camp for orphans with our partner, Rancho Genesis.
The team from HSICF, which consisted of 10 members, was paired up with Casa Hogar La Gloria, an orphanage located in Tijuana, Mexico. La Gloria sent 14 beautiful children ranging in age from 5 to 12. This trip offers a unique experience in which every team member is paired with a “nino” (or two) for the week and the children were able to participate in outdoor activities that they don’t normally have the opportunity to experience.
Each morning the team from HSICF served the children their meals, played on the campsite’s playground and then head offsite for a special activity. For example, one day the group took the children offsite to a trampoline park, took a boat tour of Ensenada Bay and then concluded the outing with a tour of the fish market and an ice cream treat! Another day’s outing consisted of a trip to a local ranch where we had a photo scavenger hunt which was followed by horse rides, archery and swimming. The highlight of the week was a trip to the beach where we collected seashells, played in the sand, and swam in the warm, blue waters of Ensenada.
Meanwhile at the campsite we bonded with the children with other fun activities like arts and crafts, decorating cupcakes, making slime, enjoying an outdoor movie night and even a concert where the dedicated staff of Rancho Genesis played songs of worship. It wasn’t all fun and games, however, as our group also did some construction work to help improve the campsite. We worked together to put up a wall, shore up a fence and begin a project for a special room that other groups will be able to use in the future to escape the sun.
Every day concluded with a campfire with the children where we talked about our favorite parts of the day and reflected on the special memories that we would be taking back with us. The week allowed the children to forget the circumstances that lead to them being orphaned and just be a kid – play, laugh and love. There is no doubt that this week had a profound impact on their short lives but the impact they left on every team member was even greater. We as an organization look forward to not only pairing up with La Gloria next year at Rancho Genesis but hope this is just the beginning of a long, beautiful relationship.
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